Last summer Neil came into work one day with a big smile on his face and the news that 19 Okanagan was named top 100 steak houses in Canada. I first thought to myself, “fuck ya I’m getting a raise”, then I thought “I didn’t even know we were a steak house….”. I had always been proud of our steak offerings and the commitment to quality cuts and grades of beef the we carried. But by being recognized as top 100 in the country I wondered how I could elevate the steak program?
I spent the winter with my sous chefs and apprentices bouncing ideas off one another and testing recipes. We collectively came to the conclusion that we could do better. So, we started with the way we seasoned our steaks and stepped away from the traditional Montréal steak spice that is familiar to everyone and created our own blend of herbs and spices completely unique to 19 Okanagan. Then we developed an herb and roasted garlic infused butter and beef tallow blend. Our 19 tallow-butter gets brushed onto the steak when it goes to rest. This allows the juices in the steak to settle and rich flavors of the tallow-butter to soak into the steak and saturate the meat. Lastly, we thought how do we finish our steaks? What is the best sauce on steak? What will make our steak experience unique? What will make our guests freak out?
So, we went with the classic comfort steaks with a fresh twist. Steak and lobster but with our tarragon cream sauce that is light but savory. Steak and mushrooms but with wild mushroom sauté in demi and green peppercorn sauce that compliments the earthiness of the mushrooms. And steak and prawns but with our sun-dried tomato cream sauce with hints of lemon and white wine to give the dish a fresh and lighter taste. I strongly believe that each sauce enhances our steaks in a different way and there is a steak for everyone on our menu. I also strongly believe that our steaks are now a “complete dish”. Rather than having the option to add a sauce or a sauté of mushrooms we have designed it to present better, look more substantial and most importantly taste better which hopefully delights our guests and gives them an unforgettable experience.