”Surf and turf” is a restaurant term referring to an entree which includes a portion of meat and a portion of seafood. Some people sneer at the concept, arguing that a surf and turf meal is simply a showy extravagance, since it usually incorporates expensive ingredients and can be the most expensive thing on the menu. Steak houses and mid-range restaurants, especially along the American coastline, frequently offer this main course, usually indicating that it is a surf and turf plate on the menu.
The term appears to have originated along the Atlantic Coast of the
United States. The “surf” in the title clearly refers to seafood, usually lobster
or another crustacean. “Turf” is any type of grass-fed land animal, but usually
refers specifically to beef in the form of steak. In the late 1960s,
restaurants along both coasts were using the term, often in advertisements
designed to highlight the range of offerings at the restaurant. In Australia,
the dish is better known as “beef and reef.”