Size matters and a new menu item at Pacific Prime Steak and Chop at The Beach Club in Parksville is a first for Vancouver Island.
The tomahawk chop is a Fred Flintstone-sized steak that is not for the faint of heart.
Executive Chef Rick Davidson admits the $139 slab of certified Angus beef is pricey, but he says the three-pound meat lollipop that resembles something out of the Stone Age easily feeds two modern-day humans.
“The price point is not cheap but it feeds two-plus people and you can take home the bone for your dog.”
Legend has it the tomahawk originated on cattle drives along the Rio Grande in Texas, and Davidson said as far he knows no other restaurant offers it in these parts.
“We are the first to do the tomahawk on the Island and one of just two in B.C. offering it, according to my protein supplier. It is called a tomahawk because it looks like a weapon.”
The bone-in rib-eye steak is cut from between the sixth and 12th ribs of the cow and is well-marbled with fat, making it tender and flavourful and a steak lovers dream.
Meat is scraped from the bone (Frenched), leaving a handle with the meat portion resembling a First Nations tomahawk.
Davidson said he named his gargantuan steak feature The Tomahawk Experience and while it is geared toward serious carnivores, the massive piece of meat is meant to offer a unique over the top dining adventure.
“With my team I try to play with food and have a bit of fun with it. It’s all about having a fun experience,” he explained.
The first tomahawk sold at the restaurant was presented to a couple from Buffalo, New York last week and Davidson said when it was brought to the table all of their diners were talking about it.
“It created quite a buzz in the restaurant and the guy who ordered it had fun eating it. It is absolutely OK to pick up the bone and gnaw on it and he did.”
The big chunk of tender beef is served with a bouquetiere of vegetables and mashed potatoes, a side of red wine jus and béarnaise sauce.
Pacific Prime Steak and Chop is also one of the only restaurants on the Island that uses the Montague broiling system, guaranteeing tender, juicy and delicious steaks every time.
Davidson said when he joined The Beach Club in 2012 his mission was to make the restaurant a destination for steak lovers.
“We are a steak and chop house and when I took over we only had three steaks on the menu so I wanted to expand that and make it a true steak house because we are the only one in this area.”
Davidson agreed The Tomahawk Experience is the perfect celebration dish and would certainly make a statement for Father’s Day.
He said the restaurant will be presenting a special four-course dinner menu for Father’s Day as well as their a-la-cart menu and of course their unique Sunday brunch menu.
When Davidson created his brunch features he said he wanted them to be different and creative.
“When I started here I set out to do a different Sunday brunch. I am a competitive guy so I wanted to take the dishes to the next level, especially since we have the beautiful patio.”
His twists on the classics are certainly creative, and Davidson said he gets his inspiration from many sources including famous chefs like Charlie Trotter.
“Chefs are artists and creative people and cooking is my passion. I like to play with food. I will go through my cookbooks and Google things. We are not rebuilding the rocket ship, but there is some creativity involved.”
To book a reservation at the restaurant call 250-947-2109.