Flank Revives the Beefsteak Tradition in Waltham
“Let them eat beef,” is the rallying cry heard throughout Flank, a new 240-seat steakhouse that opened in Waltham, Massachusetts, last week. Inspired by the century-old beefsteak meal where hundreds of men would consume massive quantities of meat with their bare hands, Flank throws the doors open on its updated version, welcoming women, vegetarians, and pescatarians; and even offering cutlery and napkins.
“It is important for us to share the gluttony of the beefsteak with as many people as possible,” says Greg Hill, Whole House Group’s managing director about Flank’s decision to update the beefsteak from a boys-club meal disguised as a turn-of-the-century political fundraiser, to a more refined restaurant open to women, non-carnivores, and diners who prefer to use a fork and knife. In addition to offering the beefsteak as a dining option, Flank also serves an a la carte menu that steakhouse connoisseurs appreciate for its creative spin on traditional favorites and modern interpretation of classic dishes.
While Flank is the first restaurant in the U.S. to offer a beefsteak menu year-round, the family style concept is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what sets Flank apart from today’s steakhouses. Personalized service begins at the table with hand-poured soups, tableside tossed salads, and torched desserts.
In a nod to the era in which the beefsteak got its start, Flank offers a robust craft cocktail program, specializing in Prohibition-era standards (the Knickerbocker List), as well as reimagined classics (Flank Monikers). Skewing from the conventional, Flank’s wine list highlights fantastic varietals from steak-eating countries like Argentina, Australia, and Chile—though traditionalists are still able to find a big Napa red. Flank’s beverage director Tim Chagnon, a Level 2 Sommelier, has curated an impressive list of large-format wines, as well as impossible-to-find vintages. Additionally, Flank utilizes the Coravin system, a state-of-the-art wine preservation system that allows the restaurant to pour higher-priced wines by the glass (up to $75/glass).
Flank exclusively serves all-natural premium Brandt Beef from California. In addition to an updated version of the beefsteak menu that highlights prime cuts of flank, hanger, coulotte cuts served family-style in three to four courses, the a la carte menu features prime cuts like Top Blade, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Filet Mignon, as well as a 35-Day Dry Aged New York Strip Loin, and 35-Day 50-ounce Long Bone Tomahawk. The steak menus are supplemented by an unparalleled number of “sides” options, 15 in total, as well as the option to dress up a steak in the “old world style” of Diane (steak au poivre finished with a brandy flambé), Oscar (topped with asparagus, crab cakes, and béarnaise), Rossini (topped with foie gras, black truffle, Madeira demi glace), and Carpetbagger (stuffed with oysters), and add a multitude of sauces, relishes, and butters.
The richly designed 7,300-square foot space includes a 130-seat dining room, 24-seat bar, 50-seat lounge, a 50-seat year-round patio with gas heaters and a fire pit, and multiple private dining spaces that can accommodate up to 100 people. A juxtaposition of old and new, masculine and feminine, modern and traditional, Flank’s interiors are pure eye candy, ornate chandeliers, antique mirrors, antiqued tin ceiling tiles, a vintage grandfather clock, herringbone and green onyx flooring, and more. Salvaged farmhouse windows from Worcester separate the kitchen from the dining room, but allow for a voyeuristic peak behind the curtain of your meal’s preparation. A jewel box wine vault with floor to ceiling glass separates the dining room from the bar, which boasts a bespoke bottle organization system that mimics an antique armoire. Flank pays homage to Waltham as Watch City with an oversized clock behind the bar. The one-of-a-kind Flank “Cigarden” is an outdoor garden for guests who like to enjoy a cigar after dinner.
Flank is open daily for dinner. In the months to come, Flank will open for lunch as well as weekend brunch.