Amsterdam Foodie

Where to Eat Steak in Amsterdam: Midtown Grill

In all honesty, I don’t tend to eat steak in restaurants very much. I’m far more likely to grill one on the BBQ myself than pay a chef to do it for me. So when I was asked to write an article about steakhouses in the Netherlands for a magazine I work for, I had to do quite a lot of research. And in Amsterdam, all roads pointed in one direction: the Midtown Grill.

Steak in Amsterdam - Midtown Grill
Inside the steak trolley at the Midtown Grill…

Both the Midtown Grill restaurant and Sorel’s bar are part of the Marriott Hotel, and for years I’d avoided hotel bars and restaurants. But that fusty reputation from a decade back has all changed in recent years, and nowadays Amsterdam hotels are genuine contenders on the dining and drinking scene. TripAdvisor and a host of other websites all seemed to suggest that the Midtown Grill was the place to eat steak, and indeed a foodie friend had mentioned it to me years ago… so I got in touch with them to ask for help with my article.

Needless to say, then, that when I went to eat at the restaurant after interviewing the woman in charge of the steak procurement, there was nothing anonymous about me. They knew exactly who I was and I didn’t pay for my dinner – which is something I’m always upfront about in my reviews. But with that being said, I chose my steak from the same meat trolley that every other customer did, got the same explanation of dry-aged vs wet-aged, chose from the same selection of side dishes… in short, I had as objective an experience as it’s possible to have under the circumstances.

Best steak in Amsterdam -Midtown Grill
Dry-aged, corn-fed, USDA rib eye
Cutting to the chase: yes, it was a damn good steak. I tried the dry-aged, corn-fed rib eye from the US, and the MRIJ filet mignon from the Netherlands. Both pieces of meat cut like butter and were perfectly seasoned. If you like sharing, the kitchen will serve your steaks already sliced and kept warm on the table, so you and your dining companions can take strips of whichever cuts you like. And while the meat is tender enough that you don’t really need a steak knife, the fun part is getting to choose one: from a delicate French Sabatier knife to a Japanese KAI knife that resembles a miniature samurai sword.

Midtown Grill, Amsterdam Marriott - steak knives
Choose your weapon!

But woman cannot live on steak alone, so what of the rest? I tried a few starters and a few sides, with mixed feelings. The steak tartare was very good (but that’s more steak, so hardly surprising); while the crab cakes were perhaps a little too salty. With our steaks, we ordered the mashed potatoes, which were suitably smooth and buttery. Less good were the baked potatoes with bacon, cheese and sour cream – they were overly dry, and the cheese had melted and then solidified. Admittedly, it’s hard to make baked potatoes to order, but there’s got to be a better way. The salad we had was well dressed, but the shallots sadly overpowered everything else and left my mouth tasting only of raw onion.

But let’s face it, you’re here for the steak and there’s no faulting it. Plus, the service is extremely attentive, the wine list well balanced and easy to navigate, and the atmosphere inviting. Steaks this good don’t come cheap – expect to pay at least €32 just for the meat – but portions are large so sharing is definitely an option (and is encouraged by the restaurant’s setup). And when you’re craving red meat, it’s a case of go big or go home.

A note about Sorel’s Bar and Lounge

Right next door to the Midtown Grill is Sorel’s – a bar whose signature cocktail includes Bourbon whisky, lemon juice and hibiscus, which is exactly my kinda drink.

Bloody Mary Battle at Sorel's Bar, Amsterdam
My Bloody Mary (right) battles it out with the far superior Bloody Mary by my friend Megan (left)

For the month of October 2018, they’re hosting a “Battle of the Bloody” that involves creating your own Bloody Mary (€10) and posting your photo of it to social media using the hashtags #BattleOfTheBloody and #AmsMarriott. At the end of the month, they’ll pick one lucky winner who will receive a Bloody Mary kit from Ketel One and the Marriott. Hair of the dog never looked so good!

all the info

Midtown Grill (American)
€€€

Stadhouderskade 12, (Leidseplein)020 607 5555 /

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