Chef John Tesar raises the steaks with Knife

Chef John Tesar at Knife, photograph by CARTER ROSE

Chef John Tesar at Knife. Photographs by CARTER ROSE.

Black Angus cuts from 44 Farms ranch in Cameron,Texas

Black Angus cuts from 44 Farms ranch in Cameron, Texas

Whirling dervish Dallas chef John Tesar isn’t ambitious. He just wants to invent the Next Great Steakhouse, embodied in his latest darling, Knife, at the Hotel Palomar. The menu careens from trophy steaks — one sold by the inch, even — to outliers such as pig’s head and beef tongue. (You’ll love the blood sausage. Really.) But Tesar’s self-described ticket to the next big steak-y thing? A collection of lesser-known, lower-priced Black Angus cuts from Texas’ 44 Farms ranch, with names such as culotte, flap, skirt and tri-tip. Savvy beef-lovers recognize these as flavor bombs — but tender? No way, not without know-how and TLC, which is where Tesar jumps in. He applies a slow hand with sous-vide heat, followed by a fast pass over red-oak flames for crusty char. A drizzle of bordelaise cranks it higher. “They all ‘eat’ differently,” Tesar enthuses, like a one-man drum corps. Could these alt-cuts rival dry-aged heavyweights and even those lofty steak inches? Absolutely. Especially when you plow the savings back into a kick-ass bottle of wine. They’re edgy enough to flip cheap into chic. 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane, 214-443-9372;—Kim Pierce 

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