Char Steakhouse - anticipation of a great steak

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

We celebrated the birthday of editor 1107. Editor 1107 appeared in the review for Twenty/20 Taphouse. Editor 1107 has been thinking about Char as a choice for her birthday dinner for a couple years, so we decided to give it a try. Like we do normally, we made a reservation for Char earlier in the week for dinner on Friday night, November 8. We arrived exactly at the reservation time, 8:00 and were seated immediately. Char offers valet parking and when we pulled up, we were greeted with a beautiful fall display of pumpkins and mums, making the chilly night feel festive. I love the feeling of walking in to a warm restaurant when it is cold outside. I also love the smell of grilling steak that wafts from the restaurant kitchen on a cold night. I feel like there is something good waiting inside. We all agreed that the atmosphere inside was definitely modern and happening. There was a large bar in the main dining room which had many patrons seated around. We were seated just beyond the bar, in a glass walled room facing the patio. Because of the name, there were live flame torches outside on the patio of the restaurant. I must say that was very cool.

Our waiter was very conscientious about the menu and explained about the specials and his personal recommendations. Not many servers give their personal recommendations anymore, so it was nice to hear somebody else’s perspective on dishes that we might want to try.

Since we had a fantastic experience with the Delmonico steaks at Steakhouse 85 (click here for the review), we all managed to order the same cuts at Char. We also ordered three shareable sides which included broccoli sauteed in garlic and olive oil, sauteed button mushrooms and homemade mashed potatoes. We also started off with fried calamari to share. After the waiter told us about the specials and his recommendations, another server came along with a large wicker basket filled with a variety of breads. He offered small Italian torpedo rolls, sliced bread and piping hot pop-overs with a hint of grated cheddar cheese and spices on top. The pop-over was amazing – light, airy and steaming hot with an inside that was soft and moist and the outside that was crispy (not crunchy but crispy).

Interestingly all of the editors had the same reaction to the steak. The steak was tasty, but, using Steakhouse 85 as a standard, it was just mediocre. Editor 1107 rated the steak only 2.5 smiles, while the others rated the steak 3 smiles. The order of calamari was crispy fried outside, but still tender inside. The mashed potatoes had a few lumps which made them a little yummier and the vegetables were great.

After the meal, we all ordered dessert which included New York cheesecake with a seasonal fruit compote, a freshly baked apple pastry with ice cream and brownie a la mode. All were pretty good, as desserts go, but again they were only standard fare, there was nothing memorable about them. So that is where we will leave the review. It was a standard restaurant with a standard menu. Price wise, comparing Char’s prices with that of Steakhouse 85, dinner at Steakhouse 85 topped out at a little over $300 for three people (the breakdown can be found over at the Steakhouse 85 review). For Char, similar Delmonico steaks, each $29, compared to $49 for Steakhouse 85. But as noted above, the price wasn’t the only difference. The steakhouse 85 Delmonico was worth every penny of the $49 and for good or bad, the Char Delmonico was worth only about $29.

Atmosphere rating 😊😊😊😊; Service (the waiter was great) 😊😊😊😊; Food 😊😊😊. Our overall rating rounds out to three standard smiles 😊😊😊.

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