Flank, Waltham’s Beefsteak Diner, Opens February 10
Decadence descends on Waltham: Greg Hill’s long-awaited modern beefsteak diner Flank opens Wednesday, February 10.
Flank, announced in May 2014, is the second venture from Whole House Group, a hospitality company founded by the host of “the Hill-Man Morning Show” on WAAF, and the chairman of the Greg Hill Foundation. The concept is inspired by steakhouses popular in 1900s New York and New Jersey, where men clad in three-piece suits (we imagine), covered with butchers’ aprons, devoured prime steaks with just their meaty hands. They washed the heavy meals down with pitchers of beer and stiff Manhattans, and ended their evenings with deep puffs of a cigar.
The 2016 version has the beef, booze, and even the tobacco—the property features a one-of-a-kind, outdoor “Cigarden”—modernized with a la carte menu options, silverware (though it’s optional), and an inclusive policy about admitting women, vegetarians, and seafood lovers.
“It is important for us to share the gluttony of the beefsteak with as many people as possible,” Hill says, via a press release.
The focal point of executive chef Jordan Mackay’s menu is the family-style, multi-course beefsteak spread—flank, hanger, and bavette-cut steaks, and sides like European-style potato purée with sweet cream butter and herbs; and creamed kale with smoked ham hock; plus optional toppings, like Diane (au poivre finished with brandy flambé), and Oscar (asparagus, crab cakes, and béarnaise). There are also a la carte plates, including a full array of Brandt Beef steaks; slow-braised beef shank with bone marrow; salmon Wellington; and house-made pappardelle with sherried mushrooms, truffle butter, and a fried egg.
The gluttony begins with herbed beef carpaccio, cedar roasted shrimp, souffléd crab cakes, and other appetizers. Expect indulgences like fish filleted tableside and torched desserts, too. Check out the opening menu online.
The beefsteak diner’s heyday was before Prohibition, and Flank’s beverage director Tim Chagnon pays homage with a dozen different Manhattans. A Level 2 sommelier, Chagnon has built a wine list with several options from steak havens like Argentina, Chile, and Australia, as well as Old World and Napa varieties, and large format bottles. There’s a Coravin Wine System, preserving some of the higher end options for by-the-glass pours. There will be an “extensive” selection of draft and bottled/canned beers, including options from Brattle Road Brewery, a brewpub Whole House Group is opening in Maynard this spring.
Across 7,300 square feet on the former Polaroid campus, Flank is an ornate celebration of old and new, with chandeliers hanging from the antiqued tin ceiling, herringbone and green onyx flooring, and vintage decor, including an oversized grandfather clock paying homage to Watch City. From the 130-seat dining room, watch your feast be prepared in the kitchen through salvaged farmhouse windows. Pass through the wine room, with floor-to-ceiling glass, to enter the 72-seat bar and lounge area.
Outside, in addition to the smokers’ area, there’s a 50-seat patio with gas heaters and a fire pit for year-round leisure. The restaurant offers flexible private dining options for up to 100 guests.
In the coming months, Flank will open for lunch and weekend brunch. When it opens on February 10, it will serve dinner nightly beginning at 5 p.m.
Flank. The New American Beefsteak, 74 Tower Road (at 1265 Main), Waltham, (781) 893-5265 or flankwaltham.com.