Mad Cow
For the Snook’s birthday on Thursday, I’d booked us a table at Mad Cow at the Ivy. They have a special Winter Feast offer on right now, and the Snook thought it sounded interesting. (He liked that the menu was divided into two parts: “The Cow,” and “Not the Cow.”) Our first challenge was just finding the place. The Ivy is a large, dimly-lit complex of bars and restaurants packed with beautiful people and no signage. Seriously, WE COULDN’T FIND THE RESTAURANT. Eventually I flagged down a bartender and sheepishly asked where to go. He laughed; apparently this is not a rare occurrence. We were on the wrong level entirely. Eventually we found the place and got our table. The decor was… interesting. The whole white-and-yellow theme was like straight out of the 80’s. The manscaped waitstaff were all trendily dressed-down in jeans and sneakers. They did win points by asking the Snook which gin he’d like for his martini, and whether he’d prefer a twist or olives. We made our identical orders: “3 freshly shucked rock oysters, ginger rice wine dressing, ocean trout roe, chives” to start; “rangers valley wagyu flank steak, spicy barbeque sauce” for the main; and “single selection of local or imported cheese, gala apple, walnut bread” for dessert. The Snook had red wine; I had a James Squire Amber Ale. The food was all excellent. The oysters were beautifully fresh without too much accompaniment. The steak (which attracted a $5 supplementary fee) was a massive “tri-tip” the size of a man’s fist. (We took the waiter’s advice and ordered a side of roast potatoes to go with it.) I’d ordered medium-rare, and it was suitably bloody in the very middle. We chose a blue cheese and a goat’s cheese for our dessert plate, and we enjoyed both. The sommelier (who had a truly formidable mustache) helped me pick out an interesting port to go with it. The place was packed by the time we left, and we carefully threaded our way through the beautiful people to get out and go home.

Overall, if you can overlook the 80’s wankery then I’d definitely recommend getting in while the Winter Feast promotion is on. The food was good, and you can’t beat three courses plus a drink for $50. Just be sure to dress nice and try not to look too confused when you’re wandering around trying to find the right restaurant…

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