May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

RSVP Isn’t Just Another Steakhouse

The idea of the restaurant was to give patrons a complete white-glove treatment from the moment they walk through the door. There’s even a kind of barrier between RSVP and the outside world that is accomplished by the coat room that you walk into before you even get to the maître d’s podium.

But the distinction doesn’t stop there. RSVP offers some unique seating options. There are booths that are built into alcoves in one wall of a raised hallway that overlooks the dining room through the opposing glass wall. The booths have curtains that can turn them into their own private rooms for four to six people. The restaurant strives to be its own curated environment, and succeeds.

RSVP bar

When I was invited to experience RSVP, I had to start out by trying the RSVP Roll. With fatty tuna on the inside, the roll is topped with a colorful display of tuna, salmon, amberjack and yellowtail before each piece is dotted with spicy sauce and garnished with scallions. When it comes to sushi, I usually tend to lean towards choosing based on the fish, and this roll gives you that opportunity because there are eight pieces and it’s topped with four fishes. In essence, it’s almost like having four different rolls of sushi to choose from. The fish was extremely fresh and the texture was perfect.

But if I’m going to recommend one appetizer above all others, it’s going to be the Harissa Lamb Kofta. Served on top of a laffa, this generous portion of lamb kofta comes with some red onion and minimal garnish to accompany the large dollops of harissa paste and pareve tzatziki that stand out on opposite ends of the dish. It might seem like this is a daunting item to consume at a high-end restaurant, but it’s worth it. Tear off a piece of the laffa, get some tzatziki, harissa or both, and put a piece of the lamb kofta on there for a truly amazing bite. The laffa is crisp, yet soft, and the kofta is slightly charred, yet juicy. The tzatziki might not taste exactly like the real thing, but it lacks that trademark pareve taste. I loved the harissa here, but obviously your tolerance might differ. A larger portion size than most appetizers, this plate would be great to split even for a party of up to six people. If it weren’t for so many other great options on the menu, I might even suggest an individual order this as an entrée.

RSVP steak

Speaking of main courses, RSVP may be a steakhouse, but the non-steak options will not disappoint you in the slightest. Not only are there many choices, but some of them are right up there with the supreme quality of the steaks. The Glazed Saddle stands out in particular. The trio of dark meat chicken cutlets are served over the top of a medley of sautéed vegetables that includes string beans, peppers, onions and more. The glaze is a sweet and spicy sauce that carries just enough heat on the back end to make you appreciate the flavor of the sweetness before combatting the spice. The vegetables are crunchy and the glaze is a perfect sauce for them as well. As all mains come with a side of your choice, I can’t recommend the Smashed Marble Potatoes enough. Tossed in a mixture of lemon juice and garlic powder after their smashing, these were completely addictive and shouldn’t be skipped.

Mojo marinated skirt steak

Obviously, with the quality of all the other elements of the restaurant, the steaks at this steakhouse are going to be on point. But the question you’ll be faced with is one of selection, as there are quite a few options to choose from. If you’re looking to try something a little different, go with the Mojo Marinated Skirt Steak. Using a citrus-based marinade on skirt steak is a great choice as the acid offsets the inherent saltiness of the cut of meat. The result is a balance of flavors that comes together nicely and gives you the incentive you need to really savor each bite of the perfectly cooked meat. The acid from the citrus marinade also helps tenderize the meat, allowing this skirt steak to not be quite as chewy as you’d find with other preparation methods. All steaks come with pomme frites and your choice of another side. And while I wouldn’t blame you for doubling up on potatoes, I’d pair this with the Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms. Obviously not for the faint of palette, but you’re going to need a strong flavor to pair with the boldness of the meat. These mushrooms are delightfully reduced and have a great punch of balsamic flavor that will have you trying to imitate them at home.

Harissa lamb kofta

Finally we arrive at the pièce de résistance… the RSVP Steak. While it certainly seems like it’s a signature steak, it’s really a signature steak preparation. Your server may give you the option of what cuts of meat are available on that night and frankly, choosing that answer is up to you. What really matters here is that they take whichever cut you’ve chosen and coat the outside of it with their house-made porcini powder. This might be something that you’ve seen on TV, but it’s not available in many places in the kosher restaurant world. That added crust on the outside of the steak that is accomplished by searing the mushroom flavor into the meat will be something you’ll talk about on the ride home. It adds a real depth to the flavor of the steak that can’t be replicated, and you likely don’t want to attempt to make this at home. When you’re choosing a side dish for this, I’d go with something that can be eaten on its own. You want to be able to isolate the taste of the steak itself.

RSVP roll

Speaking of taste pairings, RSVP has an almost disturbingly extensive drink menu that you may want to check out. They even have a section of drinks specifically to pair with dessert and some dedicated mocktail options. The drinks menu might seem daunting, but the depth is understandable once you see the bar and its prominence in the dining room. The central feature stands out quite a bit and you’ll likely see people eating at the bar just so they can watch the bartender make some of these concoctions.

Glazed saddle

If you walk in the doors of RSVP, you’ll certainly be treated to a special evening. Just remember to leave your worries behind as you step into the carefully crafted luxury world that’s there to make you feel like it’s not just the night that’s special to you, it’s you that’s special to the restaurant.

Balsamic glazed mushrooms

RSVP

Meat – Steakhouse –
Waiter Service

Sunday: 4:45 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Monday-Thursday: 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Tel: (845) 533-5033

Web: RSVPNY.com

Address: 221 NY-59, Airmont, NY 10901

Central Rabbinical
Congress (CRC)


Nati Burnside is a freelance writer living in Fair Lawn and is a man of many interests. He can be reached at [email protected].

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