Porterhouse. Rib Eye. Filet Mignon. Are you hungry yet? From city-style hot spots to down-home dining rooms, here are eleven of the Valley’s best places to find the beef
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Uptown’s Blue Ribbon Restaurant
62 Wood Rd., Sugar Loaf
When he was 18, Frank Capasso started work in his family’s sanitation business, dreaming that one day he’d open a restaurant. The years ticked by. Finally, when Amarone’s in Sugar Loaf went belly-up last year, Capasso decided the time was ripe — and never mind the troubled economy. “I’m 38, and if I don’t do it now, I never will,” he says.
Capasso painted the walls burgundy to match his new table linens, and opened for business last October. “I’d always liked the homey feel of the place, and it’s even friendlier now,” he says. Scott Bally, who’d cheffed at Amarone’s, stayed on.
Why a steakhouse? “There were Italian places to the left of me, Italian places to the right, but nowhere nearby where you could get good quality meat,” Capasso replies. His burgers are made with American Kobe beef, the prime rib is Angus; otherwise the steaks are Prime or Choice, hand-cut in house, but not aged. “If you buy a good quality piece of meat, it’s going to be tasty and tender,” Capasso declares.
Special sides are available (Capasso particularly likes his version of proscuitto-wrapped asparagus), but steaks all come with a potato and a vegetable of some kind.
Business people pile in at lunch; everyone else turns up at night, Capasso says. There’s a well-priced kid’s menu, too, with a mini steak for budding carnivores, chicken fingers, pizzas, and other favorites of the younger set.
Marinated hanger steak and many of the other preparations are those Capasso devised when cooking for his friends and family during the years the restaurant was but a gleam in his eye. Stop in, and you may see him bussing tables, tending bar, pitching in. “I love it,” he says. “For the first time in 20 years, I’m in my element.”
Crowd pleaser: Signature Blue Ribbon filet mignon, served with roasted tomato and fresh mozzarella in a balsamic reduction.
Special appeal: Casual, friendly, affordable.
The bottom line: From $18.99 for the hanger to $29.99 for the prime rib.
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