Beef. It gives us the opportunity to unleash our inner caveman, to let the animal within have his way and feel the entire force of carnal urges. When one succumbs to the lure of a hunk of red meat, it ought to be big, profound, and serious. Taken only with a Riedel of Cab, this is grown-up eating.
The gentlemen of Sparks are taking full advantage of their access to a wood-fired pizza oven by cooking skillet entrees in that oven, because fire = smoke = meats.
The New York Strip is a tender cut, but not ribeye or tenderloin tender. No, this is more of a workhorse cut, something with a little chew as a reminder of what we've embarked on -- this is refinement meets substance.
Mushrooms and beef are natural bedfellows -- but not like peanut butter and jelly or chocolate and salt. This pairing is not about foil; instead it's about punctuation, like putting on red lipstick with your red sex-me dress.
Black trumpet mushrooms aren't your mama's button 'shrooms either -- these are stand-up-and-look-at-me numbers, long like a stogie. And like a stogie, these mushrooms are smoked, so now you're eating the seasoning of the gods -- elemental, yet complex as nature itself.
A blood-red lacquer of port-wine demi glace offers a sweet touch of harmony, but not too much -- it's still dry and tart. A tangle of kale pops bright on the plate, but it's bitter on the palate, cutting through all the umami like a blade.
This is masculine stuff -- it's the Drakkar Noir, the peaty scotch, the musky leather of meals.
100: The Pickle Dog from the Minnesota State Fair 99: Mademoiselle Miel's Honey Bon-Bons 98: Giant Pretzel at New Bohemia 97: Kopplin's Breve 96: Corn Chowder at Barrio 95: Crescent Moon's House Special Football-Shaped Pizza 94: Buffalo Tots at the Blue Door Pub 93: Duck Burger at the Happy Gnome 92: Mac's Industrial Tuna Melt 91: Toast Bar at Canteen 90: Sonora Grill's Eggplant Fries 89: Brasa's Pineapple Ginger Ale 88: The Freehouse's Cheese Curds with Quince Jam 87: Black Coffee and Waffle Bar's Naughty Waffle 86: Czar Jack at Town Hall Brewery 85: Soft-Shell Crab Fried Rice at Tiny Diner 84: Sanduche de Pollo at Chimborazo 83: Grand Café's Eggs en Cocotte 82: Pollo Tacos at Las Teresitas 81: Chicken Tikka Masala at Himalayan Restaurant 80: Cornmeal Galette with Ham and Sweet Corn from Black Walnut Bakery 79: Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy at the Third Bird 78: The Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich at Lake and Irving 77: The Larry from Taco Cat 76: Lobster and Eggs from Eat Street Social
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