Steak 44 in Arcadia: a Modern Steakhouse With a Neighborhood Feel
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Lauren Saria Steak 44 is not your grandparents steakhouse.
Restaurant: Steak 44
Lauren Saria Inside Steak 44
Location: 5101 N. 44th St.
Open: About a month
Price: $30 to $50 a person
Steakhouses are boring. They're outdated. They're overpriced. At least that's what most self-proclaimed enlightened diners would say. In many -- if not most -- cases those generalizations are sadly true.
But they don't apply to Arcadia's new neighborhood steakhouse, Steak 44.
Usually, a steakhouse is as much about the experience as it is the food -- after all, you can get a great steak at a lot of places these days. At Steak 44 you get the best of both worlds: a luxurious experience and (relatively) interesting food.
In addition to such typical steakhouse starters as oysters on the half shell and wedge salads, Steak 44 offers dishes like crispy shrimp with sweet Thai chilies and braised pork belly with herbs and caramelized onions. Even the usual suspects get a little update, like the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail. The dish features the largest, sweetest shrimps you've ever come across served with a tangy cocktail sauce and a dangerously aggressive "atomic horseradish." At $5 a shrimp, it's not the most affordable way to start your dinner, but delivers on quality in a big way.
On the other hand the fried deviled eggs ($6 for four eggs) sound like another intriguing option but end up tasting less interesting than you'd expect. The whole fried eggs get a nice boost from the side of Sriracha aioli, though it still doesn't hide the fact that the yolks are pretty much bland.
As for the main event, Steak 44 offers a selection of 28-day wet aged handcut steaks. You can have a filet mignon or New York strip in two different sizes, either with or without a bone. The bone-in rib eye comes only in a 22-ounce size.
If you're a fan of marbled meats, then you'll want the Delmonico. The name comes from the Delmonico's Restaurant in lower Manhattan during the mid-19th century, though no one is sure what cut the Delmonico used to be. At Steak 44, it's essentially a boneless rib eye. This cut makes a relatively affordable meal at $31 for a 12-ounce steak and $37 for a 16-ounce size.
The beautifully marbled piece of meat was cooked perfectly medium -- our server recommended we order it that way -- and was incredibly tender and very rich. Eat one of these and you'll probably never want a filet again. It arrives sizzling and drenched in butter, though you can also order a side of truffle butter, bordelaise sauce, or green peppercorn sauce, if you wish.
In our opinion, doing so would just take away from what's already a perfect steak.
Lauren Saria Steak 44's giant shrimp cocktail.