Cowboy Star - Restaurant Week Winter 2012

>> Monday, January 16, 2012

Date of Dining: 1/15/2012
Price: $40 for 3 course restaurant week tasting
Location: 640 Tenth Ave, San Diego, 92101

The Quick Bit:
+ Regular menu available as well as restaurant week
+ Not just a place for steak, but great dishes as well
+ Cooking temperature on protein is spot on
Δ Atmosphere could have been a bit brighter
Δ Some items are not on the menu
Note: I will be updating on Monday and Friday this week for restaurant week. This probably won't be a problem since Restaurant Week is generally extended an extra week
Long overdue for a review, Cowboy Star is the go to restaurant I recommend everyone who asks me where to get a good steak in San Diego. During this restaurant week, I was finally able to find some time to check out the restaurant and give a proper review.
Cowboy Star is a combination of a restaurant and a butcher shop. At the butcher shop, one can find the high quality cuts of beef, including grass fed variants of the popular cuts. The butcher shop meat is competitively priced to other specialty meat shops such as Iowa Meat Farms.
Cowboy Star's kitchen is headed by Chef Victor Jimenez. Chef Jimenez graduated from Le Cordon Blue in Paris before being recruited to San Diego by Chef Bernard Guillas to work at the US Grant Grill. Other culinary stops along the way include Dakota Grill and Spirits, Gulf Coast Grill, and Gringo's Cantina. Chef Jimenez opened JRDN before finally opening Cowboy Star.
When we perused the Restaurant Week menu, we noticed that there wasn't a lot of steak options. However, as the complete regular menu was available we decided to share 1 restaurant week as an appetizer and order a full steak as the entree.

pickled sturgeon
The amuse contained a pickled sturgeon on a baguette. The acidity in the pickling liquid of the sturgeon was a good way to open the appetite for more.

First Course:
charcuterie plate - (left to right) duck pate, sopressata, fennel sausage, chorizo salumi
with pickled vegetables and baguette
The entire charcuterie plate was house-made, which seems to be a trend that is become popular in several San Diego fine dining restaurants. My favorite item of the selection was the sopressata; the black peppercorns really brought a nice contrast to the meat to highlight its flavor. Having eaten many a charcuterie plate, I felt the pickled vegetables were a little weak as the strong aggressive pickling liquid flavor was missing to cut the richness and fat of the charcuterie. Overall, the plate was among the better charcuterie I've had in San Diego.

Second Course:
sea scallops - vanilla parsnip puree, meyer lemon sauce, leeks, petite greens
 The scallops in this dish were cooked perfectly, which allowed the natural sweetness of the scallops to be savored and enjoyed. Personally, I was not a fan of the vanilla in the parsnip puree as it seemed slightly overbalanced, but the Meyer lemon sauce was a strong counterpoint that really complemented the flavor of the scallop. The fried shoestring onions added a nice textural contrast to the dish.

Supplemental Course:
40 oz porterhouse for two
Going for broke, we ordered the porterhouse to share. We ordered the meat medium rare, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the meat was cooked to temperature perfectly.
The most impressive part of the medium rare cooking of this particular steak is that usually when the meat is that rare, the ligaments and tendons have not completed the cooking process and often make the meat hard to chew. However, the preparation at cowboy star was absolutely spot on. Having eaten many a steak, I have been consistently impressed by both the quality and consistency of the cooking at Cowboy Star.
In addition to the protein, we received two complimentary sides with the porterhouse.

Third Course:
fromage blanc cheesecake - honey poached pears
The cheesecake was prepared very well and was a nice way to end the meal. The honey that topped the cheesecake really provided a nice flourish to an already well-done cheesecake. I personally was not a big fan of the poached pairs, but enjoyed the tartness the raspberries brought to balance out the dessert.

While Cowboy Star is mostly known as a steak house, it in fact is a great restaurant in its own right. Ordering mainly non-steak items off the Restaurant Week menu, we enjoyed extremely well-prepared food. The steak ordered was an extremely high quality aged cut and cooked to absolute perfection. For those of you looking for steak on the restaurant week menu, Cowboy Star does offer a petite filet.
For having extremely high quality and consistent steaks as well as being a great restaurant on top of it, I've awarded Cowboy Star the gigabyte award.


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gastro bits is a blog that juxtaposes the geeky with the foodie; it is an attempt to be educational about food, yet entertaining at the same time.
None of the reviews are meant to dissuade you from trying anything by yourself, but simply to provide information for you to make a more informed choice.
If any special treatment is provided to the blogger, full disclosure is presented at the beginning of the post.

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