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Feb 15, 2013 09:29 AM

Just sharing an experience [Secret Garden, Utica]

In addition to Valentine's day, yesterday was my wife and mine's wedding anniversary; we decided to try a new restaurant named The Secret Garden. Because I'm a trained chef, I tend to avoid eating out because rarely do I ever experience an exceptional meal. As I perused the menu, I came upon Steak Au Poivre. I've been to many restaurants in my location, and this was the first time I'd ever seen it served in one. Immediately I knew what I was getting. I was asked if I would like a Burgundy or Marsala sauce; I opted for Marsala.

After salads and appetizers, it was time for our entrees. As the plate was set in front of me, I immediately noticed that something wasn't right. what should have been a cream sauce was more like an Au jus. And it was served in a separate bowl alongside. The cut was a rib eye. Nevertheless, I accepted this because I love rib eyes. However, the most egregious thing was the extremely light coating of pepper corns, so light as to be non existent.

I inquired of the waitress if perhaps I received the incorrect order and she confirmed that I did not, that that was just how the chef made it. "Well, no offense, but he obviously does not know what he is doing.", I opined. I also suggested that he learn how to make it properly, or not to make it at all.

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  1. Where is this restaurant located?

    1 Reply
    1. Right on! It's about time we hear about a "situation" where someone had the balls to say something instead of coming here and whining "oh dear, what should have I done?" I told the waitress the almost exact same thing at a Disney restaurant in Wabasso FL when she served me a Creme Brulee that had shredded coconut scattered through it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: grampart

        Sounds like Flan/CremeBrulee/coconutgalatiboriko!!!
        Something like that I could not let go.

        1. re: Motosport

          No mention of the coconut on the menu. When I mentioned it to the waitress,she told me that chef likes to add his special touch to the dishes. His Steak Au Poivre probably didn't have the pepper.

      2. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I would have never known how many peppercorns should have been on the steak. Hope it didn't ruin you and your wife's time together.
        Happy Anniversary.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Steak au poivre normally doesn't come with a choice of sauces, it comes with the traditional sauce for au poivre which is made from cognac and cream. Marsala sauce does not, traditionally, have cream in it, rather it is a reduction of Marsala and broth. It seems this restaurant really served you a peppered steak with a choice of sauces.