A few times a year I like to go out for a steak. Since I don’t eat red meat that often, when I do indulge, it needs to be awesome. Until recently, I preferred Ruth’s Chris steaks; they’re Prime quality, and served in a crock with sizzling butter.
Last night I had the opportunity to try out another Pittsburgh steakhouse, Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a classy place- dress is business casual; even the wait-staff were dressed impeccably, bow-ties and all. As I waited for my date, I noticed plenty of professionals, there were even a few Pittsburgh Penguins in the back dining room.
We sat at an oversized booth (great for privacy) and looked over the drink menu. Our server made several wine suggestions, all paired well for a steak dinner. While we decided what to order, a warm basket of bread was dropped off at our table. Along with the bread, we were also served two triangles of chilled butter. The bread was fresh and yeasty- of particular interest were the large salt sticks; they were slightly sweet and extra gooey… I could have eaten a dozen.
We started off with two salads; the Hyde Park Wedge, and the Goat Cheese salad. Our salads arrived at the table on two chilled dinner-sized plates. The Goat Cheese Salad had a thick raspberry-balsamic dressing, huge chunks of fresh goat cheese, and large, whole candied pecans. It was also served with two crostini. The salad was delicious; the greens were impeccably fresh, and the flavors were balanced. The Hyde Park Wedge had ¼ piece of iceberg lettuce, and what had to be ½ cup of fresh, homemade blue cheese dressing, bacon bits, and candied pecans. Not only were the salads delicious, they were HUGE. I could have easily eaten one of these salads for dinner.
Our entrees included The Colossal Shrimp and Scallop Sauté, and Steak Clemente. Being a bit on the “almost full” side, I was glad to see that all items were a la carte. The shrimp and scallop dish arrived first. My date said, “Take a look at size of these scallops!” They were, in fact HUGE; the size of a silver dollar. The shrimp were equally massive, and succulent. The scallops and shrimp were served over grilled asparagus; a citrusy-butter sauce finished the dish.
My steak arrived looking good. It was a perfect portion- not too big. A large strap of thick-cut bacon surrounded the meat. The beef was topped with several ounces of fresh, melted blue cheese. The steak was finished with a bordelaise sauce (a French sauce made with marrow, wine, shallots and demi- glace). The steak was buttery-soft; the cheese, bacon and rich sauce were velvety and luscious.
Although we didn’t have room for dessert, we did see a few items that looked good- crème brulee, flourless chocolate cake, and cheesecake were a few of the choices.
In addition to the rich desserts, several after-dinner drinks were available. If you have a fondness for single-malt scotch, port, or VSOP cognac, you will be happily accommodated.
Hyde Park is a top-shelf restaurant with flawless service and well-prepared food. If you’re in the mood to be taken care of, and are craving a delicious grilled steak, Hyde Park is a must-visit!
Chef Chuck Kerber