There was a day when my wife and I wouldn't think twice about going to a restaurant without bothering to see how expensive it was. Brother - with two kids, a mortgage, and the other stuff - that ship has sailed and may never come back. So we really look forward to Charlotte Restaurant Week to dine somewhere that's new to us and would typically push the envelope price wise.
This time we chose Del Frisco's. A few years ago I visited the Dallas location and had a great experience. Since then I learned that the chain is owned by the same folks who run Sullivan's Steakhouse. (And also Lone Star Steakhouses - but don't let that bother you; you'd never know it.)
Our first stop was the bar as we waited for friends. The bartender was very friendly, but also quite professional and accommodating. In fact, I watched the other bartenders interact with customers – these are people who understand that a gratuity is earned and the point of their existence is to serve. As I said - friendly, but not a buddy. The drinks were pricey, but generous, so the cost was definitely not out of line; particularly considering where we were. Note: If seating at the bar is limited, there is another bar upstairs which seems to be just as good as the downstairs version; if just a little smaller.
Since restaurant week, our menu was limited. For $30.00 you selected a salad, entrée, and dessert. I immediately focused on the 8 oz Filet and honestly I can’t remember what other entrees were available. (Interestingly I noticed that the restaurant offered a $99.00 dinner for two on most nights that touted a similar menu – something to keep in mind.)
The dinner – from beginning to end – was outstanding; cooked perfectly and the table service was just as good as the bar service.
Restaurant week or not we still managed to drop about $250.00 ($125.00 pp) including tip, but not the bar bill. I’d say we saved $60.00, maybe $70.00 on the evening – not bad. However, thinking ahead to the next restaurant week - if you skipped the bar and went straight your table – had maybe one glass of wine and then dinner, two of you may very well get out for $100.00 bucks, including tax and tip. For Del Frisco’s that would be a deal and well worth every penny.
The décor was nice – somewhat typical. Lots of mahogany wood paneling and white linen on the tables; pretty much what you would expect. The downstairs bar curved and along with the long winding staircase to the upstairs dining room; had a nice effect.
Free valet parking was available and a Taco Mac sports bar across the way (a good place to loosen the tie and have a nightcap after dinner). Speaking of attire – pretty much anything goes for the guys. A few sport coats, some with ties, and then just as many with dress shirts only and slacks or even dress jeans.
Now if I have a complaint, it’s with the regular menu. And not so much a complaint, just the observation that if I read the entree list, you may guess it was from Sullivan’s, or The Palm, or Captial Grille, or Morton’s, or Ruth’s Chris and so on. And you’d be RIGHT – no matter what you guessed, because they are pretty much all the same. So don’t anticipate originality at Del Frisco’s, but do plan on quality; food and service.
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