FrontRunners: Beefing Up in Manhattan

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Manhattan diners who fondly recall Cello, Laurent Tourondel’s seafood house that won raves when it opened in 1999 but later succumbed to post–9/11 economic pressures, will be pleased to learn that the chef has returned with BLT Steak (212.752.7470). “We’re catering to the same clientele as at Cello,” says Tourondel, “but it’s more relaxed, less formal.” And as the word steak in the restaurant’s name (BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) indicates, the menu features beef rather than seafood.


BLT Steak’s decor has a warm mix of earth tones, and the food is served on wooden platters and in cast-iron vessels, distinguishing BLT from New York’s white-tablecloth steak houses, which Tourondel describes as “stuffy and pretentious.” The mood may be relaxed, but the chef’s standards are not: BLT’s steaks are dry-aged for 28 days and accompanied by sumptuous sauces.

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