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Mekons | May 20, 2003 05:56 AM

Probably old news to most here, but I had sort of avoided the place, figuring it was a businessman/expense account type of place. Which it is, sort of, but I have to confess I liked it.

First of all, the service was wonderful. Friendly, informal but not too informal, informative without wasting my time, and genuinely attentive. Perfect for me. I hate over formal service, but I dislike someone who intrudes on my conversation too.

The food was pretty great too. We shared an order of oysters, which were nice and briney, very fresh, and served with a vinegar sauce I thought was interesting and flattering to the oysters.

The sashimi tuna was a bit less successful. It was grilled perfectly, then chilled, but it lacked flavor and the accompaniments were just so-so. Not bad, mind you, but just not the top of the line.

The main courses were both perfect. I had a veal chop and my brother had a bone-in filet. I wasn't really attracted to the veal preparations they offered and asked for it cajun style. No complaint, the waiter went back and said the chef would be happy to do it my way. And it was very good, a taste of fire without being overwhelmed. I ordered medium rare and it was, perfect. It was a bit small for the price, but nothing to really complain about.

My brother's filet, OTOH, was immense and cooked to perfection. Enough that he took half home.

The sides we ordered were both very good, if not astounding. The green beans were the very long, stringy kind, cooked with garlic and what appeared to be finely diced bacon. I give them an A. The garlic Yukon gold mashed potatos were just OK.

The place is pricey, but I got the feeling they have served the exact same thing for many years, reliably and with a bit of flair.

I enjoy steakhouses from time to time, and Rosebud's is up there with some of my favorites. Not exactly Sparks or Peter Luger, and I admit a real liking for Nick and Tony's, in large part because I prefer a side of pasta with my steak.

The room is great (this is the one attached to the Palmer House, btw, just off Michigan) and just the right size. They have the tables placed JUST SO, so that you can talk without yelling, and as I mentioned, the waiter knew when to show up and when to leave us alone, a talent few have.

Just a side note. I ordered a scotch before dinner, and it was a full pour. They don't cheat you on the little things, give you value for your money, and for the business dinner experience, I recommend it heartily.

And no, I am not a Pollyanna. Don't get me started on Gibson's or Ruth's Chris.

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