Rachel and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on Sunday, and we were beat tired from 8 hours of work in the Bronx on Saturday doing computer consulting, so we decided to stay local and go out and get some steak. For the lack of being able to trek into the city and go to Wollensky's or Peter Luger in Brooklyn, we went to Sebastian's: The Steakhouse in Morristown in a historic building across the street from the train station.
We started out with a complimentary rattatouille (sp?) which was surprisingly good -- effectively just grilled chopped up yellow and green squash and eggplant, with some chopped up fresh yellow and red tomato in it -- almost kinda like a rough salsa with no liquidy tomato sauce in it like a lot of rattatouille's I've had, in this case just some olive oil with a hint of garlic. It was served with a very crusty sourdough loaf - perfect.
We both decided to have soup -- I ordered the French Onion gratinee and Rachel had a cream of watercress. I was a bit disappointed in the onion soup, as it was over-caramelized and I think the chef used a lot of red onions in it, as well as a lot of uncooked wine added in last minute, which led to an overly sweet taste that killed the savoryness of the dish. The cheese was Fontina, which is just plain wrong to use with french onion soup, it didn't taste right -- you are supposed to use Gruyere or a similar swiss-type cheese like an emmantaller. The crouton in it was also rather tough, they used the crusty end of the sourdough that we had with the rattatouille - in this case it didnt work. We left most of it over.
Rachel's puree of watercress was very nice -- although extremely rich. The waiter mentioned to us when we ordered it that it had a "light touch" of cream -- really, this guy had to be kidding. Who's light touch are we talking about, 1970s-era Julia Child? nevertheless it was very good but we ended up splitting it between us with some to spare.
For our main dish we both ordered the Delmonico Steak Au Poive, which was excellent but probably overkill because it too was extremely rich, we could have probably ordered just one of them and then something else, they had some nice chops and filets on the menu as well. The steaks were nice 16-oz new york strips, nicely trimmed and dry aged prime, but bathed in a cognac butter-cream sauce with a ton of cracked pepper. It was awesome but I suffered for it later. Rachel took about a third of hers home -- if we were to do this again, we would probably order the plain porterhouse for two and appreciate the steak for what it was and forgo the complicated sauce.
Sides were hash browns (not steakhouse-syle home fries like you'd get at lugers or wollensky) and a huge plate of sauteed fresh spinach with olive oil and lots of garlic, of which we finished all of, it was awesome. Hash brown was a saucer sized crusty puck of finely chopped potatoes fried up in a ton of butter -- it was more than enough for the two of us. I'm really glad we ordered these because the roasted potatoes that came with our main course were all dried out, as if someone left them in the oven for way, way too long. It was probably a fluke though, and the chef compensated with a really nice fluffy plain baked potato which rachel ended up bringing home with the rest of her steak.
For dessert I had carrot cake and rachel had key lime mouse -- both were really, really good. Carrot cake was nice and moist with a creamy cream cheese icing and rachel's mousse had nice itty bitty peices of key lime zest in it, you could really taste the key lime flavor. There were also some homemade killer cheesecakes there for the offering but we decided to pass them up this round.
Given that it was an off night and only a few couples were in the place at 7PM on a sunday (with the subway series on to boot) I dont think we did bad for $100 between the two of us - but next time (and the quality of the steak and sides deserves a second time even with the let down on the onion soup and roasted taters) I think we will go with plainer entrees and probably go for salads instead of the soups.
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