Anniversary Dinner at Knife Modern Steakhouse

Knife, a modern take on steakhouses, opened mid May and I have been dying to try this place out. There has been so many openings recently of trendy modern American cuisine and wanna-be exotic or fusion restaurants all over Dallas,  so I was very happy to know a more exciting contender has entered the foodie arena. Finally. Some good ole fine dining. Originally my two year anniversary dinner was set for Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse, but I begged for Knife instead and I was not disappointed. We both loved it. All for the sake of the blog! Tsk tsk.

The restaurant is located inside the Palomar Hotel off Hwy 75 and Mockingbird and I liked it there. Valet parking is complimentary. The layout of the restaurants is pretty open and sectioned off nicely. A lounge-y bar area, a dining area with bar-like seating right in front of the chefs (including John Tesar himself), and a nice outdoor patio with a cozy fire for summer nights like these. It’s upscale enough to be a great destination for occasions like mine and at the same time casual enough to stop by for some drinks and splendid food. I’m going to apologize in advance for some of my photos. I’ve broken my food porn photo rule for you guys. I can only do so much with flash and taking pictures in a dim room.

20140603-104128-38488004.jpg
Sorry this picture sucks. Wasn’t worth bringing out the flash.

Service was impeccable as it should be. Attentive, polite, and timely. We were presented with iPad tablets for the drink menu, which I thought was pretty cool. Each wine had a small history of its origin and I decided to have an Italian blend to start the night. The waiter brought out their version of a complimentary “veggie basket” to start. It’s quite unusual. There were radishes, baby carrots, celery to dip in their ranch sauce and beef jerky and then the waiter came by soon after to offer up a basket of different breads to choose from. So far so good.

Heirloom tomato, watermelon and sea salt salad
Heirloom tomato, watermelon and sea salt salad

For our appetizer, I wanted to try the heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with sea salt, rice wine and olive oil powder. The presentation was beautiful, and the salad comprised of three different kinds of tomatoes. The savory and saltiness of the tomatoes with the sweet watermelon was refreshing, but you have to really love tomatoes to love this dish. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Next time, I’d probably opt for something more exciting. Bacon tasting, perhaps?

Crispy pork belly. Photo cred: Charlie Lang
Crispy pork belly. Photo cred: Charlie Lang

Side note: my friend Charlie checked out Knife the week before and submitted a photo of the pork belly, which by the looks of this photo is beautifully plated and he gave it his two thumbs up.

On to the main course! The thing about ordering dinner for us is our eyes are usually bigger than our stomachs. Originally, I wanted the 8 oz. filet mignon AND the oxtail ravioli and I was going to find a way to have both. Fortunately, they were nice enough to let me do a half order of the ravioli and it ended up being a perfect amount.

Filet Mignon. Photo cred: Charlie Lang
Filet Mignon. Photo cred: Charlie Lang (because my photo sucked)

The filet mignon was amazing and I usually order it medium rare. It’s one of the better (if not possibly the best) filets I’ve ever had. Perfectly charred on the outside so that it had a nice crunch and added texture and not so much that it was burnt. The meat was tender and I couldn’t get over how much flavor was packed in each bite. I just sat there chewing happily. Sure shut me up for a good few minutes and I left still thinking about the steak. Hell, even the blood juices were good.

20140601-184057-67257676.jpgMy boyfriend had a larger steak all to himself. He chose the 44 Farms 28 oz long bone-in ribeye. That thing was huge. It also had that perfect charred edges he loves so much and he’s a fan of the fatty flavors on the edges. The meat was much sweeter and flavorful toward the center. He walked in with high expectations and after cutting into his steak, ranked it high enough to want to come back.

20140603-104102-38462166.jpgThe oxtail ravioli is rich and creamy. Thick and chewy ravioli squares filled with oxtail meat came drizzled with aged balsamic and sprinkled with parmesan was amazing. I loved it. The half order size was perfect. For me, the thing about rich pastas is I can get tired of the flavor quickly. The half portion which was comprised of four pieces allowed me to have the taste that I wanted and still left me room to finish the rest of my steak. I would come back just for this dish.

Meh. Creamed spinach. Too watery.
Meh. Creamed spinach. Too watery.

For a side, we decided to opt for the creamed spinach. I’m used to thicker and creamier creamed spinach, but this side was more watery. I didn’t care for it. Honestly, the side selections aren’t super stellar other than the mac and cheese. I believe most people would expect asparagus, or creamed corn, or mashed/whipped/au gratin potatoes, but none were to be seen. Perhaps, I am making this up, but I believe the point is to focus on the meats and not to cloud taste or ruin presentation with the usual go-to sides. Because my steak was so fantastic, I honestly didn’t miss it and appreciated the flavors much more. Plus the ravioli was an upgraded substitute anyway.

Cheesecake Macaron Cookie with cheesecake ice cream and raspberry drizzle.
Cheesecake Macaron Cookie with cheesecake ice cream and raspberry drizzle.

Now on to dessert. There isn’t a listed dessert menu on their site yet or perhaps it changes constantly, but we had room for dessert. We decided cheesecake sounded like an awesome choice, but the description was really misleading. I expected a slice of cheesecake with a macaron crust and cheesecake ice cream on top. Instead, we got a cheesecake macaron cookie the size of a small round coaster with a dollop of cheesecake ice cream. It wasn’t the perfect macaron, a bit chewy but still yummy. Next time, I’m going for the chocolate cake.

20140601-184100-67260162.jpgSurprisingly, the meal wasn’t over. After our dessert, we also received another complimentary dish of bite size sweets. From left to right, chocolate brownie, watermelon macaron, watermelon sherbet cookie, and negroni gelatin. Macaron was the best. The negroni, which is usually a drink, was bitter and just weird. Yuck. Overall, this was a nice touch to end the meal.

I had a fantastic night dining at one of Dallas’ newest restaurants for our anniversary and I can’t wait to come back soon.

This was our bill. Clever and awesome!
This was our bill. Clever and awesome! Fortunately, the damage was too bad.

 

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