I was delighted that Paul decided to stick with tradition and have his annual birthday dinner at the “Iron Gate” in Belmont. It is one of his favorites, and one of mine as well. The “Iron Gate” is a continental style restaurant in Belmont, California on the San Francisco peninsula. I don’t know how long it has been in business, but I remember my dad taking me to dinner there when I was a kid (and that was a long time ago). This place is old school in the best sense of the word. It takes you back to another era of black tie service and classic cuisine. It is the kind of place you could imagine Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardiner dining at. Tonight our “rat pack” consists of Paul and me, and Chris and Carol (CKx2). They have a great variety of entrées on their menu but we all were in a steak and Caesar salad mood. After enjoying a perfect straight-up martini and some fried calamari, the Caesar salad arrives. The salad is made at the table which makes it fresh and delicious. Did I mention that the martinis are good here, too? CKx2 are starting to look like Frank and Ava! There are so many great selections and specials tonight; it’s almost a shame that we are all having steak. At least we are all having different cuts. Paul is having a filet, Ava is having a New York, and Frank is having his signature rib-eye. For me it is my all time favorite, “steak au poivre”. If I had to choose a last meal, this would be it. I have had it too many times to count, and they do it here as good or better than any place I’ve tried before. I love that it it finished and flambéed at the table…Complete satisfaction! I am content, but also so glad that Frank had the foresight to order a souffle for our birthday boy, Sammy. It is light and delightful…the perfect end to a perfect meal.
If you are looking for place for a special occasion and you enjoy getting dressed for dinner, this is a great place to go. While you can see everything from jeans (ugh!) to a suit and tie, I recommend dressing it up a bit. If you are not ready to call it a night, the bar area is lively and features live music and dancing. It is also decidedly more casual, so feel free to take off the tie and jacket. If you want to find out more about “The Iron Gate”, you can check out their website here. I just love all the folks at The Iron Gate but like I always say, “Everybody loves somebody sometime!” Enjoy!
A steak dinner “out” is always a special treat. It isn’t easy to get the same results at home, but it isn’t impossible. In part two, I will give you some pointers that can help kick it up a notch at home. Stay tuned!