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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Peachy Picks Talia's Steakhouse by Effie Nagar and Family Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Owner Effie Nagar and Chef Tzipi, an expert of five decades in slow cooked Middle Eastern cuisine
Effie has raised our standards for straight off the grill sizzling!  
Peachy, the Prime Rib and Effie

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Not all steakhouses are the same; some are run like a forgotten factory but the extra-special ones are run like a family, and that makes every bite of carnivorous goodness that much better.  It's not who you know.  It's WHOM YOU KNOW and we are thrilled to know Effie, master of hospitality, founder, owner, and brilliant mind behind Talia's Steakhouse, named in honor of his late daughter who passed from brain cancer.  Open since 2002, Talia's Steakhouse is a proud family affair and Effie's three sons, her younger brothers, also have a strong interest in the culinary arts: twins Ben and Adam, 24, and Daniel, 21.  
Every last detail has been thought out at this one-of-a-kind experience on the Upper West side, and you will even see the Hebrew letters of Talia on the wall in modern art.  Eating at Talia's Steakhouse is kind of like being in Casablanca where you visit Effie Bogart.  Talia's Steakhouse happens to be kosher, if that is a requirement for you.  Because of the Jewish holidays and Sabbath, it is only open for about 200 days of the year.  What should be important to all readers is the simple fact that Effie and his team are committed to excellence in crafting you an extraordinary dinner.  Your experience will reflect that this team truly cares about you and making you and your stomach happy. We began sipping lovely cabernet; you will remember from Effie's first feature that he has quite the range and we loved the Cave last time.  This time, we tried other strong selections.
Here is Talia's Steakhouse Initial Feature in Terrific Takeout:
Both the Ben Ami Cabernet which was a sparkling ruby with notes of dark cherry and the Segal's Special Reserve that had an enticing plummy effect were fantastic companions to our edible endeavors.
99.999% of the time, we only feature what you, the reader, can order yourself off the menu.  However, in this case, because of Effie's exuberant enthusiasm and clearcut commitment to excellence, we will show you what his most favorite guests might eat.  In nine years of doing this, we do not believe Peachy Deegan has ever eaten calves feet (and she has not eaten them in real life either!) so this is her first foray into the realm.  Effie's Calves Feet are the ultimate in tender as they are slow cooked for over 28 hours.  They are also Glatt Kosher which we understand means the cow does not have more than three holes in their lungs.  If you are pretty Catholic like Peachy, what you need to know is that these are a delicacy that will expand your culinary horizons and if you are on your very best behavior at Talia's Steakhouse every time maybe you will meet them someday too.
As you know, we do not care whether your food has a religious persuasion.  We care if it is delicious and the owner is brilliant.  We always look for a strong seafood showing at any steakhouse, and Talia's again impressed us with their fabulous Tuna Tartare.  Some people have wimpy Tuna Tartare or even worse, old-tasting Tuna.  Talia's Steakhouse has concocted a lovely array of wonderfully fresh chopped tuna paired with mango and lime that liven it up with a tangy fruit accent that makes the fish even better.  Black and white sesame seeds and sesame oil comes to this party that is drizzled in balsamic.  This is one of our favorite aspects of Talia's in addition to the steak and ribs.
Having a terrifically robust green salad is high on our list for steakhouse success as well.  We count five salad choices at Talia's, which is commendable for a boutique steakhouse.  We chose the favorite Talia's Salad, which actually does have her personal favorite ingredients.  We love all these personal touches you will find here.  Seasonal mixed greens, green apple, dried cranberries and avocado successfully combine for a phenomenal salad.  They carefully put the dressing on the side for Ms. Pretty Picky and the pineapple vinaigrette is truly unique.
We were perfectly happy with the Filet Mignon on our first visit, and we were going to try the Rib Eye this time but Effie thought Peachy should try the 16 oz Prime Rib, and as usual, Effie is right.  After doing this for nine years not much raises our standards overall but the immediacy with which this majestic steak was presented to us once it left the grill is going to make us feel like everyone else is giving us cold meat. Effie just made it harder for everyone else!  The pictures do not lie: it really is this seaming hot!  It is amazing and words do not do the smell and invigorating carnivorous experience of straight off the grill proper justice.
For all German Shepherds reading, you know this is your favorite part and Effie loves you.  (Read Peachy's Pet Pals as we have gone to the dogs.)  
Served on a sizzling cast iron plate, and we do mean sizzling, this medium-rare bastion of carnivorous delights will make all your Prime Rib dreams come true.  Tender, juicy, magnificent and passionately grilled, every bite is pure delight.  Any strong steakhouse also has winning sides, and Talia's has these too.
