Forget about fancy sushi places, molecular gastronomy and the slow cooked movement cause tradition ain’t going nowhere. And by tradition I mean American one (yes indeed) and the way American Steakhouses have established a paramount footing in the world’s food scene. In Boston, you can call that Grill 23!
Set in a high-ceiling, low-lit space minutes away from busy Newbury street in Boston, Grill 23 sets the night in motion with a warm welcome by the greeting staff and some drinks at the bar. That’s how despite the cold out there I was immediately taken by this cosy atmosphere around. White tablecloths, brass lampposts and mahogany panels were setting the scene; dressed-up waiters were tending the connoisseurs around (mostly business oriented) and as we got our seats we got a glimpse of the simple one-page menu. Oysters and all other starters aside, the juicy meat mains is where our eyes were drawn onto. Think Grade A5 Wagyu Striploin from the Kagoshima Prefecture, 100-day Aged Prime Ribeye and American Kobe steak!
“I’ll have the 110-day Aged Ribeye with Black Truffle-Foie Gras sauce”, I said. “No you don’t need that. The steak is just fine as it is.” the waiter said.
The history of this place is quite simple. Competition has been creeping up in all forms and natures (think burgers mostly!), but despite that Grill 23 has remained at the top of the list for more than 30 years now. Kenneth Himmel opened Grill 23 in 1983 and throughout the course of the years has kept almost everything the same. Of course, the menu has been slightly altered to include trends such as truffle, chimichurri and lotus root. But that’s about it as far as modernization goes. The oysters at the start were delicious, exuding the salty freshness of the sea, and followed up by a crunchy Ceasar’s salad was more than enough to start with. The highlight of the main courses was indeed the 100-day Aged Prime Ribeye medium cooked. No sauce needed, just enough appetite to finish off this rich tasting dish. As for the desert we had, again going back to basics, we ordered the chocolate chip cookies that had just came out of the oven (yum!). All in all, one of the best restaurants in Boston (if not the best) and a great American steakhouse experience. Can’t wait to go back!