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BLT STEAK
106 E. 57th St.
212-752-7470

The star of BLT Steak is the expertly cooked, first-rate collection of beef, but the supporting cast of familiar steakhouse accompaniments with a twist almost steal the show. The tower of beer-battered onion rings is spectacularly crunchy on the outside, and the onions themselves are unusually soft, sweet, and large. The creamed spinach in a light béchamel sauce is flavored with roasted garlic for depth and a touch of sweet, mellow flavor. When it comes to potatoes, there are eight varieties, but it's Laurent Tourondel's supremely cheesy yet mysteriously light Parmesan gnocchi that you'll remember. A small cast-iron pot arrives with a mound of the tender little pillows bathed in bechamel and sprinkled with a final dusting of cheese (when a new cook is put in charge of making the gnocchi, several practice attempts are mandatory before he achieves the melt-in-the-mouth consistency). During the appropriate season, you can gild the lily with black or white truffles.

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