La Carne Grill
Manhattan – Midtown East
La Carne Grill
340 Lexington Ave between 39th and 40th Sts
Manhattan, NY 10016
Of all the fusion concepts that have emerged in this city, none was less anticipated than this glatt kosher steakhouse--cum--sushi bar. One waiter described the menu as an updated "surf and turf" with a nod to Asian "family-style" sharing. For the most part, the cuisines remain distinct: A sushi menu appears on one page, and the rest of the dishes are on another. Frankly, the Asian fare suffers no matter where it"s listed. The sushi entrée was small and the fish unimpressive. Asian ingredients didn"t help a beef carpaccio appetizer, either; whatever flavors once existed in the thinly sliced beef were overpowered by the accompanying pear, rutabaga salad, sweet soy sauce and garlic. Steaks fared better; executive chef Alexandre Petard has a noteworthy track record (he"s worked at Jean Georges, Lespinasse and Les Halles), and owner Eddie Allaham runs another upscale kosher steakhouse in midtown, Prime Grill. While you won"t see some traditional steaks listed--porterhouse, filet mignon and sirloin are noticeably absent (it"s a kosher thing)--you can order a rib eye and a prime rib. The Delmonico "Champs-Elysées," for example, is a rib eye slathered in a sauce of mushrooms, ginger, shallots and chives and served with chickpea fries (which broke apart upon being lifted). Despite the name, Carne Grill has zero machismo. Flowers adorn an exposed brick wall and make for a gentler decor, and the staff is friendly. Seems like an ideal compromise for families--especially kosher ones.
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