Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Morton’s The SteakhouseRestaurant Insider
March 1, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
ANNE LEE speaks with general manager ZYRON SCHONIWITZ and executive chef ERWIN MANZANO
Something smells good and I know it’s the sizzling steaks surrounding me at Morton’s The Steakhouse. The beloved restaurant ﬁrst opened its doors in Hawaii in 2001 and has been satisfying hungry patrons ever since.
This week, I got to chat with general manager Zyron Schoniwitz and executive chef Erwin Manzano, who have both been in the restaurant industry since graduating high school. Manzano started as a dishwasher in 1988 and has since worked his way up to executive chef, while Schoniwitz started as a busser in 1979.
With a mixture of humble beginnings and a love for quality food and experiences, both Manzano and Schoniwitz contribute greatly to the success at Morton’s Steakhouse.
AL: With so many different choices for steakhouses here in Hawaii, what does Morton’s bring to the Hawaii food scene?
ZS: The very best USDA Prime aged beef, fresh seafood and our newest menu offerings of Wagyu “Butcher Cuts” and Angus steaks.
AL: What is Morton’s mission?
ZS: Our mission is to always exceed our guests’ expectations.
AL: What is the restaurant’s most popular dish?
ZS: Our USDA Prime Ribeye is a favorite. It costs $57 a la carte, and is seasoned with our house seasoning and then cooked to perfection in our 1,200 degree broiler.
AL: What are the some other noteworthy dishes?
BOTH: We have four special 8-ounce “flight” of Butcher Cut Wagyu steaks that we are featuring today. All 8-ounce cuts, the Baseball Cut is a sirloin and has a black and blue seasoning on it, a little bit of Cajun spice with blue cheese seasoning, and served with blue cheese butter on a bed of caramelized onions. It has a lot of flavor and is a generous cut for $39.
We also have the Coulotte Steak, with the wild mushrooms, texture and flavor makes this one of the most popular items here. It’s topped with shallot balsamic butter, and is also a nice size portion for $43.
The third Wagyu Butcher Cut we are featuring is the Zabuton Steak ($41), an espresso-crusted generous cut that has a garlic cream sauce and is topped with gremolata herbs.
The Angus Prime Flank Steak Chimichurri is a 10-ounce cut and is offered at $39. The chimichurri sauce is made with parsley, chili pepper, cilantro, sabila chives, with olive oil, salt and pepper.
AL: What are the future plans for the restaurant?
ZS: To continue to focus on great food, service and value for our guests. We also have wine dinners every six months. By becoming a Landry’s Select Club member, guests will be informed about the upcoming events and dinners, as well as get rewarded for dining at the restaurant. You can sign up for this right at the restaurant.
AL: If you had to choose one thing to eat every day for an entire year, what would it be and why?
EM: USDA Prime Porterhouse because it’s the best of both worlds with filet and New York separated with the bone, which imparts extra flavor.
ZS: I’d go with the 32-ounce bone-in Tomahawk.
AL: Morton’s offers a very popular happy hour, can you please provide more information?
ZS: Power Hour is offered from 4 to 6:30 p.m. every day except Saturdays. Guests can enjoy specially priced cocktails, martinis, wine, beer and bar bites. Favorite food items include Filet Mignon Trio with bearnaise sauce, blue cheese butter and peppercorn sauce, Mini Crab Cakes, Mini Prime Cheeseburgers, Truffle Parmesan Fries and Freshly Made Potato Chips.
AL: Morton’s has a wonderful selection of wines, what are some of the favorites?
BOTH: Right now we are featuring Stag’s Leap Artemis, it’s a Napa Valley red wine blend, normally it sells for $150 a bottle, we have a promotion for $99 a bottle for a limited time and we are selling a lot of them.
We do offer premium wines by the glass, as we have the Coravin Wine Access System, right now one of my favorites is a Turley “Juvenile” Zinfandel. We can offer premium unique wines by the glass, as Coravin is a unique tool that allows us to pour wines without ever opening the bottle. This protects the wine from being exposed to oxygen and prevents oxidation, which leaves each pour as if it was the first pour.
We have a wine that is blended specifically for us at Raymond Vineyards; it is called Raymond “Primal Cut” Cabernet Sauvignon and is offered for $19 per glass.
AL: Would you like to share anything else about the restaurant?
ZS: In observance of Lent, we will be offering twin lobster tails that are 4-5 ounces for $39 every Friday until April 10.
Our souffles are very popular — however, please let the waiter know ahead of time if you will be ordering one as they take about 30 minutes to prepare.
Perfect time for steak
Prime Flank Steak with Chimichurri
• One 10-ounce prime flank steak
• 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
• 2-ounce chimichuri sauce
• 1/8 teaspoon minced parsley
• Season the steak generously with seasoned salt.
• Grilled to desired temperature. Cooking times are approximate and will vary based on the cooking surface: For rare, 3 minutes on each side; for medium rare 3 1/2-4 minutes on each side; for medium, 4 1/2 minutes on each side; for medium well, 5-5 1/2 minutes on each side; and for well, 6 minutes on each side.
• Remove from the grill and let it rest for 3 minutes.
• Slice the steak against the grain into 6-8 slices.
• Ladle the chimichurri sauce on the hot plate.
• Fan the steak out over the sauce.
• Garnish with minced parsley.
• Serve immediately.
Chimichurri Sauce for a serving of 2 cups
• 1 1/2-ounce parsley, stems removed
• 3-ounce cilantro, stems removed
• 1 1/2-ounce garlic, raw cloves
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 cups olive oil
• Combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper into the blender cup and blend on high until smooth.
• With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until fully incorporated and well blended.