I recently had a family-related trip to Corning, NY (where I was born), and found myself craving dinner in downtown Corning (Market Street, a.k.a. The Gaffer’s District). While this part of town has quite a few restaurants (including one I’ve already reviewed), most of the places are pubs, Italian places, or pizza joints, none of which were really appealing to me. I was craving something a little more upscale, and a quick web search led me to Three Birds.
Nestled in at the eastern end of Market Street, Three Birds is in a doubled-up storefront having a rather ornate bar on one side, and dinner tables on the other. Being a solo diner this time, and somewhat light on my appetite, I decided to sit at the bar, which also allowed me to peruse both their normal dinner menu, as well as the lighter bar menu. Deciding that I was in a mood for steak, I ended up settling on the “Taris Major Steak” off of their bar menu.
I’m wondering if the name is a misspelling or an inside joke I’m not getting, since this is actually a “shoulder tender” steak, which is cut from the teres major muscle from the chuck. One of the more obscure cuts of beef (it’s related to the flatiron steak, which is cut from the teres minor muscle) it and resembles a small filet mignon and can be a very tender and flavorful cut in the right hands, but you don’t see it often on menus. I suspect the former, although to Three Birds’ credit, they correctly spelled the name of their other steak, the hanger steak (if I had a $1 for every place that tried to sell me a “hangar steak”, as if I’m eating it between aircraft in a hangar).
Pedantry aside, however, this was a very nicely done, perfectly cooked, and served up with nicely mashed potatoes and a good red wine jus. The potatoes were that nice balance between “starchy” and “soupy”, and not overly doctored with cream, garlic, or butter. The steak had a very nice sear to it, without overcooking the middle. And the wine jus was flavorful without being overly salty or over-reduced. A rather good deal for the $10 I paid for this, although if I find myself back there, I may wheedle them into subbing fries, since the fries there look quite good, or ordering something off of the dinner menu (they seem to make pork a specialty, actually).
Certainly enough to encourage me to come another time.