Steak at Ristorante Tasso, Sorrento, Italy
One of the key elements of the classic American steakhouse is girth. We love big steaks, and steakhouses know how to cook 'em: charred on the outside, and medium rare inside. I'm certainly of the opinion that a steak needs a good "char" on the outside, which adds to the flavor and texture of the meat. A thick cut of meat and 1800 degree broilers help to make that char possible while still keeping the inside at a medium rare temp. That's the steakhouse approach, and one to which I fully subscribe.
But on occasion I've had steak that doesn't fit into that paradigm: steaks with little to no char, and much thinner than 2 inches thick. And they were phenomenal. We had a steak in Sorrento (pictured above) a while back that fell into this non-American steakhouse category. And it was wonderful. The Italians know a bit about food, and a bit about steak as well.
Inspired by that steak, I went off to the Market Basket in Franklin Lakes,
NJ, and figured I'd get a nice thin strip to duplicate the experience. Well they just don't have them cut thin (they'd do it if you ask, I suppose). But not wanting to ask for a special cut, and feeling a bit defeated, I grabbed a couple of 1.5/1.75 inch thick strips, figuring I'd fall back on what I know best: high heat, char, etc.