A few weeks ago, my friends and I went to Tony’s restaurant in St. Louis. The restaurants we go to are ones that our husbands have no interest in. We always have a really good time. Having been there one time before, I knew what to expect, and I was very excited to “share” the restaurant with my friends. My previous time there had been almost magical, so my expectations were very high. While the food didn’t disappoint, the service was nowhere near the level I had received before.
We pulled up to the restaurant, had the valet park the car, and we walked in toward the host stand. Even though there was a bar area – they call it a living room – we were instructed to stand by the desk and wait for our table. We were seated a little bit later at a nice table by the back of the restaurant. There really wasn’t anything specific to complain about, but the service was just that; service. There was nothing extra special about it. I guess when one is spending a lot of money for a meal, excellent service should be automatic. The only thing I could actually pinpoint would have to be that our plates were left on the table for a while, and we had to ask for the check. I also spilled my drink all over my friend – not drunk, just clumsy – and we had to stop a waiter. I always thought that four and five-star restaurants anticipated your needs. They did the last time I was there.
One part of the evening that was fabulous was the food. I ordered shrimp with a mustard sauce that was wonderful. My goal after that dinner was to try and replicate the dish. The shrimp part wasn’t difficult, but for some reason, I couldn’t put my finger on the sauce. The only thing the waiter would tell me was that the mustard was just plain yellow mustard. I should have guessed that the base was a hollandaise sauce. It wasn’t until I was looking in my new book, The Cook’s Book and saw a recipe for mustard sauce that it hit me. That was the sauce I had at Tony’s!!! What follows is my rendition of my Tony’s entrée. The basic hollandaise sauce is from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook. I added the mustard to the recipe, and the filet to the dinner. Enjoy!
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (1 stick cut into 8 pieces; do not use margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1. In heavy nonreactive 1-quart saucepan with wire whisk, mix egg yolks, water, and lemon juice until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until egg-yolk mixture just begins to bubble at edge, 6-8 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to low. With wire whisk, whisk in butter one piece at a time until each addition is incorporated and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Add mustard and combine. Strain through sieve if desired. Makes about 1 cup.
One lb large shrimp peeled with tails on and deveined
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Set aside until ready to grill.
2 small filets
Herbes de provence
Let meat stand for 15 minutes or so. Liberally sprinkle steaks with seasoning.
Grill steak to your temperature preference and shrimp until just done. Arrange shrimp around steak and drizzle shrimp with mustard sauce. Serve immediately. Serves two.