Monday, October 3, 2011

Tournedos Of Filet At Venegas Prime Filet

We eat out infrequently so I tend to prefer dishes that I know that I can't make at home.

That's how I ended up ordering from the "chick" part of the menu at Venegas Prime Filet in Fulton.  Mrs. HowChow went true "steak house" with a filet and a side of macaroni and cheese.  But that empty plate style -- a steak and nothing else -- seems odd to me.  I was captivated by dishes where the skills are more obvious.

"Tournedos of Filet Mignon."  I had to ask how to pronounce the dish, and it was obvious from the first bite that I wouldn't know how to whip it up.  Slices of steak, cooked perfectly, layered on top of sauteed spinach and potato pierogies, then topped with garlic butter shrimp.

This was a terrific meal.  Meat charred, but tender inside.  Shrimp so sweet that I promised again not to buy the tasteless ones defrosted at the supermarket.  The pierogies were crisp, but not greasy.  In the pile, their centers became soft and rich with the drippings from the butter, meat and spinach.  Their edges stayed crunchy.

That's the skill of a professional chef.  (And everyone should know that I'm completely biased because Venegas' chef is my neighbor.)  By turning the pierogies perpendicular to the meat, you get a special dish where I alternated between bites of shrimp, meat, super-charged mashed potatoes, and crunchy crust.

Anyone will tell you that Venegas is expensive.  This is a special occasion spot, although we migth grab bar stools for a fried calamari treat.  That's a real test for a restaurant, and Venegas delivers with all the devilish fun of fried food, but with squid that stayed tender even as the dish cooled. We loved it.

I'm thinking about stools in the bar and calamari and sliders as a fun weeknight out.  The menu says sliders come with tomato chutney.  As I said, I'm a fan of sauces and combinations and all the little ways that real kitchens separate themselves from those of who just watch Top Chef.

Venegas Prime Filet
8191 Maple Lawn Blvd Suite 100
Fulton, MD 20759
(301) 490-2290

NEAR:  Venegas is in Maple Lawn.  It is just off Rte 216 on the west side of Rte 29.  It's an easy drive from anywhere along Rte 29.

Venegas Prime Filet on Urbanspoon


Matt B said...

I saw it on a groupon knockoff website and picked one up $25 for $50

Rob said...

Matt B, thanks for that tip. I bought one myself. I've been waiting to try Venegas.

Marti Toronto Miller said...
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