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Wolfgang's (Zwiener) Steakhouse Review [Long]

caveatempty | May 7, 2008 08:28 PM

Again, this is the steakhouse in Beverly Hills by Wolfgang Zwiener, NOT Puck.

The four of us had dinner at 8:00 on Friday, one day after their grand opening. We started out with cocktails. My Chopin martini, extra dirty, extra olives was fantastic. Looks like they didn't order any long picks for the bar, however, as my olives were strung on a short straw.

The bread service came out. Nothing too exciting--not bad, not great. We didn't want to get too full before the steaks, so we decided to share the fresh mozzarella and beefsteak tomato salad, as well as two strips of the Canadian bacon appetizer. The salad had three slices of tomatoes and two slices of cheese, which made splitting up the salad interesting (I was never good at fractions). The Canadian bacon was out of this world. Cured beautifully, just the perfect mix of salt and sweet. Since I had been told while making reservations that the corkage is 50 bucks, we left our wine at home and decided to order off their wine list. We ordered a serviceable bottle of Sterling cab for 75. There didn't seem to be all that many bottles at that price point or lower.

We ordered the porterhouse for four. It came out perfectly cooked, medium rare like we asked. Charred beautifully on the outside, red and juicy on the inside. As per usual, the steaks came out pre-sliced. My husband, who has been to Luger's, commented that the slices are thicker than PL's. The servers placed the platter with a bread plate under one end so the meat juices and butter pooled to one side and mingled to create an amazing sauce to pour over the steak slices (though, by the end, we were just straight-up dipping the slices into sauce, greedily giving them a blood-butter bath). I did find a variance in the levels of seasoning: the sirloin side had the perfect amount of salt while the filet was somewhat underseasoned. But one dip in the magical elixer and all was well with the world. For sides, we ordered the creamed spinach which was spectacularly good in both texture and flavor, as well as the steak fries, which were just meh. As hungry as we were, we couldn't finish the steaks and took the remainder home.

We had three desserts: sorbet (gratis for my husband's birthday--accompanied by very loud and boisterous singing courtesy of the servers), creme brulee and hot fudge sundae. Once we got a spoonful of the schlag and the hot fudge, though, the sorbet and brulee quickly fell by the wayside. Even though we were suffering from a particular bad case of meat coma, we fought like children over that sundae. Decadent and dee-licious.

While the servers were all extremely friendly, the service itself ranged from competent to overwrought. The servers seemed to be confused at times, standing around as if they weren't sure what they should be doing at what time, or doing too much and creating redundancy (we were told the specials twice, doubled up on plate service, etc.). However, we went in fully expecting less-than perfect service. After all, it was only their second day open. And to their credit, they erred on the side of being too solicitous rather than the alternative. There was one old-timer who seemed to have been imported from the other restaurants who was completely on the ball and had a great sense of humor to boot. Also, the tables are placed fairly close together so that in the hustle-and-bustle of service around us, our chairs were constantly jostled by passers-by. The dress code, like most restaurants in LA, seems to run the gamut from jeans to suits. And as it is LA, Beverly Hills in particular, there's a floor show with dinner (so many collagen-injections with the telltale stiff upper lip, I felt like we were watching a live-action Simpsons episode).

Mr. Zwiener, a sweet older gentleman, looking very dapper in a beautifully cut suit, made the rounds, greeting each table, thanking us for coming in and welcoming us to come back. All told, the damage was a little over 500 including tax and 20% tip. We'll be back.

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