What do you give a girl that has everything? What do you give a city that has everything? The answer to both is Steak! Its hard to go wrong with steak. But Simon Kim of the Michelin Starred Italianish Piora just upped the ante. Instead of opening just another steakhouse or just another Korean, or Korean BBQ, he created a new concept, a Korean Steakhouse. Elevated Korean BBQ in a modern, sexy setting in Flatiron.
Its food porn, with a slight emphasis on the latter in this case, “porn”. It starts as soon as you walk in and settle in the bar, and kicks up a notch when you go down to the basement. You cant help but stare at the aging steak hanging in the red lit room behind the glass while listening to the soft porn jazz in the background. Its the meat lover red light district. The theme continues upstairs where you are presented with the said meat by a team of sharp looking Chippendales.
The bottom line in this post (recommended dishes) is a single item: Butcher’s Feast. Four very different cuts cooked right in front of you, accompanied by a plethora of Banchan – side dishes. I would like to meet the people that reported leaving hungry after ordering the feast. The waiter starts us off with the aged Ribeye that comes with its cap dangling. The cap, the Ron Jeremy of meats, the least appetizing meat out there, which is why you rarely see it anywhere. But its arguably the best tasting part of the cow. Bowery Meat Company in the Bowery uses only cap to for its infamous Bowery Steak, one of the most expensive hockey puck meats in NYC.
The feast continues with the Hanger, followed by a well marbled Wagyu Flatiron (when in Flatiron..), and Galbi, as the “meat dessert”. Galbi is short rib marinated with soy and sugar. A curious but logical finisher to the meat course. By that point of the meal, the entire family flipping those meats like the pros that we are. Three days later, the oldest makes her first egg over easy. A week later, our kitchen is in desperate need of a paint job.
It was difficult to keep track of the accompanied sides in this one. The egg souffle was a particular winner, along with the funky preserved Korean Perilla Leaves. And I could happily dip my car keys in that spicy Ssamjang sauce if they let me, once we are done with the meat. Then came the stews, the lettuce, the rice, and the question… Did I really need to order that Kimchi Wagyu “Paella”. A fine $28 dish that can easily lose itself in the shuffle, and not all that necessary if you get the Feast. The feast ends with soft serve which I estimated will please 98.4% of patrons
Simon created something trendy and cool that even the trendy and cool haters can appreciate. I suppose some traditional steak lovers may find fault with the execution. And I suppose Korean BBQ aficionados may find issues with the delivery or pricing. But for the rest of us, this is culinary entertainment at its finest.
16 W 22nd St (5/6), Flatiron
Rating: Three Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Butcher’s Feast