A Favorite Place Drops a Few Notches
Published: 05/23/2011 at Richard Gonzalez
I'm sitting back thinking about this past weekend. Funny how quickly the weekend leaves us, and we are left with the wake of things that we did or should have done. For the most part, I enjoy not planning things -- play if off the cuff that is how I tend to play the weekend sound-track.
This weekend was planned thanks to my wife completing another trip around the sun. She celebrated her birthday on Sunday, but Saturday is the day that we looked at to get together and dine at one of our favorite restaurants. At least it was, at one point in our lives, our fave -- but after visiting this spot it slowly dropped a few rungs from the top spot.
Anyone who has visited this Chicago based steakhouse understands that they thrive on being a first class joint and that atmosphere hits you the second you walk in the door. A wine cellar adorns the bar white the decor is dark mahogany. The romantic lighting rounds out this one of a kind experience.
Those things still existed there, but one hardly ranks a food establishment on how nice the place is. The taste is in the pudding -- er ah, the steak in this case. The service was about a 3-star which is a far drop from the 5-star ranking that they are famous for. Although the place was busy, it took the waiter about 10 minutes to come over and hand us a menu -- let alone ask if we would be interested in getting something from the bar.
The steak presentation is always a fun time. They bring out the cuts of meat that they will prepare and also showed us their seafood selections. The lobster dish which starred 'Eddy' a 4lb Maine Lobster stole the show. It was live and it did a little dance for us.
We decided that being in a steakhouse; we would take advantage of a 48 oz Porterhouse steak. Because the meals come a la carte, we ordered two sides of mashed potatoes and a sauté of mushrooms and onions.
A bottle of ELU - a cabernet from the Napa Valley region - was the accompaniment to our meal that night. When the steak came out, the maitre’d did the carving and it was raw -- so back to the fire the steak went.
All in all, the atmosphere was amazing, the service was sub par and the steak, for the amount of money charged, was way below expectations. I was quite saddened to see that such a fantastic eatery dropped in what really matters. The wine was given to us complimentary -- which was a nice gesture, but still not enough to not pull any punches.
So, my wife's birthday was celebrated in a place that we both thoroughly enjoyed, but come next year, we might think twice about walking through their doors.