New Steakhouse Opens at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

You may know The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel for Raya, the very good Mexican restaurant by Richard Sandoval that introduced huitlacoche to its couture-wearing customers not only by putting it in their soup but also dolloping it on top of their steak. Raya was as good on a recent visit as it was on my first.

Now the hotel from where the word "ritzy" was coined has added another restaurant. I've not tried it yet, but enoSTEAK--which is really just their redubbed wine bar--has so far only five main courses: a grilled prime bone-in New York steak, grilled prime rib eye, grass-fed beef tenderloin, grilled halibut and rotisserie-style Jidori chicken. But with it five signature compound butters are offered: black summer truffle, roasted heirloom tomato, garden herb and garlic, 30i enoSTEAK butter and tarragon béarnaise sauce.

Sides like petit Basque cheese and chive sour cream Yukon gold potatoes, sautéed wild mushrooms, smoked almond and duck fat sautéed five grain rice, French beans with apple smoked bacon, and Fiscalini and summer truffle mac & cheese are called "enhancements" and are charged a la carte. But you knew that.

enoSTEAK is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. But here's something new: if you reserve a table and dine before 6:30 p.m., you will receive a glass of the house wine free. When was the last time you heard the word "free" and "Ritz-Carlton" uttered in the same breath. Never. That's when.

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