We ate at Alexanders Steak House last night for a belated birthday dinner celebration for yours truly. My wife and two teen-aged sons joined me. The quick summary is that the steaks were excellent, everything else needs some polishing (IMHO).
I had the porterhouse, which was a very tender, flavorful (and large) cut of meat. Excellent! My wife had the prime rib, and this certainly was as good as any prime rib that she has ever tasted. My one son had the ribeye steak (2 lbs is what they claimed on the menu), and my other son had the sampler steak plate. They werent very willing to share, but their meals looked very good. Note that I ordered my steak rare, as that way if they overcook I still have medium rare, either of which is ok for me. This steak came closer to medium rare than rare.
The restaurant has a nice modern look and feel to it. However at one end of the restaurant they have several large open windows (unshaded). This lets in lots of light, which seems to me to put a serious dent in the ambience of the restaurant. While a good steak restaurant doesnt have to be somewhat dark and romantic, I would certainly prefer it that way. By the end of the meal my one teenage son had a headache from looking directly into the bright light.
My wife and I started the meal with mixed drinks (a lemon drop and Cosmo), both of which were very sour and hard to drink. I am not sure if this is the new style for martini-type drinks, but they definitely didnt work for us. I quickly switched to wine (a Viognier) which was much better.
We tried four sides, including the scallops and hamachi appetizers, the Caesar salad, and two orders of mac ncheese for my sons. The scallops were each wrapped with a piece of applewood-smoked bacon, which I felt was too strong and smoky for the scallops. The subtlety of the scallops was overpowered. I didnt try the hamachi, but the comments were that it was just ok. The Caesar salad dressing was again ok, but pretty heavy on the lemon. The highpoint was the mac ncheese, which was very rich and flavorful.
In the upcoming SJ Mercury review of the restaurant (posted on their website now), one of Sheilas comments is the lack of suitable dress in many of the patrons of the restaurant. I can certainly agree, as I was overdressed wearing slacks and a nice shirt. While I am not a dress snob (I only own one suit), people in shorts/tennis shoes do detract somewhat from the atmosphere.
The service was very good and attentive. The only problem was that they kept asking my two sons (14 and 16) if they wanted children's menus!
Certainly the quality of the steaks is good enough to make me want to go back, but I would go later in the evening when the lighting problem goes away. And I would keep it simpler next time: wine, wedge salad, steak, and baked potato. Nothing wrong with that .. (except possibly the damage to the waist line).
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