Dry-aged prime steak is not typical Roadfood, nor is a tab of $40 per person, not including drinks and wine. But if you are in Ithaca, New York, and you hanker for beef, you need to know about John Thomas. When we told Roadfood team members Marc Bruno, Steve, Stephen, and Cindy Rushmore – all Cornell alumni – that we were about to eat our way around Lake Cayuga, they unanimously agreed that we were required to visit this well-weathered old farm house south of town and feast on red meat.
The steaks are spectacular: dense, juice-heavy cuts radiant with flavor, aged enough that they have a muscularity that artificially-tenderized cuts of meat simply cannot touch. We passed up the gorgeous two-person porterhouse in favor of a bone-in shell steak and a super-succulent ribeye. Each had a black charred crust that was delicious in its own right; and by the time we had sliced halfway through, our plates were swimming in natural juices. If this isn't some of the best steak on earth, we'd like to taste its peers!
On the side of these profound pieces of protein, we indulged in a side-dish orgy: luxurious creamed spinach, chunks of crisp-cooked hash brown potatoes, and a half-and-half plate of thin French fried potatoes along with slim, batter-dipped onion rings. The steak comes with a tangy sweet red sauce, which we didn’t feel like using on the meat (this meat needs nothing more than a sprinkle of salt); but we did use the good red stuff as a dip for the fries and onion rings.
From the dessert table we chose a triple-layer chocolate cake and a truly beautiful slice of pecan pie, the latter served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream melting fast into the crevices of nuts and sugar filling.