Most people only dine at a steakhouse a few times a year, if that. Since this is not something you do often, you may not know all of the terminology that comes with steakhouse dining. Of course, that can make it a little tough to accurately order off the menu! But have no fear — you'll find some often-confusing steakhouse menu terms defined below.
When a dish is described as "crudo," that means it is raw and served with a light dressing. Usually, the light dressing is some combination of oil and vinegar. You might see shrimp or salmon crudo on a steakhouse menu. But sometimes, you may even see steak crudo. This is very thin slices of raw steak, served with a light dressing. It can feel like a big leap to try steak crudo, but if you're willing to make that leap, it's incredibly delicious.
If you see that a steak comes topped with gremolata, then you'll want to know what gremolata is. It's a mixture of grated lemon zest, minced garlic, and fresh herbs. Usually, the fresh herb used is parsley, but you may see some restaurants use thyme. Gremolata is a good pairing for really fatty steaks, like ribeyes, since it tends to cut the richness of the fat. But if you don't like lemon or garlic, it's not for you!
If a steakhouse is advertising a prix fixe menu or a prix fixe option, that means they are offered a specific menu with various courses, all of which are pre-determined. For example, the order might come with a salad, a cup of onion soup, a steak and potato, and then a slice of pie for dessert. Many steakhouses offer prix fixe menus on really busy occasions, like Valentine's Day and Christmas Eve.
If you see "steak au poivre" or the option to make a steak au poivre on the menu, you may wonder what it is. Basically, this means "with pepper" in French. However, the steak is typically served with a black pepper sauce on top. The sauce is made with heavy cream and cognac. It's really rich and flavorful and an excellent choice for less-fatty steaks like tenderloin.
If you see these terms on a steakhouse menu, now you will understand them! If you come across other terms you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask your waiter to explain. They should have some insight to offer.
Contact a local steakhouse restaurant for more information.