Apr 22, 2016 10:28AM
By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
The Flatiron building is one of the most iconic buildings in Omaha. Appropriate, then, that it houses one of the most iconic restaurants in the city.
Two decades is a long time in the restaurant business and, typically, only the best can make it into their third decade. Like most restaurants that enjoy that kind of longevity, the Flatiron has always been known for great food and service. Owner Kathleen Jamrozy seems to have a knack for hiring great people, most notably former chef Jennifer Coco of J. Coco fame and current chef Rob Hill, who hails from the much-celebrated and now sorely missed French Cafe.
Hill’s food is comforting and familiar, but still imaginative and interesting. The menu features a lot of delicious proteins with heavy, flavorful sauces. He doesn’t shy away from what I affectionately refer to as the “BCs” (butter, bacon, cream and cheese). He is not mired in an obsession for the “cutting edge” like so many other young chefs can be.
The restaurant’s signature, flatiron-shaped dining room has a romantic and elegant feel. Floor-to-ceiling picture windows and white-tablecloth-covered tables with dark wood chairs line the luxurious and unique space. A well-appointed bar provides a perch for both single diners and patrons waiting to be seated. There is also an outdoor seating area that provides a big-city-sidewalk vibe when our fickle weather allows. The Flatiron’s close proximity to Omaha theater venues makes it one of the best places to enjoy fine dining before taking in fine arts.
On a recent visit, my dining partner and I began with the calamari ($13) and the Brussels sprouts ($9). The calamari was cooked with precision—crispy and tender—and augmented with a south-of-the-border punch of fresh pico de gallo, diced avocado, and lemon. Adding even more zing: The sprouts came along with a habanero yogurt sauce for dipping. This amazing dish made with local honey provided a wonderful kickoff for the meal to come.
Next we tried a bowl of French onion soup ($9). It arrived piping hot with a caramelized onion broth, croutons, and bubbly cheese.
For our entrees we had the grilled ribeye of beef ($37) and the tournedos of beef ($35). The ribeye was well marbled, well aged, and cooked and seasoned to perfection. It was topped with a delicious blue cheese butter and finished with a rich demi-glace sauce.
There is a reason the Flatiron is known for having some of the best steaks in this city known for great steaks.
On the side were fingerling potatoes, shitake mushrooms, and wilted spinach, all of which were fantastic.
My dining partner ordered the tournedos of beef well done, which is very often a leathery recipe for disaster. But like true pros, the Flatiron kitchen staff managed to cook them without burning or drying out the steak. The meat was served with a brandied black peppercorn sauce and tasty potatoes au gratin.
For dessert we agreed to split the chocolate mousse ($7). The mousse hit all the right notes—silky smooth with just the right amount of chocolate, sweetness, and creaminess. It was served in a beautiful cup formed out of chocolate and garnished with fresh fruit.
The service at the Flatiron has always been first class. It was no different on this occasion. We were warmly greeted at the door and my dining partner’s coat was taken and hung up before we were shown to our table. Our server was fun, friendly, and knowledgeable. She made a spot-on wine recommendation that complimented both of our steaks. The timing of each course was impeccable and the quality service enhanced our already wonderful experience.