The priciest, best-tasting steak in Seattle

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Met Grill renovated.jpg

The Metropolitan Grill, with 370 plush seats and a reputation as Seattle's premier steak house, reopened a week ago after a two-month shutdown for renovations. Costs a lot, these days, to do it right, somewhere north of $2 million. A new kitchen, for starters, with room for an extra line cook's position, because those steaks don't grill themselves. Things you don't see, like the remote-controlled lighting system, or all new sub-flooring. Guests will may not notice the new carpet, but will recognize the familiar mahogany paneling and brass fixtures,

Robert Nokes still stands guard behind the bar. On the plate come the steaks: rib-eye, filet mignon, porterhouse, strip loin, sirloin, prime Delmonico, prime rib, and chateaubriand carved tableside. The bone-in rib-eye looks like a prop from Game of Thrones.

And now a limited supply of A-5 Wagyu "olive beef" from Shodoshima Island in Japan's Kagawa Prefecture, which as been growing olives for the past century. The remains of pressed olives after they are made into olive oil are fed to the cattle.

With an abundance of oleic acid, antioxidants and glutamic acid, the dried olive fruit imparts remarkable umami and sweetness with smooth fat and tenderness into the beef. It's so rich that you can't grill it over coals; in fact, it will melt if left at room temperature. Instead, it must be seared with a cast iron griddle.

A five-ounce cut of Sanuki Wagyu is $135, making it the single most expensive serving, ounce for ounce, in town. Executive chef Eric Hellner sent out a couple of slices for me to taste. And it tastes amazing, like beefy foie gras. You could top it with béarnaise, but that would be gilding the lily. Salt and pepper, nothing else.

Seattle has lost several chain steak houses over the past year: Sullivan's, McCormick, Morton's. National, all. (Ruth's Chris and Capital Grille remain, as do stalwarts El Gaucho, Daniel's Broiler and John Howie Steak.) No, the steak house is far from dead. Newcomers include Bateau, 7 Beef, Miller's Guild and Butcher's Table. And, of course, The Met.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on September 1, 2017 1:00 PM.

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