51 Winchester St
Anyone familiar with Korean gogi gui or Japanese yakiniku, has experienced being served a platter of raw meat and given full control to cook at their own table. Stonegrill, takes this in a slightly different direction by replacing the sliced meat with a thick steak, and the table mounted grill with a pre-heated slab of stone.
Pictured here is the 10 oz. Certified Angus striploin, cooking atop the stone block. Our waiter explained that “the stone is a volcanic rock imported from Iceland, heated to 750 degrees – which sears in the natural juices and is the healthiest way to cook a steak as it requires no additional oil”.
I didn’t want to get into any major discussions about this at the table (as we were visiting some old friends) – but can someone explain to me how this could be any “healthier” than cooking my steak on a bbq? The myth of searing meat to contain natural juices is a topic I won’t dive into on this post. Nonetheless, I was a little disappointed that they use this to promote their restaurant concept.
My biggest complaint however, would be how the ‘chef’ (for lack of a better word) seasoned the steak by carelessly dumping a heavy pinch of salt on the middle of each steak.
Regardless of the stone spiel, these were quality cuts of beef, which tasted very good. The first flip revealed a beautifully seared side of steak (Louis-Camille Maillard would be proud). The stone held enough heat throughout the meal – as I found myself using it to further cook a few of the center pieces bite-by-bite.
Midway through the meal, I had a bite which contained some bitter notes. When I peeked at the other side of the steak – I found that it was not very pretty (a couple burnt spots, with the rest looking grey as it didn’t make contact with the stone).
The ‘seasonal vegetables’ were very disappointing. The pairing of the tiny broccoli with large cauliflower florete, and the sliver of red pepper with the large chunk of green pepper – made me wonder if they don’t bother hiring a chef – as the customer does the cooking? We joked about whether you can call it cooking – when you’re cooking stones?
Moving onto dessert – we jointly decided to share the bread pudding. A massive portion, which we couldn’t finish, although it tasted fine. Part of this could have been due to the timing of our dessert arrival – as a nearby table received their order of salmon, which filled the restaurant with the strong smell of cooking fish. Not the most enjoyable experience.
Overall – an interesting concept, but I’d rather stick to the bbq houses with exhaust vents over each table.