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Rare Form

BY Brandon Matzek | October 24, 2017 | Feature

Born & Raised, the much-anticipated steakhouse led by Michelin-starred executive chef Jason McLeod, debuts in Little Italy.
On the ground floor, there's a swanky cocktail bar and dining room.

WARM BRASS LETTERS that form the words “Born & Raised” are now aglow at the frenetic crossroads of India and Fir, signaling the opening of CH Projects’ (of Ironside and Craft & Commerce fame) $6.5 million steakhouse. Designed by Paul Basile, the two-level restaurant is an opulent mix of midcentury modern and art deco. Channel-tufted banquettes in cognac leather cozy up to green marble tables illuminated by globe pendants and crystal chandeliers. Bloom-shaped columns clad with walnut-veneer provide structure and drama throughout the dining space. It’s all a lavish backdrop for the modern steakhouse fare crafted by executive chef Jason McLeod.

Start off with a chilled flute of crisp Champagne and an ounce or two of Born & Raised private label caviar. The briny black pearls of Pacific White Sturgeon caviar native to California are served with a mound of salty potato chips and all the traditional accoutrements. Warm snails sauced in cream, butter, garlic and basil are plated up with savory bone marrow and triangles of buttery brioche—it’s a rich starter that pairs beautifully with one of Born & Raised’s tableside cocktails served from an elegant bar cart.

Tableside theatrics aren’t limited to the spirits cart. The steak tartare is one of six dishes that can also be prepared live. Worcestershire sauce, whole grain mustard, quail egg yolk and lemon are first stirred vigorously in a bowl to emulsify. A punchy melange of cornichon, capers and chopped shallots is tossed with diced raw filet and grinds of crunchy salt. The tartare is moved from bowl to plate, then finished with a nest of fines herbs and freshly grated horseradish.

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