Keith Young’s Steak House. Madisonville: 165 LA 21. 985-845-9940.
Tom Fitzmorris October 17, 2010 03:42
Keith Young's Steak House
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
By quite a margin the best steakhouse on the North Shore, this handsome restaurant has expanded its premises and its menu enough that it stands with the best restaurants of any kind on St. Tammany. The steaks have always been terrific. Lately, however, a slab of beef is not the automatic order here. Too many other dishes beckon. Lunches are an almost absurd bargain, with appetite-overwhelming portions of first-class food.
Walk into the kitchen and you'll see the secret of this restaurant's goodness. The man standing in front of the grill, guiding the searing of a dozen or two steaks, is Keith Young himself. He hand-selects the beef, which is why he doesn't quote a USDA grade. Eyeballing is more reliable than assuming the grade was accurate. . The steaks are cut off the loin fresh to order. The cooking is straightforward but deftly accomplished. The deep-fried crab cake, for example, is much better than most pan-sauteed jobs. Finally, the prices here are a couple of shades lower than you're used to paying for steaks of this quality.
Keith Young's family opened a hamburger and steak restaurant in Slidell in the late 1960s. Young's grew into one of the most popular restaurants in that town, and one of the best steakhouses in the area. (It still is.) In early 2005, Keith left the family business to open his own restaurant in Madisonville. At first, he served essentially the same menu as the older place, but as time goes on Keith Young's has bvecome a much more varied and interesting restaurant.
The main dining rooms are conservative, elegant parlors with about a dozen tables each. The front room has windows looking into the woods that surround the restaurant. The bar, much expanded recently, is as pleasant as the dining rooms now. The wine room is a striking and comfortable private dining room, The service staff is obliging and happy.
»Pan seared scallops, beurre blanc
Soup du jour
»Wedge iceberg salad, tomato, bacon, pecans, blue cheese Spinach salad, bacon, red onions, mushrooms, balsamic vinaigrette
Grilled shrimp or tuna salad
Chilled jumbo lump crabmeat and jumbo shrimp salad
»House cut filet mignon
»Petite filet mignon
»Strip, trimmed close
»Bone-in cowboy ribeye
Crab and mushrooms
»Pan seared duck breasts, fruit chutney, sauteed spinach, sweet potato casserole
Maine lobster (Thurs.-Sat. only)
»Broiled farm raised redfish, jumbo lump crabmeat, beurre blanc, fresh basil
Grilled mahi-mahi or yellow fin tuna, shrimp bechamel sauce or crabmeat and mushrooms
»Soft shell crab, shrimp bechamel sauce
»Pan seared scallops, beurre blanc sauce
»Pan broiled shrimp, lemon garlic butter sauce
»Jumbo lump crab cakes
»Crabmeat au gratin
»Asparagus (grilled or sauteed)
»Potato au gratin
Sweet baked potato
FOR BEST RESULTS
You must have a reservation for weekend dinner here, and it wouldn't be a bad idea for any other time. The best tables are in the room just past the bar. Lunches are busier than they used to be, but tables are still usually easy to come by. If they're running oysters Bienville as a special, don't miss them. The recipe is from my cookbook.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
About the only thing that would improve the steaks here would be to have sauces offered as an option. I wish they'd bring the double-cut pork chop back.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +2
- Consistency +2
- Value +1
- Attitude +2
- Wine & Bar +1
- Local Color +2
- Outdoor tables, drinks only
- Good view
- Good for business meetings
- Many private rooms
- Early-evening specials
- Unusually large servings
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- Reservations recommended
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
This Wednesday begins this year's shorter-than-average Mardi Gras season, which brings one thing to my mind: steak. Carnival means "farewell to beef," so we must follow the tradition by going to steakhouses as much as possible. Even with the tremendous increase in premium steakhouses here in recent years, it's hard to find a better place to indulge in this most substantial of dishes. Unlike the chains, which have to follow corporate standards that might not make sense here, Keith Young buys local, and his menu reads like that of a thoroughly Louisiana restaurant. And his dining room is busy enough to attract the better servers on the North Shore to his staff.