Replacing the Surly Gourmand today, during the last week of the columnist's month-long sabbatical, is a surrogate who goes simply by the name Surly Girl.
This bloke has the right attitude, and appetite, for the Met.
When you walk into The Metropolitan Grill, you walk right into a display case filled with large, raw slabs of meat. This may very well serve as a warning to anyone who thought this was anything but a steakhouse. It's like those warning labels on rap albums: The Met is basically saying this meal is going to be explicitly carnivorous. Don't like meat? Get the fuck out.
Take a close look at the steak cuts on display. Do you like a tender steak? Then it's the Filet Mignon you want. Like something with a little more fat and flavor...check out the white ribbons of fat woven through those Ribeyes. Do you like a large piece of meat with a hard bone? Yeah, me too. Then check out the "Long Bone" Ribeye. You might be a little sore tomorrow.The Met is cavernous, loud and clamorous. Tuxedoed waiters effortlessly balance large platters of sizzling flesh and trays of ice-cold cocktails between the kitchen, bar and dining room, where velvet booths hold hungry diners.
Start with a cocktail. The Met is the kind of place that understands good cocktails. If you are a chick, they'll want to steer you in the direction of a "peartini" or some other fruity shit. Anything that ends in "-tini" and doesn't start with "mar-" should be avoided. Stick with the classics. Order a martini (preferably Gin) or a Manhattan and soak in the scene around you.
This isn't a romantic restaurant. In fact, there are more man-dates at The Met than perhaps any other restaurant in the city. No, not gay men. These are just your average dudes. Dudes that like meat. Or dudes with expense accounts, anyway.
Dinner at The Met ain't cheap. If you are dining at The Met, you are either rich as fuck, celebrating a special occasion, or have an expense account. If you are guy taking a date for dinner at The Met, you are totally getting laid tonight. There are expectations, ladies. You've been warned.
The menu is pretty much the same, year in and year out; yet they include a "fresh sheet" which is about as fresh as the photo of Shawn Kemp on the wall. There are the standard cuts of steaks: Filet Mignon, New York, Ribeye, plus some special "house" cuts. There are also Japanese or American Waygu steaks if you are one of those people that think they can taste the difference.
We started with the Iceberg Wedge Salad ($10). Steakhouses are the only restaurants with balls enough to serve a salad with iceberg lettuce. Somehow this salad works in this temple of meat worship. The crisp, cold iceberg is enrobed in a thick coating of blue cheese dressing then speckled with bits of crispy Kurobuta bacon, apples, tomatoes, and toasted hazelnuts. The tomatoes were flavorless but the large chunks of blue cheese all over the plate mostly made up for the shitty tomatoes.
Next we ordered the 42-Day Aged Boneless Ribeye ($56 for 18 oz) and the "Long Bone" Ribeye ($85 for 36 oz). Steaks are cooked to order over a mesquite-wood fired grill. The menu offers some guidance. Order "rare" for a red, very cold center; "medium rare" for a red, warm center; or "medium" for a red center. Don't get your steak more cooked than "medium" unless you're a douchebag.
Steaks at The Met are nicely charred on the outside thanks to the mesquite-wood fired grill. The inside is rich and tender and cooked to perfection. Waiters serve vats of jus on the side. For those of you unfamiliar, "jus" is French for "delicious." It is the juice, seasoning and blood left over from the platter your steak rested on, and is the veritable fucking cherry on top of the sundae that is your steak. Ask the waiter to pour liberally. You can order other sauces free of charge: Bearnaise, steak sauce, blue cheese, among others. You can get these if you are a pussy, but the jus is all you need.
You can add seafood to any steak for an additional cost. Dungeness crab legs are $16, Alaskan King Crab ($22) and Australian lobster are "market price." I avoid these pricey, yet arguably tasty, upgrades. My date is already getting laid, but he's not getting a blow job too.
All the steaks come with steak fries, mashed potatoes or a baked potato larger than the Surly Gourmand's ego. For $4 you can substitute a Yukon Gold potato cake with crème fraiche and chives that will make you reconsider your thoughts about the homely tuber. Dense, waxy Yukon Golds are shredded, bathed in butter and baked in a skillet until a thick, crisp crust is formed. The cold of the crème mixed with the crunch and warmth of the potato is the perfect combination.
In case you are still hungry, there is dessert, including usual suspects: chocolate cake, crème brûlée, carrot cake. But for a real show stopper, order one of the flambéed desserts. Flambéed is just a fancy way of say "light shit on fire." We got the Bananas Foster ($19). They wheel a cart over to your table and a waiter with a special flame-proof tuxedo jacket goes to work. He does lots of swirling and tossing before pouring an ass-ton of booze into the pan, sending flames several feet into the air. After the flames extinguish, the warm bananas and caramel sauce are spooned over bowls of vanilla ice cream.
Is The Met worth the price? For a once in awhile splurge, sure. To impress clients? I suppose so. To get all liquored up and stuffed full of meat? Absolutely.
8 former Supersonics out of 10