Dinner at Bourbon Steak. Glitzy, glamorous and gluttonous. If you're looking to channel your inner Trump, this is the place. Yes it's pricey, but that's besides the point. A restaurant like Bourbon Steak exists to pamper you, to satiate your every culinary whim and when a place fulfills this chosen mission with classic panache you've got to marvel at the effort. Before dinner starts you are treated to a mini-meal in freebies. Instead of complimentary bread you are brought a trio of duck fat fries, each with its own dipping sauce: garlic aioli, barbecue sauce and spiced ketchup. The fries are crispy, seasoned differently (the paprika type assertively so) and addictive. We easily polish off the platter while looking over the menu. Then a copper pan of Rosemary potato focaccia bread is also brought to the table. After we've ordered, small teacups of butternut squash soup topped with apple cider foam are proffered, a hearty amuse bouche. We are stuffed. But we soldier on.
A word on the wine list; it is epic. And it's online. The restaurant has 7,000 bottles in stock and they're all displayed handsomely throughout the glossy Tony Chi-designed space. A few selection catch my eye: a Figge Pelio 2006 Chardonay for $99 and a glass of Betts & Scholl granache for $15. We peruse the tome-like list and spy the "Secrets of the Sommelier" page. Matthew Turner, the sommelier has compiled a list of progressive growers, some with bottles under $50. The sommelier offers to do a wine pairing, we oblige, mostly because I never turn down expert advice, and at this point I'm about to lapse into a food coma.
Appetizers: Trio of tartar poppers (toro, escolar and big eye) and burrata mozzarella salad. Michael Mina does things in three's. You get used to the concept as the meal goes on. The tartars are served atop a crunchy Japanese rice cake. The toro is the favorite, the buttery fish enlivened by its spicy mayo dressing. Pairing for the tartars - a Domain Wachau 2006 Riesling.
The burrata salad is almost as good as Table 8's (still the winner in this category) but makes me swoon nonetheless. It is topped with fruity olive oil and sea salt. It shares the plate with delicate yellow and red beets. Thank god for this cheese, it's really a miracle. Pairing for the salad - a Vina Nora 2006 Albarino.
Entrees include an American Kobe filet (better than Kobe Club) and the miso cod served with scallop dumplings. Pairing for the steak - Luca 2006 Malbec. Entree portions are moderate, not too large so that ordering sides is a reasonable proposition. Sides include an order of broccoli with a goat cheese fondue, a nice heaping platter of breadcrumb dusted vegetables but a bit unwieldy to eat.
And black truffle mac and cheese, lavishly creamy and chock full of bits of prized fungi and, curiously, broccoli as well. I could have easily had the mac and cheese side for dinner and called it a glorious night.
For dessert, beignets with a trio of dipping options: vanilla bean crème brulée
macallan 18 year butterscotch pudding, valrhona dark chocolate pot de crème. The chocolate was the fave. At this point I was ready to name my first born after Michael Mina, the man responsible for such gustatory revelries.