Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Restaurant Week in Boston

This Friday (3/21/08) will be the final day of Boston's Restaurant Week and boy did I enjoy it. Normally, I don't even attend. I mean, I don't cook so every week is restaurant week for me. But this year I took the opportunity to attend not 1, not 2, but THREE steakhouses. Now, restaurant week is a GREAT DEAL when you use it at one or all of the below places. Both the dinner ($33) and lunch ($20) choices were three course meals that included appetizer, entree, and dessert. Here is my review of each:

1. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar - dinner
We (double dated w/married couple) did Flemings on a Friday night and the place was definitely jumping for a high-end steak house. While it was a little loud I must admit the atmosphere was alive with energy. For appetizer I had the sweet Chile calamari which was great in both portion and taste. Being a fan of calamari I must admit it was the first time I had it this way. Normally I get mine Rhode Island style but the sweet Chile didn't disappoint. My date had the mozzarella and sweet tomato for appetizer, but still managed to hoard my calamari. For the main course I had the New York Strip (which isn't listed on the menu but I took them up on the offer) done medium. Again, very good. Better than the run of the mill commercial steak house (Outback, Bugaboo, etc.) but nothing that made me want to slap my Momma. And for dessert, I had the cheesecake which was extremely rich to say the least. They also brought out some of their homemade whip cream which was the best whip cream I ever had. I also sampled some of the walnut turtle pie of which my date for the evening cannot stop talking about. Between the four of us we definitely had a wonderful time at Flemings. Ooops, how could I forget, the service that was given to us by our waiter was what I remember most. Even though the place was packed he not only made us feel as though we were the only table in the restaurant but he also made us feel as if we were ownership.

2. Smith & Wollensky Steak House - dinner
First off, let me state that outside of Restaurant Week, I probably could not afford to eat here. I mean, it would have to be some super-special occasion like winning PowerBall, MegaMillions, etc. But hey, if you happen to be an international player or a dare I say, "Connoisseur" of fine steak then this place is a GREAT option. Talk about eye-pleasing ambiance, the restaurant is literally located in a freaking castle. I mean, how cool is that? Upon arriving at the CASTLE, we had the option of being seated on the first or second level. Naturally, being upper crust, I opted for the second level. The host then informed us that he will call an elevator while we check our coats. And I'm thinking, "How thoughtful of him." As we return back from coat check he is literally holding the elevator door for us. At this time I begin to assume my upper crust attitude. So when I enter the elevator I glance down at him and clear my throat to acknowledge that we were ready to be taken to the 2nd floor. Upon arriving on the 2nd floor we were greeted by another host that seated us. For appetizer I had the mixed greens salad, which was OK. My date had the split pea soup, which she loved. In addition to our appetizers, they gave us garlic bread which was pretty good, but literally drenched in butter, so any diet we may of had going in was instantly thrown into the MOAT. For the main course, we had the filet, which I can honestly say was a step up from Flemings. They also had nice dessert options to round off an excellent evening. We shared some overly generous portions of chocolate cake and ice cream. If ever you find yourself looking to indulge in fine haute cuisine S&W is always a worthy option.

3. Ruth's Chris - lunch
It goes without saying that a sampling of high end chain steak houses in the US cannot be complete without a visit to Ruth's. Now, after years of hearing about Ruth's Chris but never making it primarily due to never planning it out to the point where I make a reservation it was time to finally see or should I say taste what Ruth's is all about. For appetizer I had the seafood gumbo which was great in taste but definitely not in portion. In all honesty, it is perfectly sized for an appetizer but I guess I am spoiled by the meal sized appetizers that are given out every where else nowadays. And regarding my main course choice of NY Strip all I have to say is that my Momma better run when I see her again. That strip at Ruth's Chris tastes so good that my Momma has a slap coming. Just thinking about it as I type this already has me debating whether to use a wet hand or baby powder. :) Just playing, Mom (I love you, always!). But back to the NY strip, which approached my table sizzling on a plate that is cooked to 500 degrees. Now, is it just me or do they put a pound of possibly the best butter I have ever tasted on that plate to sizzle along with my steak. I thought I was in heaven. It smelled great, it sounded (sizzling) great, it was soft to the touch, it looked perfect (done medium) with a nice pink center, and the taste was dare I say orgasmic. I know, I've been told that I should get out more often but it was that good. Needless to say, for dessert I did the chocolate mousse cheesecake which happens to be the only dessert that was completely finished at all these restaurants. But sometimes when I am hungry, I reminisce back to that NY strip approaching the table just looking at me and sizzling/saying, "You know you love me!"

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