I wish more steakhouses still let you choose your dinner from a big platter of raw meat. Not because this guarantees a better meal. Maybe, if you can judge good marbling, it improves your odds -- though you remain at the mercy of whoever is working the grill that night.
Something about the ritual feels inherently right. More than anything else -- more than clubby leather upholstery, more than career waiters decked out in tuxedos, more than a bottle of Bordeaux that costs as much as your first car -- that platter proclaims, "This is not merely a restaurant. This is a steakhouse. We have weathered nouvelle cuisine and New American cuisine and the advent of the decent $20 bottle of wine, and on that day when the last molecular gastronomist is called to the great bubbling test tube in the sky, we will be here, serving thick, juicy steaks, baked potatoes and spinach. Those last two items à la carte, of course."
This week I review Sleek, Hubert Keller's steak house (and "ultra lounge") at Lumiere Place. Check back here tomorrow to see what I think.