Smaller portion size options?
Running errands, I found myself outside one of the city's most noted steakhouses last night and it smelled delish, wasn't busy (rain) and I considered popping in and trying it. It's a place I've wanted to experience, but when the boss is in town and paying!
Still, I looked at the menu and pretty much all the offerings were huge. Big, pricey and probably perfectly well valued pieces of meat, no doubt. But I wasn't in the mood for that level of commitment!
There are times when I can eat whatever is in front of me, but usually I'm more of a grazer on most days... little meals/snacks rather than 2-3 big meals. I'm also more a fan of variety... like a bento box or Korean meal with a bunch of small, contrasting bites. Eating 24+ ounces of anything, usually, means I grow less appreciative of the food each bite.
So it got me wondering... are there places that serve up higher quality fare, but in a portion size that is attractive to a single diner/budget watcher/lighter-meal type of foodie?
I'm with ya on that. I'd rather pay a slightly higher price per oz. for a smaller serving of something good than face carting the leftover box around and facing the fridge greyed chunk of cold steak tomorrow. (IMHO 16 oz or more of steak is a silly portion size in any non-lumberjack circumstance)
I'd say lighter meals are often possible at small plates and tapas restaurants, or anywhere with a big appetizer selection, but eating this way is frequently not budget friendly.
Are you asking if there are places in general which serve smaller plates of high quality food (which there are) or are you asking for a high quality small steak? If the latter, how small are you looking for? Most of the steak houses I've been to serve an 8 oz filet. Not the tastiest cut, but when I'm not looking to eat a 16 oz hunk, it works.
More of the latter, but not just steak.
As an example, if I have a craving for some good seafood, I can scratch that itch for under $10 at a number of sushi places. No need to order a whole fish.
Or in other words, I think it's great that XYZ place has a huge, $20 lamb burger that's out of this world. I want to try the great $5 lamb slider on a typical day!
I'm like you too - I get flavor fatigue pretty easily and much prefer to order small portions of lots of different stuff than traditional style of dining. There's a restaurant in Boston where you can order half-order of every dish - I wish all restaurants did that.
Anyway, as far as single-serving steaks go - I remember reading about a place that opened recently where they were going to serve smaller steaks with sides included for a lower price than a traditional steakhouse. I can't remember the name and I haven't been there either, but maybe another 'hound will remember?