Sandwich of the Week: One Cheesesteak on Quotation Marks, Coming Up


Hold on, where's the Cheez Whiz?Photo: Melissa Hom

The Underground Gourmet is not from Philadelphia, but if he were, according to a native Philly friend, his natural response upon being presented with Degustations new cheesesteak sandwich would be to either sue the chef for false advertising or wait for him outside the restaurant with a horsewhip. Of course, Philadelphians are born with Cheez Whiz running through their veins and that tends to cloud their judgment on such matters.

As menu items wrapped in quotation marks often do, Degustations cheesesteak makes cheeky, Thomas Kelleresque reference to the real thing without ever running the risk of being mistaken for an actual hoagie. It comes on a single square of pain de mie slicked with olive oil and toasted on the plancha. Then its delicately layered from the bottom up with roasted tomato and red pepper, and a pile of thinly sliced rib eye thats been cooked sous vide for two hours to a rosy pink rareness. Chef Wesley Genovart tops it with tiny onion rings and a chopped herb salad of parsley, dill, cilantro, chives, and chervil, and then he paints the plate not with Cheez Whiz but with a few dabs of a foamy raclette-ricotta emulsion. In the typical haute small-plates fashion, its good for only three or four bites. And its so delicious, the UG recommends ordering at least two per sitting. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

Degustation, 239 E. 5th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-979-1012.