The french fries and mashed potatoes were exactly what you would want them to be and you are not even going to notice that there is not dairy involved.
The sauteed spinach and roasted broccoli are both delicious and are intelligent nutritional choices to balance out your meal.
Though we were definitely full, you must admit it is not every day that you meet ribs looking this extraordinary.  Effie endeavored to present the highly coveted BBQ spare ribs, which are among the most convincing we have had in New York, including the southern restaurants here.  The prime beef spare ribs are smashing in their homemade barbecue sauce, which is a secret recipe.  These boasted such incredible flavor and tenderness they were actually on par with the steak.  The entree selections at Talia's, separate from the Steaks and Chops, are also amazingly competitive.
Glamour shots:
Effie's final ambition of the visit for our stomach were his superlatively sensational kebabs.  Steak, onions, peppers and chicken are marinated and grilled to perfection.  These remind us of fond tailgating memories and every bite was impressive.
Our esteemed panelist adds:
Talia’s Steakhouse has been owned by Israel native Elphraim Nagar for 15 years. As you approach the restaurant in the Upper West side it appears to be very alluring and inviting. As you enter it is indeed as it says on its website “very welcoming”.
Elphraim, known affectionately as “Effie” is a very proud owner and is very confident that his food will be enjoyed. My expectations were high and I hoped I would not be disappointed. 
Prior to my menu selections Effie wanted us to try “a very special dish that wasn’t on the menu - Calves Feet” he boldly declared that it is a dish that we hadn’t tried before and of course we hadn’t. They duly arrived and they were served in a dish full of broth. The Calves feet that had been prepared by being slow cooked for 28 hours appeared to be fat not meat, so I decided to play safe and try the broth first. I'm glad I did as this was truly amazing, delightfully savory and a perfect start when you walk in on a cold winters New York evening. At this point Effie must have sensed that I was having reservations about the Calves feet so without me saying anything told me that it was not fat. I did not need further encouragement and I wasn’t disappointed, the meat from the Calves feet were soft succulent and fell off the bone. The taste was unlike anything I had tried before so I really have nothing to compare it with. However, I loved the texture as it melted in my mouth and the subtle smooth taste was absolutely delicious! When you go to Talia’s, you quite simply have to ask for this, even though it’s not on the menu – Demand it! It’s an absolute must. 
For my starter I ordered the “Crispy Cauliflower” which was Panko-crusted cauliflower served with a sweet chili sauce. The light and crispy panko breadcrumb crust and the sweet chili sauce blended well with the cauliflower and proved to be a delightful combination. They say opposites attract and that’s how I would describe this delightful starter. Who after all would put cauliflower with sweet chili sauce? Effie did but after the Calves feet he can do anything!
For the Salad I chose “Israeli Salad”. Now for someone like me who often find Salads ‘boring’ this was far from that category. This dish was crammed with finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, parsley with homemade dressing on the side. This is a lovely fresh juicy mouthwatering dish accompanied by three homemade dressings, Lemon, Olive and Pineapple, all of which enhanced the already flavorful salad. This would be ideal for an early summer's evening but its qualities were also very enjoyable on this winter’s evening!
I opted for the 10oz Grilled Filet Mignon for the entrée; it comes recommended medium rare to medium. I decided to have it cooked medium. This was cooked to perfection with a wonderful crusted exterior with a perfect red soft interior, the black/brown crust adding the flavor with the subtle succulent inner. Absolutely exquisite! As for the sides the Onion rings, Roasted Potatoes, French fries and Sweet baked potato, all perfectly presented and great accompaniments to their master the Filet Mignon. 
All courses were supplemented with “Segal’s Special Reserve cabernet” a Ruby Red Wine which was described as “Hints of currant, versatile and berry, plum, & spices”. It had a deep red appearance and was very smooth on the palate. I would highly recommend this wine to have with anything on the menu due to its versatility.
During my time enjoying the excellent cuisine at Talia’s I couldn't help noticing what I thought was modern art on the walls but they were actually Talia spelt out in Hebrew. 
I was totally impressed with this superb restaurant and its proud owner Effie. The whole place is welcoming, warm and inviting. The food is top quality, (don’t forget to demand the Calves feet). The staff are attentive, friendly and efficient which is of course a reflection on the excellent Effie who was very confident when we arrived regarding the standard of his cuisine. Is his confidence justified – you bet it was!

Peachy Picks Talia's Steakhouse!
Talia's Steakhouse is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.  Who needs Sam; play it again, Effie!

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