Posted by: Hungry Korean | August 5, 2011


Where is the best place for steak diane in Manhattan? Commerce Restaurant.  Came here on my first date with my fiancee years ago and he ordered it. I remember him giving me a piece to taste and me wanting more but since I was on my best behavior, I refrained from stealing pieces off his plate (as I do now).  Since then, we have come back couple more times for this tasty meaty treat. This past Wednesday was one of those days.

The bread basket at Commerce is amazeballs:

It’s served with a deliciously salty whipped butter.  Let see if I can remember the varieties served in this one basket alone: there was a breadstick with nutty briny olives baked in, a sesame poppy seed one, a delicious roll stuffed with carmelized onions, two home made mini pretzels, a french baguette and then my favorite: a roll stuffed with a thick slab of bacon!!!! Quel surprise!

The photo is not great but I attempted to take a shot of the bacon surprise.  It rendered the inside of the roll moist with that smokey porky deliciousness. I practically ate the entire basket (not a great idea because I could barely finish my steak diane but I couldn’t help myself).

For appetizer, Cookie Monster got the roasted sweet potato tortelloni with hazelnuts, pomegranate & beurre noisette:

Goodness – who doesn’t love a butter sauce?  The tender tortelloni was mildly sweet from the sweet potato filling and enhanced only by that butter sauce which had mild sour notes to it due to the pomegranates. Hazelnuts added a nice crunch.  Delicious.

In preparation for my steak meal, I tried to keep it light by ordering the marinated hamachi with yuzu, tomato, chili and cilantro – but I asked for the removal of cilantro.

Sashimi grade hamachi.  It was quite delicious with that yuzu sauce and I was happy to see they gave me at least 7 large pieces.

For main course, Cookie Monster got the pecan crusted duck with quinoa, orange, endive and braised leg:

(Sorry the photo is so red but the lighting in the restaurant rendered all my photos on the reddish side)  Cookie Monster likes duck so he enjoyed his plate but for me, it was a little gamey and too duck-y for me.

I was very happy with my steak diane:

I believe it’s filet cut – it’s perfectly cooked and pink on the inside and incredibly tender. I’m not sure what steak diane sauce is made of but it’s a wonderfully full bodied and dark gravy – tastes like red wine sauce reduced down alot.  The mashed potatoes served are creamy and buttery and velvety smooth.  To mix it up, I pair bites with the mashed potatoes for a butter creamy flavor but the meat alone is so flavorful and delicious. At $38 it’s not cheap but at least you are getting a quality slab of meat cooked perfectly.  This is comfort food.

Commerce was bustling on a rainy Wednesday night.  It’s a homey restaurant nestled in a very quiet street in the heart of the west village – devoid of any tourists and filled with, what looked like, locals.  It’s not pretentious but just serves up straightforward comfort American food. Exactly what one wants after a full work day, mid week. (FYI – also a great place to take a date!)

Commerce Restaurant, 50 Commerce Street, New York, NY


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