Suddenly there’s steak in Atenas. It’s uncanny how these things sprout. There were no steak-houses and then there were three. We had heard good things about all of them from a variety of sources. When I got the call from Isa suggesting we get together with friends on a Saturday to try the new steak house, I was neutral as to which one. We chose well; Carnes y Tintos, just down the road from Mejor Clima, one of our regular spots.
Don and I were the first to arrive, and we decided to sip some red wine while we waited for the others to tear themselves away from the Kansas City Chiefs battling it out with the Colts. Little did I expect the rich Cabernet Savignon to served in a proper red wine glass, poured elegantly with just the right amount of twist at the end of the pour. For a moment, I was transported to Peter Luger’s in New York, or maybe Smith and Wollensky in Miami, anticipating a filet mignon to accompany the wine.
As Sergio, the owner of the restaurant, proudly gave us a tour, I was surprised to see the chef in a toque (traditional chef’s hat), white coat and checkered pants hovering over a platter of … WHAT? Lobster? A nice, fat, gorgeous lobster! I came to a steakhouse, ordered red wine, anticipating a steak, and now this. Wine rules are out the window these days, anyway. I had no qualms about this; let the wine police come and take me away! It was lobster for this lobster lover tonight. No question; no matter what the price.
Our friends arrived, in spite of the cliff-hanger football game still in process, and the party began. As Sergio explained the specials, I was delighted to see Don’s face light up at the mention of rib eye; if I could snag a bite, at least I could say I ate steak at the steakhouse.
To quote my hubby, who sent email to friends and family on arriving home: “We just got home from the most amazing meal I’ve had in a decade, perhaps more. The wine was great, the deserts to die for. If that was my last meal, I would die a happy man.”
Don was impressed; no, blown away, by the quality of his plate-overflowing steak. He cornered Sergio, wanting to know where the beef came from. Sergio, explained, in English, the cows are raised at his own ranch and are the oldest breed of cattle from Italy, know as Chianina. In addition to serving at the restaurant, he sells steaks to go. No doubt there will be a freezer full of rib eye at our house shortly.
This was not a cheap evening, but worth every penny! Vale la pena! We will be back.