429 Banff Ave, Banff, Alberta | Tel: 403-762-2520 | Email: eltororestaurant@shaw.ca

On a Date in One of the Best Banff Restaurants? Try the Chateaubriand

Posted by El Toro Banff on July 3, 2014

You've brought your date to one of the best restaurants in Banff to bask in the picturesque beauty of the mountains and their snowy peaks-great job! Now the waiter hands you the menu, and you end up panicking, not knowing which dish to pick, or if she'd even like your choice. Well, if you're one of the many couples who regularly enjoy a lovely dinner in places like El Toro Restaurant, you might want to ask for the chateaubriand.

Ticky to Cook

What is it?

Chateaubriand is extravagantly cut from the very center of the beef tenderloin, ensuring its tenderness that's unlike any other. Its exact thickness varies depending on the chef's preferences, but mostly it is measured to about 12 to 16 oz. per serving. Its name is derived from French diplomat François-René de Chateaubriand.


It was actually Chateaubriand's chef, Montmireil, who created the dish sometime in the 1820s for his vicomte, or viscount. Over the centuries since its inception, the dish has been mastered by many other chefs using their own creative touches on cooking and presentation. One of the few things that remained the same though, is the fact that it is often served rare.

Tricky Cooking

Many restaurants like El Toro Restaurant will tell you that while the dish is one of the most exquisite and flavorful steaks, it is also one of the most difficult to prepare, as an article in Wisegeek.com has it:

The thickness of tenderloin makes it challenging to prepare this dish properly. Though most prefer the meat rare, it is difficult to cook it all the way through without drying out the steak. The most common method of cooking is to quickly flame-broil to sear the meat and then roast it in a very hot oven. It may have originally been made by being roasted between two other cuts of tenderloin that were cooked until they burned, leaving the inner steak cooked correctly, or by stuffing a piece of tenderloin with shallots and then roasting it.


There are a variety of sauces that go perfectly well with your serving of chateaubriand. Traditionally, a type of Bercy sauce with hints of lemon juice, tarragon and some mushrooms are used. Other sauces include béarnaise, with some herbs like thyme, parsley and bay. Of course, your restaurant of choice will have its own way of serving it.

Top off your order with a nice bottle of La Ferme Du Mont's Cotes Jugunda 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Pinot Noir of your choice and you got the perfect meal for date night in top-class Banff restaurants.

(Source: What is Chateaubriand?, WiseGeek)