So was able to have a date night with my wife last night. Decided to try the Tree Steakhouse as so many people rave about it. Being from the NE, I've been to my fair share of steakhouses and I loves me some good steakhouse steak!
Anyway, had a late dinner (8:00) and was surprised to see the place was fairly empty on a Saturday night. I'm used to places like this being PACKED on weekends. But I also know it's fairly common around here for places not to be packed (unless the place is extremely good).
Anyway, after looking their website up online I wasn't expecting a traditional steakhouse like a Gallagher's or a Ben Benson's (both in NYC). True to their website, they're not like a traditional steakhouse at all. They're more like just a basic restaurant. Yes it's all painted dark and all that to try and emulate a traditional steakhouse but that's not what makes a traditional steakhouse. Honestly, the decor was a disappointment. In bad need of a renovation. There was a wet smell as you walk back towards the bathrooms as well.
The menu is surprisingly sparse--even for a steakhouse. I was also looking for a good french onion soup--a MUST have at a steakhouse, IMO--but there was none there. We opted for the lobster tempura and it was excellent if a bit expensive at $16.
Their specialty (apparently) is the ribeye. You order the size you want and pay by the ounce (last night it was $2.35 per ounce) then they cut it and cook it for you. Obviously, it can get a bit expensive if you'd like a larger cut. My wife got the ribeye and ordered the smallest cut you can--8 ounces. I decided on the prime rib as I didn't feel like a ribeye last night and the price for my favorite cut--NY Strip--was just way too outrageous to me.
My wife's ribeye was cooked perfectly. I did have an opportunity to taste however, and there was a bit of a grease smoke taste to it--that sharp smokey taste you can get if too much grease is burning on the grill and smoking your meat. Wasn't a strong taste but it was there...and it ruined the great flavor of the meat.
My prime rib was also cooked perfectly and tasted very good. I got the larger cut and it was plenty of meat for a guy my size (I'm a big dude). I thought it a bit strange they just poured aus jus over the meat but didn't give more on the side (I asked for more on the side). However, the aus jus was much too salty. Was edible but too salty.
Now, as far as the service was concerned, well, let's just say it left a bit to be desired--and this is where they really fell down. When we first arrived, there was nobody at the hostess area. We waited for a few minutes before someone came to help us and this wasn't the hostess. I thought that odd for a place like this but I wasn't going to let that ruin our night.
Once we were seated in the piano area--they just told us to go in and sit where we wanted--it took a while for a waitress to come to us. No menus when she came. She took our drink orders then went off and did her waitress thing then brought the drinks and menus.
She did check with us at appropriate times, however, we were never offered dessert. We were just handed the check with a polite thank you. No offer of dessert? No offer of after dinner drinks? That was strange.
The bill for the two of us was $82 (with tax). Now, my wife had 1 glass of wine and I only drank soda as I didn't feel like any wine and we were going out after dinner. We only had the lobster bites and nothing else extra. I thought the bill was much more than it should have been for what we got there. Not that they made a mistake, the prices are just too high for what they offer.
Overall, I have to say the food was good but they need to clean up a few things (the smokey smell and too much salt), but they're lacking severely in the service department. If I'm going out to spend that much on a dinner, I expect better service. I think they're incredibly over-priced for what they are. Honestly, you can get just as good of a steak at The Outback Steakhouse and get better service for half the price. When you start charging Ruth's Cris prices, you need to provide Ruth's Cris type service. I have no problem paying more for a better meal and better service. Unfortunately, I didn't get either at the Tree Steakhouse. It wasn't horrible--we enjoyed our meal--unfortunately, the experience was lacking in so many ways. Because of this, I have to say I was disappointed in the Tree Steakhouse and won't be going back.
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