Nashville’s Kayne Prime has me at “hello.” Walking into this modern-rustic steakhouse of my dreams and—with profound apologies to Dad whose backyard-grilled steaks were good—I know whatever protein I choose from the menu, it’s going to be like nothing I’ve ever experienced, a definite wow-wow-wow. How can I predict Kayne is going to satisfy my hungry heart? Intuitively you sense when a restaurant has “it”—a vibe, a swagger, an aroma of good stuff happening behind the swinging doors. And Kayne definitely has it, lots of it.
This boutique steakhouse doesn’t disappoint, right down to the last spoonful of Coffee & Donuts—espresso semifreddo paired with warm ricotta beignets. But I digress—it’s the beef that’s the A-lister at Kayne. Succulent filet mignons, juicy New York strips and ribeyes that melt away from fork and knife. This restaurant is a prime example of the steakhouse revolution that chefs like Robbie Wilson—head tastemaker at Music City’s premiere fusion-style steak emporium—are giddily leading across the country, in cities large and small.
Local ingredients drive classic-casual steakhouse menus where beef is king and accompanying sides are glorious reincarnations of dishes Don Draper and his martini-swilling pals enjoyed back in the day. Kayne serves up a mess o’ swoon-worthy riffs on favorites like Cream Corn Brûlée, Creamed Spinach with a fried organic egg and Heirloom Carrots with tandoori-spiced, barbecue raisins. Seconds, please?
Recreating the steakhouse experience in your own kitchen is a snap with the locavore-rich array of beef that’s available to today’s home cook. Hallelujah and bow down to the steak gods!
Dean & DeLuca’s Brandt Beef, a family-owned California-based producer who takes a decidedly artisanal approach to beef farming, is a contemporary steakhouse-pedigreed product. Hand-raised, free of hormones and antibiotics and thick and flavorful, Brandt’s corn-feed meat—like the baseball cut top sirloins and the family reserve Porterhouse steaks—is the tasty answer to the home griller’s wish. The beef is simply raised, which in the end yields an opportunity to savor steaks and chops au naturel. The Brandt Beef is a building block to a memorable meal and when partnered with sides like Creamed Spinach with Artichokes and Potatoes au Gratin with Fennel, it becomes a triple-threat, culinary supernova.
Keep those reservations at your local steakhouse—no doubt the menu has been overhauled to combine traditional flavor spiked with contemporary flair. And when firing up your patio grill, seek out quality stuff chefs like Robbie Wilson would be proud to deliver from behind those swinging doors.
-Kimberly Winter Stern
Fire up the grill and perfume the neighborhood with a couple of juicy boneless Angus ribeye or porterhouse steaks, rubbed to perfection with a Southwestern or Barbecue spice blend. And don’t forget to pick your sides as carefully as you choose your cut of meat—after all, a steak without a good companion is almost as sad as an out-of-season tomato. A properly baked potato is a classic steak partner (make mine loaded, please) or a creamy risotto-like dish made with imported farro and pungent mushrooms is a hearty accent to a grilled steak. Here are a couple of picks for your steak fry from The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook.
PERFECT BAKED POTATOES
Preheat oven to 500°. Wash the potatoes of your choice, place the grate in the oven, turn the potatoes once or twice during cooking, and cook until crunchy on the outside, tender within.
Cooking time depends on size. Here’s a handy guide:
¼-pound potato: 45 minutes
½-pound potato: 1 hour 10 minutes
¾-pound potato: 1 hour 30 minutes
Top to your delight: butter, sour cream, Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt
Note: For light, dry, super-crunchy potatoes, cut the baked potatoes, after cooking, into walnut-sized chunks. Place in a roasting pan in a preheated 550° oven for 20 minutes. Toss with coarse salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.
FARRO “RISOTTO” WITH WILD MUSHROOMS AND PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO
Serves 6 as a side dish
2 cups imported Italian farro
1 quart of water
1 ounce dried wild mushrooms (preferably porcini)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Boil the farro in the 1 quart of water, salted, in a large saucepan, partially covered, for 45 minutes, or until it is soft. Drain it in a colander or strainer.
While the farro is cooking, soak the dried mushrooms in a bowl with 1 cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Remove them from the bowl with your fingers, squeezing the water back into the bowl. Reserve the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms coarsely.
Melt the butter in the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the mushrooms, and then add the wine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the reserved mushroom soaking liquid through a cheesecloth or fine strainer into the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes. If the farro is not yet cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
When the farro is cooked and drained, put it back into the empty pan, and add the contents of the skillet. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.