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Fellow blogger Amy and I met up with our significant others for a double date. We thought we’d hit up BLT Steak during Restaurant Week when it is actually affordable for those not on an expense account. As a participant in Restaurant Week, BLT Steak was offering a 3 course meal for $25. Located in the downtown Atlanta W Hotel, BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel, the name of its founder.
Making our way from the parking deck to the beautiful W lobby, we noted everything is sheek and sophisticated. And although BLT is pretty, it seems smaller than I would have imagined. Arriving around 7 on a Thursday evening it was pretty lively and only a couple tables were still available. Our server confirmed that this is the exception not the rule on a weekday evening, the effect of restaurant week.
Shortly after being seated, we were brought some bread with a chicken liver spread as well as the popovers which are a signature here. The chicken liver spread was not a standout item in any way, and it seems somewhat unusual to offer this as a starter, given that many diners just don’t have a taste for liver of any kind.
The popovers, on the other hand were a nice touch. These big rounds of bread taste like a pretzel on the outside and had a soft gooey texture and an egglike taste in the center. Definitely with the sea salt added it is like having a pretzel. Perhaps they should serve mustard with it instead of butter? They also bring a small card attached to the popovers with the recipe. We asked our server for an additional recipe card but never got it. I did google it and found it here.
Wanting to stick to the $25 menu, our selection was somewhat limited, but at least this gives you a preview of what you can expect, should you choose to come back and dine again at BLT Steak. As a reference point, most entrees (no sides included) are average priced at $40. Wine and mixed drinks are pretty expensive here so if you want indulge, better bring someone on an expense account. The cheapest wine by the glass I saw on the menu was $12. Glen picked out a good Cab for $15 per glass to enjoy with our steak.
- Appetizers: Gazapacho soup, Duck Terrine, or Beet Salad.
- Entrees: Herb Stuffed Chicken, Horseradish Crusted Salmon, or Hanger Steak
- Dessert: Peach and Blueberry Cobbler, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake
Between the four of us, we were able to sample everything but the chicken, which I didn’t miss having in the slightest. My beet salad was tasty and fresh and the salty cheese complimented the sweet beets nicely. They could have been a little more generous with the walnuts though. Although for the money, I’d take the beet salad at the Shed at Glenwood any day over this one. I had a small taste of the duck app which was perfectly fine but nothing to get overly excited about. The clear winner was the gazpacho. I’ve never really been a fan, but this one won me over. It was a little thicker than I remember having had before, and the tabasco sorbet was a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy and savory all at the same time.
Moving on to the main dishes, we were all here for the Steak. Amy’s boyfriend was kind enough to get the salmon just so we could sample that as well. It was cooked the just right and a fair portion, but you don’t go to BLT steak to have salmon, at least I didn’t. The hanger steak, not on the regular menu, was cooked medium just as I had requested. It even came with one of those plastic cow shaped inserts sticking atop that said “medium”. Wow, talk about fancy, huh?
It was tender and the shallots that came with it were fantastic. It also came with herbed butter which it really didn’t need, but I slathered it over my steak anyway. Not only had I been looking forward to the steak, but also the jalapeno mashed potatoes. To bad these potatoes leave a lot to be desired. You can see them in the picture above (the green gob in the tiny cast iron dish) Where was the kick to them? Since there was a tease of jalapeno flavor but no real heat I’m guessing they just added 2 drops of green food coloring to give the potatoes that color.
Through the progression of our meal, we saw less and less of our server. I could guess that this was because we were the “cheapskates” that were only here for the $25 meals, but I can’t really be sure. Now the runners bringing our food out were hustling, it was only our server that was either not hustling or wanting to attend to more “money” tables. She started out so friendly and enthusiastic only to practically disappear on us after the meal was delivered.
We tried all 3 desserts that were offered and I liked the carrot cake the least. It didn’t taste like real carrot cake, it was spicy – perhaps this is where they put the jalapenos that were left out of the potatoes. The red velvet cake was moist and I could have licked off the coconut cream cheese ice cream that came on top of it and I would have been a pretty happy girl that night. But the best was the cobbler. The tart berries, sweet peaches and crust all worked well together.
A coffee would have been a nice addition to dessert, and I say “would have” because we were never offered any. Our server didn’t reappear until we were finished with dessert to bring us the check.
While it is true, many patrons only visit on restaurant week never to return, a select few are actually using this as a litmus test to see if you are really worth the big bucks. I include myself in that last category. I understand restaurants want to participate in these events for the publicity, but still have to be aware of costs. I just wish when choosing offerings they asked themselves “What meals make us shine?” instead of “What is the cheapest thing we can serve?”
I had high expectations from BLT Steak. I really hope the patrons that end up paying $75 to $100 for their dinners get their money’s worth. Perhaps some of the other cuts of steak are fabulous and maybe on more of an empty night service is better. But I doubt I’ll return to find out.
45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30308
404 577 7601