April 2nd, 2009

Luscious Beef Ravioli

So when we were in NYC we took a jaunt down to Little Italy. We bounced around on the subway, got off at our stop, walked through Chinatown, turned a corner and — behold!

The sights and smells of Little Italy are almost overwhelming. You KNOW you’ve arrived. There is no question.

Our only “problem” was which place to venture into for the evening.

We checked out all the menus and decided on a great little place named Paesano’s. Perfect, right?

THIS is my husband’s beef ravioli. Fresh, handmade ravioli with tender beef tucked inside, topped with homemade sauce. Unbelievable.


It was so good they had to roll us out of there onto the street.

So I’ve had this discussion with many people and we can’t quite figure it out. What IS IT about the food in NYC that makes it so good?

Some people say it’s the water. There’s something in the water.

Others say it’s the cheeses and fresh, fresh food New Yorkers have access to that in many parts of the country we don’t have access to.

Some people just laugh like they know the answer but they’re not telling.

Whatever it is, the things they can do with beef are out of this world.

Next time I’d like to rent a place with a kitchen and try out some of my standards there to see if there is any difference.

Would my meatloaf suddenly taste like Wolfgang Puck made it?

Alas, I am not Donald Trump and judging by what they charge for a shoebox-size hotel room, that idea may be nothing but a pipe dream.

But it’s an interesting theory I just may put to the test.

March 24th, 2009

Steak Salt — Shaken, Not Stirred

At BLT Steak in NY, I was taken aback by the ginormous salt shakers on each table. This place not only allows you to salt your steak — they encourage it!

Check it out . . .

That’s a drinking glass behind it. This thing is huge.

I like it when a chef is confident enough to allow the diner to decide how much seasoning should go on their steak. It’s very unsnooty.

I’m not offended at my house by this, so why should they be?

I’m thinking of getting shakers like this for my table at home. But I’m afraid my kids would play with them and I’d be cleaning up salt from all over the house.

And where the heck would I store it? I’m low on storage space as it is.

For now, we’ll have to live on the memory of these shakers . . . and make do with our teeny, normal-sized shakers at home.

Oh, the humanity!!!!!!!

March 19th, 2009

The Steak Escape

Oh New York, you little minx you.

You lure me in with your amazing food, your Broadway shows, your action-packed lifestyle.

Then you hit me over the head with your walking — THE. CONSTANT. WALKING. — your curiously angry cab drivers, your incredibly massive crowds and your sky-high prices.

But, oh, I love you so.

I can’t help it.

The hubby and I are still reminiscing about our time in the big city. And if I concentrate really hard I can still taste the decadent food we were fortunate enough to sample.

First, I told you we’d be going to BLT Steak on the advice of reader Joe who sang its praises.

Well Joe was so, so right.

Check out the amazing strip steak that was presented to us . . .


I love the iron skillet each steak is served in. It keeps the meal really warm. Plus, it’s really cute.

We devoured our steaks in no time flat and the ambiance was lovely. Now, the bill was high and this is what always keeps me coming back to my own steaks at home.

I KNOW I can make just as good a meal at home. And I think I’ve discovered one of the most overlooked secrets to a great, juicy steak that ALL the good steakhouses know.

Steak butter.

Yes.  Steak butter.

You knew it was on there. Just look at that photo. It’s prominently placed right there on top.

They’re not trying to trick us by melting it first and calling it a “secret seasoning.” It’s just steak butter.

It flavors it and keeps the beef moist.


So, my next steak dinner at home will include these:


I will be buying flavored steak butters to try at home.

It’s pure genius.

And I’m getting them here. It’s the only place I know that carries them. I’m sure there are others.

So thank you, New York. Thank you for your stomach-churning cab rides, your overpriced sodas, your incredible pizza pies and your non-stop energy.

But mostly, thanks for your inspiration and the steak butter idea. You’re the best.

I’ll be back.

Steak butter photo courtesy of Kansas City Steak Company.