Perfect Plate Mates for Meat
Once you’ve procured the best meats for center-of-the-plate, it’s time for a little side dish due diligence. Sides play an important supporting role in your presentation. They should complement the entrée, while lending flavor, color and texture to the plate. Sides also provide valuable nutrition, contributing to the balanced diet that is so important to your patrons.
Potatoes are the “old faithful” meat partner, and for good reason: Most people love them. Where would steak frites be without potatoes? Would a knish even be a dish without the potato? A perfect baked potato with butter, sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped chives is a beautiful thing. But, potatoes have lots of other tricks up their sleeve. Retro tater tots are sprouting up on menus all over the place. Mashed potatoes find themselves enhanced with everything from pricy aged cheeses to pesto to truffle oil. Old school Potatoes au Gratin are finding favor again, especially when served in individual ramekins.
Cauliflower is currently currying a lot of favor. Slabs are being roasted like steaks, raw florets are battered and deep-fried, cooked florets are mashed and riced. Cauliflower Gratin is one of the sides featured at STK Restaurant in the vibrant Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. STK Restaurants began with several locations in New York City. In ten years, the organization has branched out with operations in major cities across the U.S. and in Europe. Other sides to enjoy with the dry-aged Delmonico and Porterhouse steaks are Lobster Mac & Cheese, Creamy Yukon Potatoes, Sweet Corn Pudding, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Foraged Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Jalapeno Cheddar Grits and Tater Tots.
The spice-rubbed Grilled Ribeye at Proof in Des Moines shares the plate with butternut squash, pan-roasted vegetables, fried sweet potatoes and chimichurri sauce.
At Chicago’s iconic Berghoff Restaurant, the Sausage Trio of Bratwurst, Knockwurst and Thuringer is served with traditional German potato salad and sauerkraut.
A fine pairing with Chateaubriand at Antoine’s in New Orleans is the Epinards Sauce Crème, a casserole of spinach, light cream sauce, onion, garlic and Romano cheese.
At Seattle’s Dahlia Lounge, the Grilled Asparagus with almonds, raisins and lemon peel pairs well with Rotisserie Peking Duck.
In Savannah, Elizabeth’s on 37th offers a double-cut Berkshire Pork Chop with Five-Cheese Macaroni and Apple Cabbage Slaw.
Wagyu Sirloin is served with Bacon Fondant Potato, Trumpet Mushrooms and Asparagus at Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. The Venison here is complemented with Parsley Root, Chestnuts, Rosehip, Red Cabbage and Gin.
The Blue Duck Tavern in the Hyatt Hotel-Georgetown has some interesting sides, including Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimiento Cheese and Pepper Relish; Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Garlic Confit, Sherry and Parsley Gremolata; Oven-Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Chicken Skin and Sauce Choron; White Corn Grits with Fiscalini Cheese and Charred Onion Compote; and Charred Broccolini with Garlic, Chilies and Honey.