July 31, 2007

Review: Charlie Palmer Steak

Friday the 13th, we dined at Charlie Palmer Steak inside the Four Seasons. We had no trouble making eight o'clock reservations, only two hours beforehand. When we arrived we were offered the choice of dining at traditional table or a couch table. We opted for the latter. Ambiance was relaxed and cozy due in part to the subdued lighting. There were only two other tables of diners when we had arrived. We found it somewhat odd for it to be so quiet on a Friday evening. However, additional patrons arrived toward the end of our meal.

Despite the lack of guests, service was remarkably slow to start. A visit from the Sommelier helped to pass the time while we waited on our menus. We chose not to have any wine, but his presence sparked several etiquette questions. A variety of breads were delivered to our table and our drink order was finally taken, but we still had not seen a menu. We grew impatient so I dug into the bread, sure enough that’s when our waiter appeared with menus in hand.

We opted to start with citrus prawn cocktail and Caesar bib salad. We selected Filet Mignon and Veal Delmonico as our entrees and chose to share a side of Parmesan potato gratin. We devoured the basket of delicious breads while we waited. The corn bread was particularly notable.

Our appetizers were excellent. My filet was prepared with roasted shallot jus. Frank’s Delmonico was served with peppercorn sauce. Both were flavorful and tender. Although, as a matter of personal preference, we rather have sauces served on the side. The potatoes were outstanding; a crisp crust formed across the top and the inside was rich and creamy.

Our bill came to $146. I will note that I was a bit surprised to see that my two diet cokes cost $10; seemed excessive to me. In the end, service was sufficient, but I’d expect a higher caliber from Charlie Palmer and the Four Seasons. Nonetheless, it was a fine meal.

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