How's that for a post title? I might be a public school kid but the Internet lets me pretend to know what I am talking about, even in French!
Just read today that The American Steakhouse, which has resisted change since Marriott's Sirloin 'n Saddle venture in their first hotel, Twin Bridges, is due for a makeover. Now we find that those large cuts from cattle and pigs, however fancy the names and the cuts, are an endangered species.
I've tasted Japanese Waygu NY Strip, and it was, to misuse a metaphor, as good as it sounds! But now those larger forty to fifty dollar steaks and ten dollar asparagus sides are heading for the dust bin: And forget those words you see all the time that mean nothing: "Handmade, artisanal, all-natural, black label, farm." Who knew?
I harken back to the Good old DC Days: Feeling rich, Mrs., Anadyr to be headed to Paul Young's, 1120 Connecticut Ave. NW Prices for dinner started at $6.95. Pretty stiff for that time.
An old postcard shows what is humbly called "Washington's Most Beautiful Restaurant," clad with red fabric walls, yards of red carpets, enough glasses to fill a kitchen cabinet on every table, suspiciously expensive-looking champagne in every bucket nearby and the famous table-side grilling station perched against a pillar.
We had two or three dinners there in the 1960's, essentially the big date that I hoped would impress the Miss to become a Mrs. Steak Diane prepared table-side was an enlightening experience, even in those mostly cash only days. Plus I looked better in a dark room.We also tried Georgetown's Rive Gauche, and later The Big Cheese, both gone I think.
Along the way, I pocketed an ashtray (for you younger folks out there, smoking was not only allowed but encouraged at this place and everywhere else in the world) which I still have somewhere. Not being a smoker it is pristine and I'll take bids...not really.
Robert Shoffner, restaurant critic writing in a 2005 Washingtonian Magazine said, "Two Continental restaurants, the Jockey Club and Paul Young's, became fixtures of the Washington social scene after being booked for private dinners celebrating Kennedy's inauguration... Paul Young's, across from the Mayflower Hotel, was Duke Zeibert's with good manners and a wine list." (DC folks know who the Duke was)
As I recall the Steak Diane was about 19 dollars for two, and a decent Dom Perignon vintage could be had for about 11 dollars. Ah yes, those were the days. Long gone but remembered fondly,