Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons predicts who will pack their knives next.

on May 28, 20080

The Ribeye Tagliata at Centro Vinoteca, 74 Seventh Avenue South, at Barrow Street, 212-367-8040. Chef Anne Burrell is probably known to most as Mario Batali's sous-chef on Iron Chef, but to New York City's most discerning foodies, she's the spunky chef with a shock of blond hair cooking her heart out every night (in a mini-skirt) at Centro Vinoteca, where she dishes out heaping bowls of gorgeous homemade pasta (the pici with sausage ragu is a must), and a mouthwatering array of piccolini (little nibbles) like arancini, eggplant cakes with ricotta, and Parmesan-crusted wedges of fried cauliflower with a spicy agliata.

One of her hidden talents, however, has nothing to do with pasta and everything to do with steak. Her Ribeye, sliced thinly in the Florentine Tagliata style, comes with a crisped potato prosciutto fontina cake and broccoli rabe, and is one of the best steaks in the city. She credits her meat supplier, Pat LaFrieda. And while I agree that the quality of the meat is a testament to his sourcing, I've gotta give Anne credit where it's due. She seasons that meat just right and grills it so its got a beautiful char and just melts in your mouth. You may go for the pasta, but you'll leave craving that steak.

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