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Review: Smith & Wollensky earns every ounce of respect w/ buff steak offerings

By: Regina Fox

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Give dad a break from the grill and take him out for some superb steaks from Smith & Wollensky in Easton. If you’ve never been, let my experience persuade you..

“Incrivel.” That’s what my dinner guest kept exclaiming in his native Portuguese tongue throughout dinner. That means “incredible.” He couldn’t even muster up words in English to describe the food we were devouring. Me on the other hand, could only grapple for, “It’s fantastic.”

From the moment you walk through the grand, wooden, revolving doors at Smith & Wollensky to the moment you walk out them, the experience is exceptional. For its 15th birthday, S&W got a beautiful new facelift equipped with a great new bar and a more open concept. The massive rooms and bright, wooden floors bustle with well-dressed, hungry people and even better dressed staff, eager to meet your needs.

I had pleasure of being served by a man named Tommy. He used phrases like, “Can I retrieve your dish?” and would place our silverware (new sets for every course) with the care of a person placing the final queen of hearts on top of a tower of cards.

But once he presented the food, it entirely stole the show.

Where’s the beef, you ask? Well the best of the best is served up at S&W. The executive chef, Matthew King, has made it his mission to source only the finest, most sustainability-minded beef producers in the world. After tirelessly scouring the country, Chef Matt found Double R Ranch in the Pacific Northwest. I can say with confidence that I love their work.

 

I had the overwhelming opportunity to try what many of the employees told me was their favorite steak; the Wagyu strip. For God’s sake, it’s served on a beautiful, pink block of Himalayan salt. I’m not kidding when I saw it was nearly too good to eat. Nearly. With just a dollop of house-made hollandaise sauce, the perfectly pink meat, surrounded by a membrane of tender brownness, was a meat-lovers dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But don’t for a moment forget about the coffee and cocoa rubbed filet. Come to mama! This hunk of deliciousness (which we had prepared at med-well temp), was cooked through more, allowing only a small ooze of pink to run from the meat. The bed of ancho chili butter it laid in made each bite so tender and moist. Adding onion crisps is never a bad move, either. This was my favorite dish of the night.

 

 

 

 

Runner up #1: S&W creamed corn (see it featured in top of the Wagyu steak photo)

My mother makes a damn fine creamed corn dish but what I had at S&W put her to shame. It was creamy, buttery, sweet, savory, packed full of little flavorful punches.. Bravo, bravo.

 

 

Runner up #2: The most beautiful piece of cake I’ve ever eaten

Presentation has never meant much to me but this layered coconut cake was absolutely gorgeous. The dense white cake (served cold just how I like it) was blanketed by light and fluffy coconut frosting. The mountain of sheered fruit drizzled with caramel was far better than a cherry on top.

 

 

 

 

Huge shoutout to the Easton Smith & Wollensky general manager, Steve Barstis for providing great hospital to not only me and my guest but to the other parties in the restaurant he kept a keen eye on, as well. Also, hit him up for a wine recommendation– he poured me up a glass of their Private Selection Meritage and it was incrivel, as my dinner guest would’ve said. Hats off to Chef Matt, too, for knowing his way around a cut of beef.

Fifteen years of business in Columbus, Easton should be very proud of this steakhouse.

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