When Peter Bicaj, formerly of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in NYC, took over as partner and General Manager at Scarsdale’s Sea Flame in February, he had no idea of the imminent pandemic that would steamroll the entire restaurant industry. Still, with much work he and a brand-new team have transformed the restaurant into an almost unrecognizable new eatery — a high-end steakhouse straight out of NYC.
The redone interior is equally modern and classically urbane, with long windows, socially distanced tables, and plenty of dark woods complemented by soft lighting. The menu, however, is what really shows all the latest improvements.
Anyone who had been to the old Sea Flame might remember that fare leaned a bit more towards grilled seafood and the requisite burger or beef plate. The revamped selection, however, emphasizes both surf and turf, with not only fresh seafood but also high-grade cuts of meat, dry-aged for two weeks, and finished in-house for an additional 10-14 days before ever hitting your plate.
“We only dry-age the best USDA Prime steaks,” says Bicaj. “Dry-aging takes time, a keen eye for quality, and a precise technique for the perfect ripening climate. We have it. A proper dry-age steak is expensive, but usually found at only the best steakhouses.”
The filet mignon with peppercorn sauce is quite good, although the delightfully crusted bone-in ribeye is a fan favorite. Depending on how many of you there are (or how hungry you are), there is also the house special porterhouse, which can serve two, three, or four and arrives still sizzling on a scalding platter to deliver a pleasant sensory moment when the server gives your piece one last sear along its edge.
“Our porterhouse steak is a steak worth bragging about. Perfect texture, flavor, and marbling on every single one of them. There are only a few ways to make perfect better, and we think dry-aging is one of them as it adds even more tenderness and the distinct roasted, nutty flavor,” Bicaj boasts. If that’s still not enough for you, the house even bottles its own blend of steak sauce, available at every table.
Don’t let the new emphasis on its steakhouse side fool you, however. Sea Flame still specializes in fresh seafood dishes as well. Tuna and steak tartare go over very well as appetizers, while shellfish keep a prominent place atop the menu.
Can’t decide? One seafood platter supplies the whole table with more than its fair share of shrimp, buttery crab meat, raw oysters, and halved lobster tails.
An extensive wine and cocktail selection (and a robust whiskey menu) means there’s always a perfect pairing for whatever course you choose. As for sides, German-style home fries and roasted Brussels sprouts are both a big hit, though the lobster mac & cheese is — quite reasonably — a star on the new menu. There’s also something to be said for the simple chopped salad: light and crunchy veggies with fresh cracked pepper and a dollop of avocado provide excellent contrast to the heavier entrées.
And, obviously, there’s no skipping dessert. Chocolate mousse, Italian cheesecake, and pecan pie are obvious standouts, but a rum-soaked tiramisu is definitely a star in its own right.
Those looking for an old-school, New York-style steakhouse for the holidays or special occasions will love being able to stick close to home while savoring top-tier surf and turf in Westchester.