OK, let's get the financials out of the way. Here's our bill as a sample of what to expect:
$2.60 per raw oyster (appetizer)
$7.50 slice of cheesecake (dessert, shared)
$8.00 steamed broccoli (side, shared)
$8.50 potatoes au gratin (side, shared)
$9.00 tomatoes & mozzarella salad (appetizer)
$9.50 cocktail (each)
$9.50 grilled asparagus (side, shared)
$14.50 giant scallops, 2 pieces (entree add-on)
$46.00 porterhouse (non-aged)
$65.00 ribeye (aged)
Of course you can swing both ways on the total price of dinner. There are less expensive options such as the non-aged and smaller portions of meat. Or you could flip the other way with the Japanese Wagyu Beef ($150.00) and a 1oz sifter of Louis XIII Cognac ($150.00). But you'll be hard-pressed to get out with a bill under $50/person unless you order the bare minimums or go vegetarian.
If you're OK with the prices, let's move on...
We have been consistently spoiled by Crown Grill restaurants aboard Princess Cruise Lines ships which feature immaculate cuts of aged beef and lamb. So we were looking to be impressed by an upscale steakhouse on land. Here's our experience with Hyde Park:
QUALITY - Excellent!! Anyone having read my reviews of higher-end establishments know that oysters-on-the-half-shell are my litmus test (a kitchen with less-than-excellent quality and cleanliness standards or equipment is easily detected) and Hyde Park passes with flying colors! In fact, they were probably some of the best raw oysters I've ever had in Cleveland! That's not to say the rest of dinner wasn't just as delicious - everything was great!
SERVICE - It's obvious service is guaranteed at this establishment. From the complimentary valet to the coat check greeting you at the door, you feel welcome from the get-go. The front end manager circulated through every table and was prompt and thoughtfully accommodating. And the service continued with a smile all the way through departure. Takeout was packaged by the wait staff.
SURROUNDS - Hyde Park is a lot larger and crowded than I had expected and features multiple dining areas and a separate bar. Ambient lighting is adequate but not so drastically subdued that you can't see the next table over or the food in front of you. The mood was far more hustle & bustle than calm or sublime with a seemingly large army of wait staff, hostesses (3), bussers, managers, etc. constantly moving back and forth. Decor includes statues and artwork of dogs and horses. For comparison sake, Hyde Park seems almost as large in seating and bustle as a Longhorn or Texas Roadhouse and opposite of a Ruth Chris in activity level and mood.
ISSUES - A couple of times we sat with dirty dishes in front of us for 10 to 15 minutes waiting for our waiter to return. Our steaks came out at least a full temperature cooler than requested (requiring refire). When the refire came out still not cooked enough, I simply decided to just take it home and microwave it to temperature later. Seasoning was a bit lacking on the steaks right out of the kitchen - a little salt & pepper made ALL the difference in bringing out the great flavor in both steaks.
In conclusion, I give 4/5 stars as I expected a little more perfection in food preparation and proactive service for the price we paid. I give the excellent quality and freshness of ingredients a full 5 stars - you can't get better than this. Overall, we'd consider coming back again - price being the only limiting factor. And if I were were to be asked, "Ruth Chris or Hyde Park?" my response would be Hyde Park (although my wife claims Ruth Chris is better).