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Modern Steak at Mid-Day: can I get a knife with an edge please?

January 24, 2010

My wife and I have been wanting to give Sam Fox’s latest carnivore angled creation, Modern Steak, a try since it opened a few months back.  Sam Fox, like Columbus Ohio’s Cameron Mitchell, seems to be a master of developing the perfect “concept” for a local demographic.  However let’s face it, Fox is a businessman.  The man owns basically every restaurant around the Camelback / Goldwater area.  While he is genius at putting together great dishes, cutting edge environments, in the most prime of locations – his efforts sometimes come off as sales pitches to larger chain conglomerates, screaming “Buy Me, Buy Me.  Make me the next Ruth Chris or CPK chain”. 

Modern Steak is a totally different spin on steakhouse.  It’s not your typical dimly lit, deep red leathered, white linen steak house.  In a refreshing way, it has somehow figured out a way to fuse 16th century French décor with Miami Art Deco, in brightly lit expansive spaces.  The glam appointments will definitely appeal to the neighboring Barneys shoppers at Fashion Square.

We were in the area during lunch hour and sampled three different lunch dishes: their 8 oz. Sirloin, Kobe Burger (while kobe is wasted on a burger – it is the only burger they offer… must be so they can charge more), and the all Kobe Beef Hot Dog (see kobe burger).  The 8 oz. Center Cut Sirloin was a nice thick cut and cooked medium rare, exactly as ordered.  Drizzled with a melted herbed butter, and accompanied by caramelized onions making for a formidable lunch.  It was served with their crispy French fries and a (presumably) house made ketchup which was fantastic – a perfect mix of sweet, salt, and vinegar.  The Kobe Burger was cooked perfectly, moist and mouthwatering.  The cheddar and smoked bacon were a right match with the 1000 Island dressing.  The Kobe Beef Dog was great. Had some real nice flavor to it, and a nice sharp snap when you bit into it.  It was served with a little tray of “all the fixins” (except for ketchup) and their crispy fries.

My one knock was that they gave us classic “edged” steak knives, rather then the typical cheap and chunky serrated ones you see at Outback.  This is fine and I don’t mind that per se, but if you are going to offer these to your customers you better make sure they are sharp.  It probably would have worked for a tenderloin fillet, but not sirloin.  Perhaps they thought I looked a little too unbalanced to handle a sharp knife – maybe it was the meds I was on that day.  I just felt like I was trying to slice my meat with Bob Ross’s “happy little” wooden palette knife.  Now granted I am certain they would have rectified the situation had I informed them, but then I ask myself why should I have to?

The bottom line is: hats off to Sam Fox for another winning concept for the Fashion Square demographic, and presenting different dining options to those in Scottsdale.  We’ll certainly return for dinner to try something in their wheelhouse perhaps a 12 oz. NY strip, maybe with some roasted sprouts and Nueske’s bacon.  Oh, and a sharp steak knife!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mom2 permalink
    January 24, 2010 1:13 pm

    You keep finding and talking about new places, all of which I want to go to. And since I’m not all that used to real sharp knives it probably wouldn’t even bother me there…. :o) This sounds wonderful…I’m eager. I hope when I visit in February you have made a list of all the places you have convinced me I want to have a meal.

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