For the love of steak

A return visit to Porterhouse proved what we already knew – that it still serves the best New York-style steaks in the country.

Arnolds meat_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Arnolds meat_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Porterhouse is celebrating its fifth anniversary, so it was a good excuse for us to ask Granny to babysit, while we drove there again and see what was new on chef Yossi Ashraf’s grill. The special anniversary menu offers a dinner for two, which includes a main dish for two and two wine glasses for NIS 280. This dinner is served Sunday to Wednesday from 6 p.m.
We got there in the afternoon and were very hungry, since we skipped lunch. A plate with garlic confit (cloves baked in oil), liver spread and olives was served with freshly baked bread before we ordered. We had to remind ourselves not to get too full.
At most steak restaurants, one is plied with an array of salads and appetizers before getting to the main attraction, and it’s no different here. For chef and owner Ashraf, this doesn’t seem to be a problem.
He trained at the Cordon Bleu, was a private chef in Paris and later worked in a few of Tel Aviv’s best restaurants that specialize in French cooking before settling down with his current carnivorous passion.
For the anniversary, he has created a few new good starters, from which we chose the baked asparagus with herbs and an egg and a salad. There is also a new dish of foie gras with Amarone cherries and balsamic vinegar, but we had vowed never to eat goose liver again, so we passed on that Most steak houses in Israel serve veal. There are many reasons for that, but the taste is notably different. If what you’re longing for is the taste you may remember from the best steak houses in New York, such as Peter Luger or Palms, this is as close to it as you will get in Israel.
Despite the fact that Ashraf knows everything you might (or might not) want to know about meat raising, purchasing and preparing, there are no notations on the menu denoting what the cow was fed. But the enthusiastic waiters will insist that you understand exactly what cut you are ordering and what is the best way to prepare it.
The restaurant’s one gimmick is the profusion of American-style cuts on the menu, and it actually sort of works. But the new meat dishes draw inspiration from other cuisines, says the chef. For instance, there is the 12th rib with blue cheese, thyme and panko crumbs, and the Onglet steak – a butcher’s cut cooked in the French style with red wine sauce. But we just had to have the one dish we had been craving for weeks – the signature beef Tbone Porterhouse steak for two, which was as good as we remembered. There are other main dishes served for two – such as the rib eye and prime rib – all made to perfection. The meat was deliciously charred and rich with fatty flavor. As we chewed our meal, even my lovely, gentle. animal-loving wife had to admit it is delicious.
The dessert menu is not huge, but those with a sweet tooth will find what they’re looking for. And again, the portions are very generous.
For Valentine’s Day, Porterhouse offers a special Lovers Meal, which includes an appetizer, two starters and a dish for two or two single main dishes, a dessert for two, a glass of pink bubbly or red wine per person and a hot drink for NIS 399 for two. The special dishes include stuffed zucchini flowers, soup, tuna carpaccio and more. Among the main dishes are a Porterhouse for two shaped as a heart and the other meat favorites. The dessert menu includes chocolate cream, fresh strawberries with ice cream and a few other chocolate dishes. The Valentine menu will be served only on February 14 from 6:30 p.m.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Not kosher
8 Derech Bnei Dror
Industrial Park, Tel Mond
(09) 796-9666