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Boston Chefs on Customers Who Order Steak Well-Done

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In honor of The Five Days of Meat, we've asked Boston food and drink personnel a variety of meat-related questions, and we've shared their responses throughout the week. Here they are on what they wish they could say to customers who order steak well-done. (Previously: Boston chefs on the meatiest dish they've ever eaten, the most unusual meats they've ever eaten, their favorite cuts of meat, both under-appreciated and overall, and their favorite basic meat dishes to "elevate.")

Josh Lewin - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Eh, whatever. Let 'em enjoy what they enjoy. I just hope at some point in their life they at least try it cooked differently. Now when someone starts complaining that it takes 20 minutes to get said steak to the table...that's when I want to say something about it." — Joshua Lewin, chef of Bread and Salt Hospitality
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Jesse Hassinger - Chris Coe.jpg"We definitely recommend medium-rare on all the meat that we sell, and to aid in that, we certainly ask if any of our customers have meat thermometers and then tell them the appropriate temperature, but of course everyone has their own preferences, so we can't judge." — Jesse Hassinger, butcher at M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
[Photo: Chris Coe]

Robert Sisca - Official Site.jpg"Bon appetit." — Robert Sisca, executive chef of Bistro du Midi
[Photo: Official Site]

Dante de Magistris - Official Site.jpg"If you like liver, I have that on the menu as well." — Dante de Magistris, chef/owner of Restaurant dante and il Casale
[Photo: Official Site]

Matt Foley - Official Site.jpg"Eat it how you like it, but it's going to be 25 minutes." — Matt Foley, executive chef of The Merchant
[Photo: Official Site]

Michael Schlow - Sophia Tsakmaklis.jpg"My attitude in business is really that they can have whatever they want; I don't care if they eat it that way. But I would ask, have you ever closed your eyes and tasted a medium rare steak side-by-side with a well-done steak? I think part of it is the color for people. It certainly can't be that they like it drier. They look at it and maybe get a little squeamish." — Michael Schlow, chef/owner of Via Matta, Tico, and Alta Strada
[Photo: Sophia Tsakmaklis]

Samuel Monsour - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Order it medium well, because it'll still be well-done, but it'll retain some juices. Nobody pays attention to a well-done steak. That's kind of your get-out-of-jail-free card when you're in the weeds. 'Oh, that's well-done? I can forget about it.' I'm not going to tell you how to eat your meat, but if you don't want any red color in it, just order it medium well and you'll get a better product." — Samuel Monsour of The Future of Junk Food pop-up and more
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Brian Poe - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"I'm trying to keep this clean. I get it — I get the perception, I get different things about people worried about their cholesterol, things like that. I think with most everything that we're all producing and buying in this town, it's ok to maintain the medium rare, medium if you want, but I don't lose it when we get a ticket for well-done. It threatens the dish more if it's one of the game meats. At least with a medium well steak, there's enough fat content in there. It's gonna be alright. But when you're moving into a piece of buffalo or into a piece of kangaroo where there's zero marbling to help it, it's done. And it's not my fault. It's not my place to stop them from eating the way they want to eat, you know? But sometimes it's like, wow, if you take that gorgeous cut of kangaroo and get that well-done, you'll be chewing for awhile." — Brian Poe, chef/owner of The Tip Tap Room and Estelle's
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Kevin O'Donnell and Michael Lombardi - Provided.jpg"We would never say anything to a guest who orders steak well-done. It's their choice; they can have it how they want it." — Kevin O'Donnell, executive chef, and Michael Lombardi, executive sous chef of The Salty Pig
[Photo: Provided]

Dennis Wilson - Provided.jpg"To each his own. They were raised to eat meat well-done, passed on from the previous generation. I feel bad for them, but it's their choice. They'll never be able to appreciate the true flavor that meat has." — Dennis Wilson, chef of Gather
[Photo: Official Site]

Samuel Jackson - Callaway Photography.jpg"Sorry mate, we're out of steak." — Samuel Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies
[Photo: Callaway Photography]

Peter D'Antonio - Facebook.jpg"WHY! Why don't you just eat a burger!" — Peter D'Antonio, executive chef of The Westin Waltham-Boston
[Photo: Facebook]

Chris Coombs - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Sorry." — Chris Coombs, executive chef and co-owner of Boston Chops and Deuxave
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Tim Wiechmann - Official Site.jpg"I enjoy steak in all its forms; well-done doesn't really bother me, although I order medium. PLUS, if we have decided to give them options, it's their choice (not ours), and I respect that." — Tim Wiechmann, chef/owner of Bronwyn and T.W. Food
[Photo: Official Site]

Kyle Ketchum - Official Site.jpg"Thank you very much; please come again. To me, cooking is a matter of taste, so no matter what temperature a customer orders a dish, I will always try my best to still make it moist and perfect." — Kyle Ketchum, executive chef of Bostonia Public House
[Photo: Official Site]

Tony Maws - Cal Bingham.jpg"Honestly, if it makes them happy, then I won't fight it. But then again, how could anyone NOT WANT JUICY, TENDER, FATTY MEAT???!!! I wish I could tell them that they could have had something 10 times better in a tenth of the time." — Tony Maws, owner of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
[Photo: Cal Bingham]

Joshua Smith - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Nothing — I'm here to serve; they pay, I cook. Not all of us have had the pleasure of growing up exposed to the wonders of cuisine." — Joshua Smith, owner of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Leo Asaro - Chris Coe.jpg"That's a hard line. I feel like either you like your steak well-done or you like it medium rare; it's what the guest likes. Some cuts of meat, I just shake my head, but I still do what they paid for. It's what they want. I would never go up and say anything to them, but sometimes I just think it's wrong." — Leo Asaro, executive chef of Tico
[Photo: Chris Coe]

"If that is how they like it, then we will be happy to cook it for them. I know that at a lot of places, if you order a steak well-done, you will not get their best steak. Say you have sirloins, all 12 ounces — the nicer ones will be saved for the rare, medium rare, and medium. Then as you get closer to the vein end, you will use those for meat that is cooked over medium." — Dan Schroeder, chef of Forum

"Honestly, if they want to eat crap, that's all well and good. As long as you pay for it." — Carey Dobies, executive chef of Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

"Why bother... (Although, anyone can cook a medium rare steak, but cooking a juicy well-done steak takes skill and technique.)" — Paul Booras, Director of Culinary Operations of Tavern in the Square

"I feel sorry for you!" — Roger Belmonte, meat team leader at Whole Foods Charles River Plaza

· All coverage of The Five Days of Meat on Eater [~EBOS~]

Bostonia Public House

131 State Street, , MA 02109 (617) 948-9800 Visit Website

Via Matta

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 617 422 0008 Visit Website

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

The Tip Tap Room

138 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 857 263 7614 Visit Website

The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-6200 Visit Website

Bistro du Midi

272 Boylston Street, , MA 02116 (617) 426-7878 Visit Website


16901 Wright Plaza, , NE 68130 (402) 932-3078 Visit Website

Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111 (857) 250-2165 Visit Website

Forum Restaurant

755 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 857 991 1831 Visit Website


255 Washington Street, , MA 02143 (617) 776-9900 Visit Website


1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website


371 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02115 (617) 517-5915 Visit Website

T.W. Food

377 Walden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617 864 4745 Visit Website


75 Northern Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 982-7220 Visit Website

The Merchant Kitchen & Drink

60 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110 617-482-6060 Visit Website

Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar

1727 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 538-5846 Visit Website

Boston Chops

1375 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 617 227 5011 Visit Website