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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Peachy Picks Uncle Jack's Steakhouse

Whom You Know first introduced you to Uncle Jack's Steakhouse in Tasty Tidbits:

After our top-notch dining experience there, Whom You Know is pleased to recommend it! From the moment we walked in and Sophie greeted us and we were whisked away up the lovely spiral staircase to the upstairs dining area, to the end that was wonderfully punctuated with Inniskillin 2006 Ice Wine, there was not a moment in between that was not pure luxury and dining excellence.

When we arrived at our table, we were greeted by Arthur Grion, Manager, who was pleasant as punch all night. Captain Christopher Peins not only provided exceptional service all night, but also regaled us with tales of notable guests of Uncle Jack's guests including Shaquille O'Neal and Sarah Ferguson. Also, he has served Miss America and Miss Universe, but so smartly commented that our table was more beautiful! His level of knowledge of the menu and all things Uncle Jack was perfect and the whole evening was flawlessly executed.

We began with the Fresh Buffalini Mozzarella and Tomato Salad over organic greens, basil threads (from Israel) with Balsalmic Reduction, and paired this with Tuna Tartare, and the Maryland Lump Crab Cakes. The finest organic produce, herbs and spices grown to Uncle Jack's specifications on one of Long Island's top rated organic farms are used. So, everything in the salad was as fresh as could be, and the Tuna Tartare was on par with the best seafood restaurants we have dined at. The Maryland Lump Crab Cakes are now Peachy Deegan's favorite Crab Cakes in Manhattan!

The creamed spinach and Steak Fries were the perfect side dish companions to the USDA Prime Beef, Dry-Aged 21 days.

Peachy Deegan ordered the Surf and Turf because she just could not make up her mind! Normally a girl who always knows what she wants, Peachy loved the steak she had last time but noticed the lobster looked SO GOOD that her dining companion ordered. The 10 ounce prime filet and 10 ounce Brazilian lobster tail just melted in her mouth and they each were excellent-she made the right choice. The prime filet was grilled to perfection. Uncle Jack's steak sauce was wonderful but the level of quality of the filet did not call for anything additional. This was accompanied by champagne which was excellent.

The night's finale were the desserts to die for which included: New York Cheese Cake, Apple Strudel, and a mix of Chocolate Mousse and Tiramisu. The New York Cheese Cake is a Home Made Light Cream Cheese with a caramel graham cracker crust and sour cream whipped topping, served with strawberry coulis and fresh whipped cream. The Apple Strudel is composed of Granny Smith apples, almonds and walnuts wrapped in filo dough, accented with cinnamon and brown sugar, served warm or chilled. The assorted dessert plate was fabulous as well and we loved the pretty hearts painted aside the desserts on the plate! A nice touch.

Equally fabulous was the Inniskillin 2006 Ice Wine Cabernet Franc which is a sweet red wine from Canada, brilliantly recommended by Captain Chris. All desserts are prepared daily by Uncle Jack's Executive Pastry Chef, Sal Calderon.

Those among our dining panel commented:

I am a woman who does not regularly dine at steakhouses, but I have been to some well known places and feel ready to give my comments about Uncle Jack’s! Our captain, Chris, patiently gave me a brief education on the different choices of dry-aged USDA prime beef. My friend and I settled upon sharing the porterhouse for 2 which would allow us to try both the filet mignon and the NY strip. I am not lying when I recount that after the first bite I announced to my table, without prompting, that this was one of the best steaks I had ever had. The filet mignon was extremely tender and very flavorful, and the sirloin was delicious as well; having the two together helped me to appreciate them both. Both types of beef stood on their own and needed no additional sauces, and were cooked to our specifications, with a charred outside and perfect interior (medium, in my case). I did sample the Uncle Jack’s steak sauce which can also be purchased, and found that it had a slight kick but was not overpowering, still allowing the beef itself to come through each bite. Uncle Jack’s also offers Kobe beef for the more ambitious steak fanatic.

And yes, they do serve more than steak. We started with a salad with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato that was a good starter for a summer meal. The portions are designed for sharing, and after some debate our table settled upon our sides. The steak fries- which were actually large (seriously, quite large) , came in a generous portion of flavorful cuts of potato with a crisp outside including the skin, and just the right amount of salt. The creamed spinach was seasoned with a hint of nutmeg. We sampled several desserts: The cheesecake had a light texture and an almost caramelized crust that was not too filling after a big meal, and I also found the tiramisu to be very light and airy but with a rich mocha flavor. The dessert portions are large so definitely one dessert to split with a few people would be fine. Every suggestion of our captain Chris was right on- including complementing our dessert with an Ice Wine from Canada that was just perfect- cool, sweet, and a pleasing shade of rose.

Although I am not a red-meat eater, I had a fine meal at Uncle Jack's Steakhouse indeed! The wild striped bass was the best I have ever tasted. It was made to perfection, and the cheesecake was equally exquisite. Although I had not yet visited Uncle Jack's, I certainly will visit it again and would highly recommend it. Although I am sure the steaks are excellent, I do not eat them and felt that I had many fish choices on the menu.

Uncle Jack’s was conveniently located in midtown, and therefore I was able to work up my appetite with a pre-dinner stroll in central park. We had a lovely table for 4 on a balcony of the second floor, and I could easily hear my friends and actually felt very peaceful. A good dinner comes from a mingling of the cuisine, atmosphere, service and of course dining companions. If you bring the right companions Uncle Jack’ s will deliver the rest!

Located conveniently on 56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, you will find Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse. Talk about fabulous food, always cooked to perfection. Arriving a little early for our reservation was perfect as I got to participate in their wine and cheese tasting at the bar. At reservation time, we were whisked to the upstairs dining room where we were promptly sat. I really felt that I had been whisked away from the noise and sometimes craziness of Manhattan. For appetizer I order Tuna Tartare, it was so perfectly fresh and tasted great with the complimentary fresh assortment of warm bread served. I washed this dish down with a perfectly chilled glass of Chalone 2007 Chardonnay. I then shared a sumptuous porterhouse steak; this is a Uncle Jack’s signature dish. A 48oz USDA prime steak featuring both filet and New York strip. Our sides included steak fries, crispy but chunky and creamy spinach; there were plenty of sides for the four of us to share. The selection of desserts looked yummy; try them if you have any room left! I opted for a smooth cappuccino to finish off my wonderful dinner. Overall all the waitstaff were friendly, incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. A special mention to our server Chris, who made us all feel so special. This is a perfect place for dinner and I will be dining there again!


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