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sf_dilettante | Mar 24, 200403:43 AM     12

I had the chance to sit down at the venerable Harris' steakhouse earlier this evening for some good steak. Some quick thoughts:

- Overall, it was good but I'm hard pressed to say anything better than that. I'm saying this as a comparison to other San Francisco restaurants in general, not steakhouses specifically.

- Started with mussels/calamari in a tomato broth. I didn't try the mussels but the calamari was slightly undercooked. The dish as a whole was unimpressive, which was probably due to the fact that it was room temperature when it got to us.

- They had a starter salad of iceberg with a Roquefort (sp?) ranch dressing, with bacon and other garnishes. Overall not bad, although the dressing was a bit too creamy for my taste. Two of my colleagues had the Cesar which they were pleased with.

- For my entree, I had the Pepper Steak (10 oz cut). Other entrees at the table included a petite (10 oz)cut of buffalo (which was the special for the night), ribeye, and their signature New York bone in steak. Everyone's cut of meat was excellent, and I was particularly pleased to find very little fat on my steak, and the peppercorn/cream sauce started nicely. Yet the dish arrived only warm and was at room temperature by the time I was half way done. This really detracted from the great cut of meat.

- Dessert was some sort of cookie cheesecake; I only sampled it and thought it was good but unexceptional.

- Service was very good. They paced us fairly slowly (almost 2 and a half hours) but this was fine with us. The staff was efficient and relatively unobtrusive.

- The price for 4 was $230 before tip, including 4 salads, 1 appetizer, 4 entrees, 2 desserts, coffee all around, and 2 martinis (total, not per person). Needless to say, quite expensive.

Like I said, good, but not great. One thing that surprised me was that all 3 of my colleagues have been to Acme Chophouse and all proclaimed Harris head and shoulders above Acme. I haven't eaten there yet but would be interested to hear other's thoughts on Acme's merits versus Harris'

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