STK is a steakhouse befitting the Yorkville neighbourhood. With its imposing metal sign, doormen, and posh second floor dining room, it fits right in. The global franchise, with locations in places like Las Vegas, Milan, London and Ibiza, keeps elements of all locations consistent, but allows local chefs to play with the menu.
I'm inclined to call it "Steak" out loud as this place is primarily a steakhouse, but it's pronounced S-T-K, following the recent trend of everyone being too cool for vowels.
The interior is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and it's clear from the get go this is a chain with some serious cash, flash, and aggressive design aesthetic. Huge swooping white elements swirl from floor to ceiling. There's a fireplace area, bar with an element imitating cow horns behind it, table seating and carpeted booth area. A DJ starts up around six almost every night.
They have a cocktail list with hits and misses.
I'd advise sticking to more basic choices like the Rebellion ($15), a play on a Pimm's cup made with Beefeater, framboise, fresh raspberries and mint topped off with ginger ale.
When you eat dinner at STK you're immediately started off with a complimentary order of their signature housemade sourdough pull apart bread. It's brushed with blue cheese butter on top, and it's served with a chive oil.
For some genuine appetizers we start with the lump crab salad ($22), made with grapefruit, melon, hearts of palm, and a ginger vinaigrette. It's topped off with a little basil mache.
Our other appetizer is an STK signature, the li'l burgs or "brgs" ($20). It's a teeny patty of mouthwatering wagyu beef with caramelized onion, tomato, special sauce, and truffle oil, all on a mini housemade bun with house pickles on the side.
Their steaks range up to $180, but we try a somewhat more modest 20 oz bone-in rib steak ($59). It's dry aged forty five days with nothing more than salt and pepper, and it's cooked in an infrared char broiler at 800 degrees. They spray it with a little buerre fondu while cooking.
On the side of this we grab some jalapeno cheddar grits ($13). They're made with Canadian cheddar and chives on top.
For another side unique to this location we grab some tater tot poutine ($17). Pulled short rib with jus and Canadian Cheddar curds sit atop the tots.
Though we're bursting from all the rich food, we accept obligatory donuts. Made with sweet potato flour (though that doesn't lend a particular taste), they're sugar glazed with vanilla chantilly, dulce de leche and candied pecans. The pecans enhance the sugar bomb with a nutty flavour, and though it's a lot they're a satisfyingly sweet and gooey end to a heavy meal.
STK has a high energy atmosphere that wants to take the formal out of formal dining, suitable for group events of a personal or corporate nature.
Photos by Hector Vasquez