Meat of the Matter: Steak House on the Verandah

Thursday, August 30, 2018

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During the early aughts, if you wanted a steakhouse experience in the Corporate Area, one could choose from six or so solid options. Today, there may be fewer, but Kingston is fortunate to have the Steak House on the Verandah.

The well-informed and affable front-of-house team guides guests through the menu of steakhouse favourites and signature dishes. Highlights include ackee and cured salmon brochette, fettuccine chicken alfredo, 8 oz dry-aged filet mignon, and the restaurant's signature dish, the KSS Kingston Signature Steak. Bestsellers include Scotch bonnet bone marrow, sizzling ribeye and flourless chocolate cake. Fun fact: the cake is served with Devon Stout or vanilla ice cream. However, if you prefer another flavour, a waiter will make a special run to you-know-where. Talk about a world-class experience!

We should also mention that each meal begins with a complimentary amuse-bouche (changes daily). Hope that when you go, they'll serve the grilled beef and pesto crostini.

The ackee and smoked salmon appetiser is an elevated and modern take on our beloved national dish. Well-seasoned, rich and flavourful, this dish is a perfect appetiser. The beautifully grilled-marked corn French bread was toothsome and tasty. Executive chef Alex D-Great has a name that he has to back up with good food. Thursday Food can say he deserves the “D-Great”. His house-made tomato callaloo fettuccine is tossed with sautéed mushrooms and bell peppers before being enrobed in a rich alfredo sauce. After the first bite, you will wish there were a bigger portion.

The wines are from Select Brands and The Meat Experts provide the steakhouse with all of its grass-fed and locally raised meat. The steaks are dry, aged between 35 and 41 days, and are hand cut by The Meat Experts' master butcher. The restaurant's signature dish — the KSS Kingston Signature Steak — was named by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. According to manager André Brown, the minister believed that “a steak of this calibre should have a name that reflects just how good it is”. Thursday Food can concur; it is exquisite. Seared on-the-bone filet mignon is served atop coconut callaloo and is accompanied by a cheesy (mozzarella) potato croquette and ham chips (think: pancetta crisp). The dish is finished with a generous pat of truffle butter (heaven!) and sunny-side up quail eggs. This would be a good time for you to take a break to absorb what you just read. This steak is the culinary equivalent of a Chanel store.

The restaurant is family-friendly; Thursday Food noticed a number of high chairs waiting for young diners to climb into them. Brown emphasised the commitment to families having an excellent dining experience. There's even a kids' menu. He also noted that the restaurant can accommodate a large dining party of up to 40 guests without having to close. On one of our visits, Thursday Food saw a table of 12 executives having a dinner meeting and this did not detract from the other diners' experience. One of the service highlights for the staff was the opportunity to host prime minister Andrew Holness and 44 of his guests.

Steak House on the Verandah also does an all-you-can-eat brunch. This comprises a mini buffet station of soups, salads, crêpes and carved meats. However, and this is next-level, the rest of brunch is à la carte. That's right, folks, each dish is prepared to order and guests are encouraged to have brunch in courses. If you're a resident of the Republic of Montego Bay, don't worry. There's the recently opened Steak House on the Bay located at the Montego Bay Yacht Club.

If dinner or brunch aren't in the cards, the bar's happy hour features are sure bets. Between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, buy one cocktail, get the second at half the price and the third at a quarter. On Wednesdays, martinis are the focus and the first, second and third prize structure remains. And if you decide after all to stay for dinner, the restaurant will bring a complimentary appetiser to your table.

Have a look at the restaurant's reviews on Facebook and TripAdvisor and you'll see numerous rave reviews. “First off, ambience, service and staff were great.” “We were truly impressed by this place, first of all, the customer service was wonderful, our server was very attentive…” “The nicest meal we enjoyed in Kingston. It's worth the visit.” So you can see that Thursday Food isn't mincing words when we say that Steak House on the Verandah is a gem of a restaurant.

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