Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Morton's The Steakhouse

     On our last wedding anniversary hubby and I made reservations at Morton's The Steakhouse for our post theater dinner. This restaurant is well known for their steaks and has numerous locations all over the US, as well as Canada and in parts of Asia. In New York, they have three locations - White Plains, Great Neck and Manhattan. The one we went to of course, was the one in Manhattan. Located off Fifth Avenue on East 45th Street, it's convenient to the Theater District.

     The restaurant's trademark red awning over a pair of heavy dark wooden doors leads to a small vestibule and another pair of doors leading to the restaurant itself. The very first thing that hit me was how dimly lit the interior is. The place was quite busy when we got there but the ambience was pleasant and not loud. The host podium is flanked by the bar on the left and what appeared to be a merchandise counter on the right. We got there about half an hour before our 6:30 reservation but were immediately seated when we declined the option of sitting at the bar. I caught a glimpse of the main dining area as we were lead to our table, and saw that it was divided into two sections.  The larger half had booths on the sides with individual tables in the middle. The smaller half where we were seated had individual tables along one side and a row of smaller tables running along the opposite side. These tables tend to be a little tight, with a tendency for guests to accidentally intrude on their neighbor's space as well as offering little privacy for your dinner conversation. The walls were decorated with black and white pictures of people and places in the past, like the one right next to us of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and former NYC mayor Fiorello La Guardia.

     Their menu offers quite a selection of meat, seafood and combination entrees, along with appetizers, drinks and desserts. Not feeling like having appetizers, we just shared a bowl of their Baked Five Onion Soup which is by far the best onion soup I've had. I loved the savory blend of herbs in the broth, unlike the usual onion and saltiness of other onion soups I've had. They also give out what seemed to me like an onion focaccia bread which might've tasted better if it was still warm. For our entrees I ordered the Braised Beef Short Rib & Jumbo Sea Scallop "Surf and Turf" while hubby decided to try the Center-Cut Prime Ribeye, done medium well. For sides we ordered Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach & Button Mushrooms. After asking for a recommendation from our waiter I also ordered a glass of pinot grigio to go with my entree.  The short rib came with its bone already taken off the meat and set to the side, resting on a bed of mashed potatoes. Next to it were the scallops which were done perfectly. I was very happy with my choice as both items were really delicious. The same goes for the rib eye that hubby had, done to order, juicy and flavorful. I loved the sauteed spinach and button mushrooms, which were cooked just right and made a perfect counterpoint to my savory entree. I now regret not having had my unfinished portion put in a doggie bag. Oh well. Our entree portions were just right, but to my dismay somehow we just didn't have any room left for dessert. I guess we'll just have to go back another day to try the souffle I was eying.

    Despite the rather dark interior and tight squeeze at our table I enjoyed our dinner at Morton's. This was, in addition to the good food, in large part to the staff whose service get a two thumbs up. Our waiter in particular was friendly and attentive without being intrusive, making sure that everything was going well at our table and seeing to our needs promptly. Our food and drinks arrived in a short amount of time, served in a pleasantly courteous manner. Being on the pricier side, we may not be able to dine at Morton's as often as we'd like, but our first time there was definitely the perfect end to our anniversary.

© Margj Castillo, In Review, 2010 - Present.

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