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July 2 2022 1:45 PM ˚
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Rodeo Grill: A culinary journey

Rodeo Grill is a fine dining restaurant located on the fourth floor of Rotana Towers in the Abdali area. (Photo: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)
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After immersing myself in Asian cultures for the past few weeks and analyzing the flavors and different food items, I placed the chopsticks down, grabbed a steak knife, and explored one of the grill restaurants in Amman this week.اضافة اعلان

The concept of a “grill” restaurant is not new, especially not in Amman, yet some people don’t fully understand its meaning. A grill usually serves a full a la carte menu, meaning that food items are served separately, including protein, vegetables, and starch options.

Grill restaurants focus on grilled food items, including beef and other proteins such as chicken and fish. Salads, appetizers, and desserts can also be found on the menu, usually in limited variety.

(Photo: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)

This limited variety, however, brings out the chef’s creativity, as the choices are not always traditional, allowing for a bit of expression in food pairing and plating techniques.

This week I had a chance to dine at Rodeo Grill as part of a very late, postponed for the fourth time, annual Christmas dinner for work, which just happened to be in February.

The restaurant is a fine dining restaurant located on the fourth floor of Rotana Towers in the Abdali area.

After getting off the elevators, the restaurant’s entrance immediately grabs your attention with black marble decor and dimmed lights. A host gracefully greets you and escorts you to your table.

The menu, service, and ambiance are the main focus areas at any fine dining restaurant. A great deal of detail should be brought into the aesthetic and appearance of the restaurant, from the host stand all the way to the napkin fold at the table.

Secondly, the servers should be skillful and well trained, especially when talking to guests, taking orders, and even with their body language at the table. By the end of the day, the guests need to feel comfortable and understood when dining in restaurants in general.

(Photo: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)

Last but not least, the menu — the menu should be seasonal, creative, and unique. Every focus area is equally important at a fine dining restaurant as they merge together to determine your experience.

At Rodeo, we had the chance to share a few starters at the table, such as their beetroot salad, Burrata salad, crab and shrimp dumplings, and seared sea scallops. I had the Angus beef tenderloin for the main course and the cheesecake for the dessert.

Before the starters, let us discuss the first thing to reach the table, the carbs. Their homemade bread is made with corn, rosemary, and onions and is light and perfectly baked — served with sea salt butter and artichoke dip, starting the meal off with a dose of spreadable love — or butter.

The beetroot salad, which is one of my favorite salads, was served with arugula, frisée (lettuce), goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette. The creaminess of the goat cheese gave the salad a full mouthfeel taste, accompanied by the sweetness of the beetroot and the sourness from the balsamic vinaigrette; the trio made a beautiful medley of flavors with the crispy frisée and arugula.

The Burrata salad is served with pears, shaved bresaola, and drizzled with herb oil. The Burrata cheese is similar to fresh mozzarella cheese but stuffed with cheese curd and cream. The bresaola is an aged air-dried cured beef. It is not very common to see the Burrata served with pears and bresaola, which is a creative twist to this salad that is usually treated like a Caprese salad and served with tomatoes and basil.

(Photo: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)

The crab and rock shrimp dumplings were very moist, tender, and full of flavor, drizzled with a sweet chili glaze. Finally, the nicely-cooked seared sea scallops with a smooth carrot puree, beetroot puree, and a little bit on the molecular gastronomy side; ginger foam, arrived.

The challenge with the scallops is that they tend to get overcooked very quickly, and unlike other proteins, they do not go dry; they get rubbery. The overall experience of this dish was well balanced; the ginger foam and the smoothness of the puree paired well with the seafood flavor from the scallops.

Now to the main course, a juicy Angus beef tenderloin perfectly cooked to medium, served with asparagus, chargrilled onion, and creamy mashed potatoes; a classic that speaks for itself with its flavors.

The plating technique of the dish was simple and attractive, and the contrast of textures and flavors all paired together very well on the taste buds.

Talking about beef reminds me of a conversation I often have with people who love saying Angus or Wagyu, not precisely knowing the difference between them. So, let us break this down, Angus beef comes from only one breed of cow, the Aberdeen Angus, whereas Wagyu beef may come from four different breeds of Japanese Wagyu cow.

Wagyu is considered a more premium beef product and more expensive than Angus and has a little more fat marbling than you can expect of Angus beef. The marbling helps the meat during the cooking process and prevents it from drying. Therefore, Wagyu beef has a more distinctive, tender, and tasty flavor. This does not mean that Angus is not a great type of meat; since Angus cattle are fed grain, it increases the meat’s fat marbling. This way, you can have a great piece of steak for a more affordable price than Wagyu.

(Photo: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)

Now for dessert, ending the meal with cheesecake, despite consuming a significant amount of food so far, was a choice. Served with a modern twist, the cheesecake had caramel sauce and cream Chantilly (sweetened whipped cream). I thought I wouldn’t finish it, but I’m not sure what happened, but again, dessert goes straight to the heart.

The areas of focus mentioned earlier were well executed at Rodeo; the ambiance was beautiful, and the view overlooked the usual Amman traffic. The servers were attentive to the tables and very helpful, and the beautiful varieties of food items brought everything together.

Rodeo Grill is well recommended for a quiet night out with great food and a relaxed ambiance, celebrating an anniversary or a birthday, or even just trying out a different type of experience.

Read more Good Food