It was sitting at the bar at the Yacht Club, the Crew’s Cup Lounge, which happens to have a window to the Yachtsman’s ” trimming” room,” where big cuts of beef are aged and then trimmed by a master butcher, that inspired us to make a reservation. It was obvious that the beef was not only of the finest quality, but so was the treatment of it, which Amy was able to appreciate for the first time in her life, instead of being upset by it, thanks to Chef Gordon Ramsey instilling the importance of respecting the animal from life to table. And so, despite our not being “steakhouse people,” we were excited to try The Yachtsman.
A year later, we had a reservation for the first night of our stay at The Yacht Club. The renovation came a year after that, so to comment that the atmosphere was very typical for a steakhouse, while accurate, is no longer the case. Still, at the time, we were willing and able to accept the lack of Disney detail in deference to the more staid air of the Yacht Club proper.
There was nothing particularly special about the service, either, and we agreed that this was at least part of why we didn’t tend to gravitate to steakhouses. Then our appetizer arrived: Crudo of Ahi Tuna with salt cod aioli and Osetra caviar. Few words were exchanged after that, for we were one in our complete submission to the sublime.
No small order
Of the two of us, Mark has always been a steak person, so he ordered the rib-eye. Amy, a steak newbie of sorts, had always gone for filet mignon, being the leanest and least masculine of the usual steak suspects. But Amy was up for a real steak experience, so she ordered the New York strip. Having never had aged beef, we were interested in how distinct the difference would be, and Amy wondered if she’d even notice, given the infrequency of her steak intake.
Excitedly, Amy had ordered a side of creamed spinach to share, despite Mark trying to interrupt with important information regarding the creamed spinach. But it was too late. The order was taken and that was that.
We sat back and enjoyed our Grey Goose martinis and melt-in-your-mouth onion rolls. Even Mark the Cautious finally gave in and tried the soft, roasted garlic accompanying the bread, but that was only because Amy was going to try it regardless and therefore made the point that if one person has it, both of us have to have it. It’s the rule. And he was glad for it. As delicious as it was, we forced ourselves to stop before reaching the point where we could envision ourselves getting back to the room and regretting it.
Meat and Greet
When our entrees arrived, so did the moment of truth. How superb is a superb steak? Amy quietly feared she may not know. Our dishes looked beautiful. The peppercorn sauce on Amy’s New York was not a shroud of brown, but a rich and velvety complement like a mink stole around alabaster shoulders. Mark’s rib-eye was more extravagant, with red wine butter, onion jam and brioche, all a chorus to a continent of beef. Where Amy’s steak was a slender-looking chiseled cut of beef, Mark’s was round and corpulent and Amy was relieved she hadn’t chosen the rib-eye. The New York was a perfect choice for the novice beef eater.
We picked up our knives that likely originated on pirate galleons, and ventured in. Perfectly medium rare. Good start. Amy was now feeling more optimistic than trepidatious. On first bite, Amy fluttered. A perfect sear like the wrapping on a gift, and the gift itself being exactly what Amy would have asked for had she known that such a gift existed. Never has steak been so flavorful—and with just the perfect chew density, were there such a scientific criterion for such a subjective aesthetic. “Ohmygoddddddd!” Amy looked up and grinned with a glazed, drunken look, as if she’d just discovered the meaning of life. Mark just smiled and enjoyed Amy’s revelry. “How’s yours?” she finally thought to ask.
“Really good,” he nodded affirmatively, “great flavor.”
We exchanged tastes.
“Wow!” Amy exclaimed on experiencing a rib-eye. “Serious beef!” She was still chewing. “Chewy.”
Upon trying Amy’s New York, Mark was immediately envious. “Wow! Next time I’m getting the New York.”
While the rib-eye had excellent flavor, he assessed, it’s definitely a fattier cut of beef.
“Did you know that when you ordered it?” Amy was curious.
“Yeah, but I wanted to get something different.”
“Different from what?”
“Different from you. I would’ve gotten the New York, but I thought we should get different things.”
Having deemed Mark’s decision both noble and unnecessary, our attention moved—temporarily—from the steak to the creamed spinach.
“Uh…” Amy wasn’t expecting the creamed spinach to be… gooey. Plus, it smelled like cheese! “Uh…” Amy reiterated, “there’s cheese in the creamed spinach!”
“Maybe because there’s cheese in the creamed spinach,” Mark was factual.
“Did you know that when we ordered it?” Amy was still dumbfounded.
“I knew that when you ordered it,” he corrected. “You were determined.”
“That’s okay,” he soothed, “you were excited.”
“I know,” Amy was both touched and humbled, “I love creamed spinach.”
“So do I.”
“I know! But if I’d known there was cheese in it I wouldn’t have ordered it.”
“Lesson learned,” Mark pronounced. “Sometimes it pays to actually read the menu.”
Lessons learned: creamed spinach doesn’t need cheese. And it helps to really read the menu.
But back to the star of the show: the New York strip steak from the heavens…. For the record, OMG!!!!!!
Amy’s aged New York strip was a life-changing experience. So much so, the words, “I’m drunk on steak” tripped from her lips as we made our way back to the lobby. Mark smiled a quiet smile for knowing we’d be back.