Monday, March 16, 2009
I was recently invited to Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse for a steak and wine tasting. I brought along friend and fellow food blogger, Jess, for a night of wine and deliciously prepared steak in an impressive and sometimes overwhelming setting. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera that evening, but luckily Jess and her iphone were present to make up for my bad form. Del Frisco's is located in the historic Packard Grande Building on the corner of 15th and Chestnut. The restaurant has three levels, two full kitchens, and a 34 foot wine tower that holds nearly 2500 bottles. The main floor is beautifully decorated with elaborate swags of curtain and dark wood.
I felt a bit out of place despite choosing my nicest dress pants to wear. There is a dress code, but apparently that doesn't apply to the waitresses who were clad in the miniest of mini skirts and fishnet stockings under thigh high black boots. Jess and I both agreed this was an interesting uniform, but when you're slinging cocktails to big wigs, I suppose every little bit helps. After a drink in the bar, we were brought downstairs to the Vault, which was in use when the space housed the First Pennsylvania Bank.
More importantly, the steak we sampled this evening was totally worth the awkwardness of the environment for me. The servers they had pouring wine and passing samples of steak were excellent, knowledgeable and dressed like adults, so the entire experience in the Vault made up for the bar experience on the main floor.
Executive Chef John Stritzinger came out with 9 cuts of beautiful raw beef on white plates to explain to us the nuanced differences between flavor profiles and tenderness in the cuts we would sample, and then the eating began! Del Frisco's started in the South so they're not shy about flavor. Each of their steaks is heavily dusted with salt and pepper before cooking and drizzled with clarified butter before a final run under the broiler prior to serving. The end result is a steak with flavor in every bite. We sampled the filet mignon, which was the most tender of all the cuts, but also the most subtle in flavor. Then on to the New York Strip, which is one of the most popular steaks in this country. My favorite was the Rib-Eye, the boneless version of Prime Rib, it has excellent marbling throughout so is loaded with flavor and remains tender when cooking.
If you've got someone to impress or you're having your own economic stimulus party, please visit Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, they really know how to cook a steak and can help you pick out a wine from their immense selection that you'll love as an accompaniment.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
1426-28 Chestnut Street
(15th & Chestnut)
Philadelphia, PA 19102