I was lucky enough to score a table for four during restaurant week. I have been eyeing this spot for many many years; my friend used to live upstairs in the Horizon House. I always thought this place was fancy fancy, with their complementary valet and jacket requirement for men. I am also not a huge fan of chains – but this is a very local – only 3 – chain and Baltimore is “The Original”.
This is your classic steak house. It feels a a little like you are walking into 1963 (well let’s be real, I have no idea how that would feel, but more like my impression of what 1963 would feel like). With their restaurant week specials – you can experience the Prime Rib at a very reasonable price. A three course pre-fix for $30.14. They also had two wine choices at $24 a bottle – we went with the red – Stemmari’s Nero d’Avola. I was a little nervous about it, but our lovely waiter Tim, offered to let me taste it before we bought it. The notes on the nose were a little intense, but the taste was mild and very smooth.
For our first course, we all went salad. I had the special house salad – we were rewarded by picking the one with “famous” house dressing. It’s a tangy and peppery, and somehow creamy vinaigrette. I had mine on the side, as I wanted to be able to taste the crisp greens, and fresh tomatoes. I might go with soup next time, but I (and everyone) seemed pretty pleased.
For the main course, despite that the place is called the Prime Rib, with the cut of meat being the house special, all of us went with the filet. The ladies of the evening ordered it med-rare, but erring on the rare side. The waiter did suggest that we not pick that cut of meat if we wanted it cooked any further than medium – so keep that in mind when you are making your meat choices. My steak was perfect. In fact, everyone at the table had a perfectly med-rare steak. It comes on a plate with some greens and shredded horseradish.
Their steaks generally do not come with sides, they are family style à la cart. For restaurant week, our entrées came with the creamed spinach and their classic mashed potatoes. The spinach had to be fresh, which makes for a much better texture when mixed with what had to be whole milk or cream or half and half or all three. I also tasted just enough onion and garlic. I imagine that something extra flavor came from nutmeg, my favorite spinach spice, but I am not the chef, so I can’t be sure. The mashed potatoes were just like my families on Thanksgiving – classic potato, butter and cream. I like the addition of lots of things to mashed potatoes, but sometimes simple is best. This was one of those nights.
We had three choices for dessert – key lime pie, crème brûlée, a chocolate mousse pie. Our table split in half – two for the key lime and 2 for the mousse. I loved my sweet and tangy dessert. Dessert is never really my favorite course, but I am a fan when it involves something a little more on the savory or tangy side. Two of my other friends quickly consumed their chocolate mousse, so I can only assume that was also fantastic.
In case you are wondering about the deal for restaurant week – the salad at $10, the steak at $49, the two sides at $8/$9 for the table, and the dessert also at a price of $11 would have been $75 per person before the wine. I can’t promise the portion sizes were the exact same, but they were plenty big enough and no way it would be double as good.