Meat Market

Rachel's

But if the starters don't knock you out, don't worry. The main courses are the main attraction, and without exception each piece of aged, USDA prime beef we sampled was perfect. From the thick and juicy prime rib to the slightly more textured filet mignon to the double-your-pleasure porterhouse (sirloin on one side, filet on the other), the meat met and exceeded expectations. A tuna steak laced with peppercorns and an eight-rib rack of lamb encrusted with herbs were also superb, each cooked to a rare -- not raw -- finish.

Nudity and the occasional caress might not be illegal at Rachel's, but prices sure are criminal. Witness the wine list, which doesn't offer any vintage for less than $50. (After ordering two bottles of Stone Street chardonnay for a party of six, which comes out to about two glasses each, I'd already blown next week's budget.) Or check out the Australian lobster tail main course. We were stupid enough to order this delicious 23-ounce baby without asking for the market price, which turned out to be a whopping $86. Add the à la carte vegetables, ranging from lyonnaise potatoes to broccoli-cauliflower casserole baked with cheese, and the check can really escalate.

These steaks come with cheesecake for dessert
Melissa Jones
These steaks come with cheesecake for dessert

Dessert temptations, like the homemade apple-crumb pie laced with crystallized sugar, also don't help. One more meal like this, and I'll be forced to earn my keep on the runway. Which wouldn't be so bad, as long as I got fed and the calories molded themselves in all the right places, sparing me what seem to be the obligatory surgical fees.

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