Charlie Palmer Steak offers an ever-evolving culinary experience
What do we really mean when we say “a great steak”? Sure, the phrase itself makes your mouth water, but why? At Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, you could order a different steak every night for months and have a unique experience each time, and for Palmer, that’s really what great steak is all about—a continually evolving experience that means something different for everyone.
For some, dry aging—hanging or shelving the meats in temperature-controlled environments for up to six weeks—is the key to meaty perfection, since the process leads to moisture loss and a intensely flavored piece of meat. For others, wet aging—storing vacuum-packed meat in refrigeration for up to six weeks—is best, since it breaks down connective tissue, ensuring your steak is smooth as silk. Then there’s the cut (brisket, rib, short loin, sirloin, ribeye … the list goes on and on), the method of cooking and whether a customer prefers well done, medium or rare.
Whatever you order, it’s prepared with a personalized level of detail, so don’t be shy about discussing specifications with your server. This restaurant is all about the sweet science of beef, one that Palmer has spent his life trying to perfect. “Charlie’s philosophy has always been sourcing the best ingredients,” says Steven Geddes, corporate director of operations for the Charlie Palmer Group. “We’re constantly sourcing different purveyors, constantly challenging quality levels and better ways to prepare the steaks.”
Charlie Palmer Steak
The menu changes often, but meat takes precedence, Geddes says. “It’s an ongoing process. If you’re not constantly looking at new techniques, new purveyors, new ways of creating the dining experience, from cooking it to presenting it, you’re behind the times. So it’s definitely constantly evolving,” Geddes adds.
The differences between the cuts and dry- and wet-aging are remarkable when enjoyed back to back. A recent tasting of the restaurant’s options featured New York strip, both wet- and dry-aged, Australian wagyu and Japanese wagyu. The corn-fed dry-aged strip was smooth and deeply meaty in flavor, while the wet-aged strip had more of a “nutty” finish. The grass-fed Australian wagyu, which contains no hormones or antibiotics, had more of a gamier taste, while the Japanese wagyu was succulent, tender and packed with flavor.
And while you’re enjoying your choice of steak—and planning your return trip so you can try another—be sure to take advantage of Palmer’s talents elsewhere on the menu, particularly appetizers such as the flavor-packed yellowfin tuna tartare and a California burrata cheese paired with poached pears, Sylvetta arugula and saba, a dish as light as it is delicious. A fresh Bibb salad includes Belgian endive and double-smoked bacon, while the iced seafood platter brings together all of your ocean favorites.
No steak is complete without the fixings, and Palmer’s satisfies, with a loaded truffled baked potato that’s practically its own meal, Parmesan potato gratin, Brussels sprouts with water chestnuts and wild mushrooms served with caramelized onions.
For dessert, the pineapple upside down cake is served with basil ice cream, a flavor combination that will have you fighting for the last bite with your dining companions.
Four Seasons, 5-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 702.632.5120