Can a $36 smoked beet dish substitute for a cut of beef?

Whether roasted, pickled, or juiced, beets have grown in popularity in the last few years, making more appearances on restaurant menus all across the country. And some people are sick of it. At Grub Street, Rachel Sugar observes that beet-forward dishes, particularly ones that are smoked and aged to replace meat courses, are perfectly fine but mostly theatrical. A beet is still a beet, no matter how many culinary tricks you pull, she argues, and it’s easy to side-eye a plate that can cost the same as a nice cut of beef. Meanwhile, at T Magazine, Kurt Soller highly recommends the $36 smoke-roasted “beet steak” at chef Andrew Carmellini’s chophouse Carne Mare, writing that it “conjures something akin to the uncanny valley, as your mind squares the delightful experience of enjoying a root that doesn’t look or taste like any that have come before.” Our take? We welcome an array of dishes on any menu, beets and all.

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