First off, thanks for all the info provided on this site, I have been reading for a few hours now! Please pardon the length of my post, but I thought it would be more helpful if I explained precisely what we are looking for. Not being from the States, I'm not familiar with all of the American chain steakhouses, but have eaten at Ruth's Chris & Flemings (both in Sarasota). Wasn't fond of Flemings, too busy, too loud, tables too close together, mediocre service, not wonderful food. The Capital Grille & Del's seemed to get mentioned quite a bit here, but if memory serves me correclty, (my mind is swimming now with all I read) there were a variety of locations, some better than others? What I am looking for in a steakhouse is that "old men's club" feeling perhaps; a place where a gentleman takes a phone call in the lounge, not at his table. I'm partial to a very good steak prepared by someone who knows what medium rare is and a plain old fashioned baked potato; served piping hot, not lukewarm. Mundane, perhaps, but we are not foodies, nor are we adventurous eaters, we're not looking for tasting menus nor are extravagant wine lists a must. I would, however, like a decent selection of wines by the glass, so that I may try a few different ones, as my husband doesnt drink. In summary, we like a very good meal, good ambiance, and excellent service. If they prepare proper caesar salads tableside that would be a plus! (again, old style steakhouse, I know) Price is not the criteria; (I'm old enough to know price doesnt dictate quality) an overall enjoyable evening, not loud, not quick, served properly etc, are the requirements. Thats my steak place request!
Now for my Italian request: no "nouvelle" italian food, not seafood/italian, not sundried tomato type sauces (or whatever the latest sauce is), but the old style mom and pop Italian place that makes a mean caesar salad and an amazingly tasty tomato sauce! Again we are looking for the "boring" stuff; a very good basic veal parmigian, or an excellent pollo dish, served with wonderful, melt in your mouth bread that is perfect on its own or used to savor that last bit of sauce and a caesar salad dripping in garlic made properly; no creamy dressings allowed! We dont care if this is fancy & high end or a small place located in a strip mall somewhere, as long as its good! Again, excellent food, service and ambiance a must. A place mentioned in a post some months ago was Silvanos; not much detail given, so not sure if this might fit our criteria?
We will be staying at the JW Marriott, Grande Lakes, will have our vehicle with us, Wednesday through Sunday, first week of October. Don't mind driving, happy to go out and find that "special" place. Afraid to rely on the concierge in steering us to the latest "trendy" spot so I appreciate all help and any suggestions offered. Thanks in advance. And I hope you can appreciate my sense of "humour" where I tried to inject it!