When you have been in a committed relationship long enough, you seek out events and occasions to celebrate, and make a special day out of any day. After Valentine’s Day comes “Steak and BJ day”. Basically a tongue and cheek (excuse the pun) way to say the male equivalent of valentines. Men lavish women with romance and gifts on February 14, and in return women give them a day the way they like it: apparently to the point and direct. There is already something similar in Japan. In Japan, for Valentine’s women treat men, then men reciprocate on “White Day”, a month later, in like fashion. A lot more delicate and polite of a name than the North American version.
It was in the name, so we had to go for steak. My partner has yet to try the ones at “Gotham” so thought it as good of a place as any for such an occasion.
The restaurant is very regal looking. He deemed it, “on another level” of prestigious with its crisp linens, dim lights, and vaulted ceiling. It was the detailing that made me feeling little in this rich space. Chestnut on wood panels, luscious red booths of velvet, ceiling to floor painting in breathy tones, and white table cloths paired with cloth napkins folded at precision points.
Our server was dressed in a white waist coat, like a doctor. He looked very dapper and was just as impressive as the setting. I appreciated that he didn’t discriminate and treat us like we could afford a round for the whole place. He didn’t assume that we weren’t interested in the bin’s list, and even tried to sell us on it. This was a list of top shelf liquors, at the bottom of their bottles. They were limited time only features, a great way to taste something you might not otherwise get the chance to, at a discounted price. Although it was still fairly pricy in the opinion of my pocket book.
We were given our time to peruse the menu and weigh our options. They had more than just steak available, but you don’t get anything other than some prime cuts of beef from a steakhouse, so we didn’t bother looking at anything else. Each steak was priced on its own, and if you wanted sides with it, they would be extra.
Similarly was bread situation. They no longer passed out complimentary baskets of bread before your meal. It was explained that, not everyone wanted or ate from it and therefore a lot of it went to waste. We were given the option to order cheese toast or onion loaf as a side in its replacement. We declined, preferring to use the money towards sides for our main.
We got the side of “onion rings” to start like an appy. Our proper server thought it was a good idea and wondered why more people didn’t do the same. Sadly the onion rings were just okay. I don’t know why I thought onion rings at such a venue would be better than rings from a restaurant with a dedicated fry cook. They were over priced for 7 rings. Over a $1 for each, and it didn’t even taste any better or look any different from the ones you can get from any concession stand, at a fraction of the price. In fact we wished for more breeding and a longer fry. The batter was light, but we preferred it chunkier, and crispier. Ideally a greater batter to onion ratio, so you can’t taste the onion or feel it’s waxy slimy texture between our teeth. $11 was too much to pay for this.
I don’t typically list the prices for what I have, unless it’s ridiculously cheap or outrageously expensive. I believe that you pay for what you get and that quality comes at a cost. If you want a delicious meal, there needs to be an investment in the ingredients and in those who prepare and serve it to you. So there is no point to argue over price, it is there for a reason and you can either take it or leave it. However I would like to point it out here for value and comparison purposes between other upscale steak houses. A good contrast between other who steak places that boast similar quality of cut and level of service.
I got the “Bone in rib eye steak” at 20oz for $66. For 12oz more I would have to pay $93. I considered it, but no one needs that much meat. I remembered not being able to finish a 26oz steak, although that was all meat. This steak was more fat than meat, 1/3 of it was gristle that even I couldn’t work my way through. Although scraped aside, the fat was necessary to get the rest of the cut as tender and luscious as it was. The pieces in the centre that were cooked perfectly pink were amazing. It melted in your mouth. This definitely isn’t an every day steak in cholesterol and price, but a great one for an occasional indulgence.
My partner prefers his meats lean so went with the “Filet mignon” at 14oz for $75. Their petit size at 8oz went for $50. I encouraged him to go for the larger size as it never looks like much. However I would be wrong. The steak was so thick and so solid that he was quick to full and unable to finish. The cut was very lean as promised, in hindsight 8oz would have been perfect. The sides with its charred grill and coarse seasonings were the best bites with its saltiness. The meat as a whole was a nice piece, done medium rare. There was no sinew or fat in this steak, where as I was collecting a mound of it on my plate. However mine was more tender than his, thanks to the fat and the meat by the bone.
The sides came on literal side plates, generous portions with enough to feed more than two. Great to see as the potatoes were $8 and the asparagus was $14. “Baked Idaho mashed” and “Fresh asparagus”. Both were fairly standard. They didn’t have much flavour on their own, they were true sides. They were a great way to change the taste and dilute the mains a little. I advise taking a bite of steak and then one of both the sides.
As an added touch, when we got the bill, our server offered to get us a cab or to get our car pulled around by the valet. None of which we needed, but was nice of him to offer and ask.
My only complaint, was the draft that wafted in each time the front door opened, we were left to freeze from the breeze. And the distance from the front of house dining area to the washrooms. The restaurant was huge, with several levels and sectioned off rooms. Though from each corner and wherever you sat, it still required a cascading climb down a spiralling staircase to reach their facilities. The washrooms were only convenient for the private dining rooms in the basement.
And that was us having steak for dinner… I will leave it at just that.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Many steak options in the city, and this is one of the good ones. A great one for a work night out or a place to impress a date at. Come prepared to pay for what you get. I advise only having steak. Don’t deny your cravings.