Veal was tasty too, a pair of generously sized cutlets with fresh porcini mushrooms and champagne-based brown sauce. The accompanying vegetable, which comes with many of the main courses, was a medley of steamed carrots, green beans, yellow squash, and zucchini -- unseasoned, undercooked, fat-free, and flavor-free.
Whenever I eat prime rib I feel as though I'm at somebody's wedding, or, worse, a bar mitzvah. Maybe that's why I don't order it much, though the real reason would probably be that non-steak houses rarely offer it.
Christy's, where real men eat porterhouses and potatoes
Associations with tasteless catering halls aside, I've always been partial to this cut of beef. I see the difference between a sirloin strip steak and prime rib as being like that between a futon mattress and Sealy Posturepedic -- the extra depth provides a lot more comfort. I opted for the 14- to 16-ounce serving, brought to the table an impeccable medium-rare (defined by the menu as "red, warm center"), a moistening marbling meandering through the meat.
Seafood selections are limited to a balsamic- and honey mustard-glazed salmon, a couple of shrimp treatments (scampi and fried), fish du jour, and herb-crusted fillet of sea bass that actually contained just a mere sprinkling of parsley on top. That was all right, as a horseradish sauce broiled into the sizable fillet provided more than enough spunk. Grilled asparagus came alongside, with, again, the baked potato -- you can substitute mashed potatoes upon request and, for that matter, ask for your fish to be blackened, grilled, sautéed au meunière, and so on. Christy's is big on being accommodating.
We have scientist Benjamin Thompson to thank for baked Alaska, his studies on the resistance of egg whites to heat laying the groundwork for the browned meringue topping that crowns this renowned dessert. Christy's version, billed as "for two" but hefty enough for four, is classically prepared with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream with a thin layer of sponge cake, covered in meringue, browned in the oven, and finished tableside, where the waiter pours a glass of cherry liqueur over the mound and ignites it in a crowd-pleasing show. Blackout cake was less impressive visually, but the dark chocolate cake, layered with equally dark chocolate ganache and topped with darker chocolate icing, was darkly scrumptious.
Christy's may not have been around during the fabled Gables of long ago, but the food and ambiance evoke the time when men were men, a steak was a steak, and McCarthy and Nixon were plotting against us. Ah, things change yet remain the same. Christy's just remains the same, which is what makes it so very charming.