#FoodieFriday: What’s the Beef with Saul

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The namesake of Chef Saul Bolton, Saul is a venerable fine dining establishment in Brooklyn. The restaurant is also Bolton’s oldest Kings County venture and the culinary success that paved the way for his more casual offerings: The Vanderbilt gastropub, the Southern Italian eatery Red Gravy, and the sausage company Brooklyn Bangers.

Although originally located in Boerum Hill, Saul can now be found in Prospect Heights inside the Brooklyn Museum. The current restaurant space was designed by UHURU, a studio based nearby in Red Hook. The interior makes use of natural materials such as oak and elm wood, marble, and steel. In the middle of Saul’s main dining area, there stands a communal table made of marble and locally milled elm, for instance. The piece serves as a focal point and an attraction for social diners, though, for those who prefer a quieter meal, there are several private tables as well. No matter where one sits, there is something to be admired, whether it is the sleek cocktail bar or a window-side view of the museum’s Great Hall.

Opening the menu, one will find New American fare made with high-quality, seasonal ingredients. One of the most mouth-watering dinner options is the Creekstone Aged Beef Ribeye, sliced into four pieces and served with a red wine sauce. As its name indicates, the steak is of Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a natural and sublimely marbled cut of Angus.

Creekstone Farms has been a choice meat supplier for the European Union and many a restaurant, from Babbo to Shake Shack. The company was founded some 20 years ago in Campbellsburg, Kentucky, and carries on today in Arkansas City, Kansas. Both epicurean and ethical, their farm handles cattle humanely and feeds them well on corn and grass. The resulting meat is USDA-certified premium and natural.

Saul’s take on Creekstone beef is mildly fermented via aging. This extra step enhances the flavor by reducing the water and thereby condensing the nutrients. With a little time in the right conditions, the enzymes in the meat create a complex blend of bitter, sweet, and savory tastes that cannot be achieved by everyday cooking. When the process is complete, the ribeye is seared until the juices release, reviving the steak with moisture and a distinct aroma.

The ribeye is just one of the options on Saul’s dinner menu. For those craving lighter fare, Saul also serves pork, poultry, and seafood entrees for lunch and dinner. The prix fixe menus skip the beef, instead offering three tasty courses of vegetables, lean meats, and desserts such as Saul’s famous baked Alaska. As Saul is part of New York City’s Restaurant Week for this year’s winter season, now is a great time to try (or revisit) the prix fixe choices.

The Restaurant Week promotion runs from now until March 6, 2015, during which time prix fixe lunch and dinner menus are available at a discounted price. Something of a epicurean holiday, the occasion makes it easier for budget-conscious New Yorkers to take advantage of what the city has to offer and try fine dining without breaking the bank. An inspiring tradition in itself, New York Restaurant Week was founded in 1992 and has since become a biannual, longer-than-one-week attraction. The beloved institution has led to numerous such celebrations worldwide, including London’s Restaurant Festival, Tous au Restaurant in Paris, and Good Food Month, which takes place in several Australian cities.

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Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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