Is there anything better than a good steak & baked potato? Think about it. A good cut of beef, beautifully seared & served with a deliciously hot baked potato, loaded with butter & sour cream. Hmmm, as Émilie would say. There’s something also romantic about steak. I’m not quite sure what it is, but a good steak, baked potato & a great, bold glass of red wine…add in some seafood, some great veggies, and something chocolate, and you have a romantic steakhouse menu…at home.
This year’s menu was inspired, though. I cannot take complete credit. First of all, The Fresh Market has been running a special on NY strip steaks the last several weeks…that was the first inspiration. Secondly, this month is my dear friend, Carrie’s birthday month, and that girl loves a steak! She’s almost a Valentine’s Day baby, and we love this time of year having a steak & baked potato together to celebrate. Lastly, Midtown Olive Oil, located in Greensboro, Raleigh & New Bern, NC, as well as online, shared with me some of their olive oils & balsamic vinegars when I told them I was thinking about creating a romantic steakhouse menu. I will tell you this…their olive oils, vinegars & sea salts rock! Their products completely make this menu, and I am absolutely going to incorporate more and more of Bethany’s products in future menus. Please check out their stores, if you live near one of them, or click here to visit their website. You will not be disappointed, I promise!
Because the main entrée is major, as my dear friends, Ashley & Mae-Mae would say, I decided to serve shrimp as an appetizer. Shrimp are considered aphrodisiacs (hint-hint), but I didn’t want to serve a classic shrimp cocktail. Too boring. Instead, I made a lemon bagna cauda sauce…bagna cauda means “hot bath” in Italian…again, hint-hint…and this delicious, creamy, luxurious sauce is made with Midtown’s lemon & garlic-infused olive oils, lemon zest, freshly minced garlic & just a smidge of anchovies. Please don’t be turned off by the addition of anchovy…it adds just the right amount of salt to the sauce, and really compliments the shrimp…& anchovies are also aphrodisiacs…enough said. Serve this appetizer, which can be made in 20 minutes, with your favorite Champagne or Prosecco, snuggle by the fire for a while, & enjoy!
Next, the main course. Midtown Olive Oil shared with me their Herb-Infused Balsamic Vinegar, which is amazing…it has hints of rosemary & thyme, and when mixed with Cabernet Sauvignon, well, you have a marinade that is perfect for lamb, pork, chicken, salmon & swordfish, in addition to beef. The strip steaks were grilled & served with garlicky sautéed mushrooms & a cabernet-balsamic reduction, a buttery, rich sauce created from the marinade & the pan juices from the sautéed mushrooms. My 13-year-old taste tester gave this a thumbs-up, and she is not one for mushrooms and sauces on her steak, but she wiped her plate clean…
…as she did with the Butter & Salt Baked Potato! Midtown Olive Oil sells an olive oil that tastes exactly like melted butter. This stuff is GOLD. They suggested that I rub the potatoes in this oil, coat them in French gray sea salt (which they also sell). I followed their advice. The baked potatoes were then drizzled with more oil, doused with sour cream, and a pat of butter was added…just because. I promise that you will eat the entire potato…it’s so good.
…& Lemon & Garlic Roasted Tomatoes…grape tomatoes tossed in Midtown’s garlic-infused olive oil, lemon zest & French gray sea salt, then slow-roasted for 40-45 minutes, just until the tomatoes are wrinkled & soft, but intense with lemony-garlic tomato flavor. Plus, I really like the “red” on the plate…I think the plate “pops” with that splash of color, don’t you agree?
Lastly, dessert…Flourless Chocolate Torte. Gluten-free & dense like fudge…& just a few bites will satisfy any chocoholic. Trust me, my chocoholic taste-testers, Émilie, Eliana & Dede, were not able to finish it. I like to serve this cake with a little vanilla gelato & fresh raspberries, but’s also terrific serve with raspberry sorbet, and a dollop of whipped cream is great too. Be sure to serve an after-supper sipper, such as more bubbly…
If you can’t get to Midtown, no worries…everything can be made with EVOO, and it will be perfectly fine.
Happy Valentine’s Day! This year, skip the hustle & bustle of overcrowded restaurants & make dinner with your special someone. This Romantic Steakhouse Menu will put a smile on his/her face…& your’s as well. Cheers!