So, I had mentioned August was the second anniversary of North County Food. It also marks the third year anniversary of my heart disease and my heart decided it would be great to celebrate by visiting the hospital for 8 days. Spent time at UCSD Cardiology, had tons of tests, new drugs and dropped 15 lbs of water weight. I like being 174lbs just a hard way to get there.
So, coming out of that I wanted to write, and treat myself. After thinking long and hard a Dry Aged Steak dinner sounded perfect….and I wanted to go full steak house meal all the way.
Just a note my heart disease is not “that kind of heart disease” I have the arteries of a 20 year old, perfect blood pressure, so a steak on occasion is fine and after the long term diagnosis options put before me lately , called for it
Back to the steak dinner, I wanted to keep it North County so my choices were West Steak and Seafood and Vigilucci’s Steak and Seafood. I went with the first.
West Steak, along with Bistro West is located in Carlsbad right off the 5 at Cannon Rd. It is an interesting juxtaposition, it is part of corporate restaurant group but they try to source local and have a unique identity at the same time. They have employed some great local talent like Chef Jason Connolly who ran Bistro West for years and they own their own farm which is run by Farm Manager Like Girling, who has now gone on to start up Cyclops Farms in Oceanside. The current Chef of the steak house is Dave Abella who has a long history with the Roy’s restaurant group and is respected in the chef community.
Both the Steak House and The Bistro are beautifully appointed rooms with great bars and well trained staff. If you re-built them out today they would be a lot sleeker with metal surfaces and reclaimed wood but the art deco style still holds up as being classy and not stuffy.
I wanted the full classic steakhouse meal so I started with the Shrimp Cocktail.
Perfectly cooked shrimp and a nice sauce with just enough kick. I had this with a Lovebock Sauvignon Blanc NZ which paired perfectly.
The shrimp cocktail is almost served “ironically” now but has an interesting history. It gained popularity in the 60’s in the US and England but its roots go back to Auguste Escoffer (look him up interesting character and one of the fathers of development of modern French cuisine.) Here is a great short read about him
Lets talk steak ~ specifically dry aged steak. Aging a steak does two things. It removes excess water content from the meat (this does not make it less “juicy”) what it does is intensify the flavor. Think of cooking down a stock if that helps. The second thing it does is breaks down muscle fibers making the meat more tender.
There are two methods of aging dry and wet aging. I believe dry aging is the superior method. Wet aging is faster and less costly and thus used more widely. The results are similar but if you can get it dry aged is the way to go.
Center Cut NY Strip Loin, Nebraska, grain finished, aged 30 days. West Farm Vegetables and Buttery Mushrooms.
Asked for a just rare version of medium rare and that is what I got.
Steak was perfect, the vegetables and mushrooms were as well still plenty of bite and flavor. Paired with one of my go to reds “The Prisoner” Red Blend by Orin Swift Napa
Warm Cherry and Apple Cobbler ~ Vannilla bean ice cream, macadamia nut gram cracker crust.
Cobbler was great but it was just a vehicle for that little glass of golden heaven known as Inniskillin Ice Wine, a true Ice wine, not we are going to put grapes in a freezer and make a bullshit ice wine. Highly recommended for the soul.
My meal was great, better than I even anticipated. Service was spot on my server Sanger knew the menu and the wine list. I came in with research done and she knew everything. The place was hopping the whole time and for a room that seats 148 they do all of this out of a tight kitchen space.
Highly recommend it if you want to indulge in some wine and steak.
West Steak & Seafood
4980 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92008