Slideshow: Steakcraft: The Ultra-Premium Steaks of Le Cirque

Le Cirque's 7X Beef Ribeye ($116 for two)
Le Cirque's 7X Beef Ribeye ($116 for two)
Premium 7X beef
Premium 7X beef
Here are the full (de-boned) strip loin and ribeye.
Raw strip
Raw strip
Although it is not graded by the USDA, the 7X strip loin would surely rate at the top end of prime. Note that the beef is inspected by the USDA—all beef is—but grading is voluntary.
Peppercorns
Peppercorns
Freshly crushed pink and black peppercorns.
Pressed
Pressed
Chef Fischhuber presses the steak down on the steak to coat it in peppercorns.
Cast iron
Cast iron
The strip cooks in a cast iron pan.
Strip into the pan
Strip into the pan
The strip is seared in the cast iron.
Flipping the strip
Flipping the strip
Chef Fischhuber turns the steak.
The crust
The crust
It doesn't take long to develop the crust.
Steak in the pan
Steak in the pan
After resting for around ten minutes the steak is placed for service.
Brandy
Brandy
"You really want to use a Brandy that is too intense to drink," says chef Fischhuber about flambé cooking. Le Cirque uses either St. Cyr or Stok '84.
Ready for service
Ready for service
The strip is ready to be finished tableside. On the tray: sautéed spinach, pommes Dauphine, beef sauce, whipped unsweetened cream, brandy, and of course the steak.
Strip in the pan
Strip in the pan
The pan heats on a portable burner.
Ignition
Ignition
The chef adds the brandy to the pan.
Flames
Flames
Most of the brandy burns off in one spectacular flame.
Whipped cream
Whipped cream
Next, whipped cream hits the pan.
Mixed
Mixed
The chef mixes the cream into the sauce.
Plating
Plating
The strip is put on the plate.
Voila!
Voila!
Sliced
Sliced
Delivered rare as ordered.
Raw ribeye
Raw ribeye
Now on to the ribeye. Here's the raw product.
Salted steak
Salted steak
Ready for the broiler.
Onto the grill
Onto the grill
The steak is placed on the grill of the broiler.
Smoking
Smoking
The broiler cooks at around 900°F.
Flipping the steak
Flipping the steak
The chef turns the steak.
Hatch marks
Hatch marks
The steak is ready to be turned.
The back of the broiler
The back of the broiler
Resting
Resting
After the oven the streak is rested for at least ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Tableside service
Tableside service
The ribeye is flashed in the broiler after resting and is then sent out to the dining room for tableside carving.
Slicing the ribeye
Slicing the ribeye
Le Cirque's Ribeye
Le Cirque's Ribeye
Served with porcini mushrooms and spinach.
The steak of Le Cirque
The steak of Le Cirque
Ribeye on the left, the strip on the right.