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morton's tonight... oh boy

  • l
  • lchow Oct 12, 2005 01:27 PM

i posted a while ago for back bay steakhouse suggestions and got lots of replies. i was looking forward to trying out grill 23, the oak room, or abe & louie's... but it looks like my co-workers settled on morton's.

with that said, anyone have any suggestions on what to order (appetizers, meat, sides, desserts)? i like lamb (i noticed they had lamp chops) and i like my steaks med rare (i find i like bone-in more). i'm no meat expert by any means, so i don't really know the different cuts, etc. if anyone has suggestions, that would be great. thanks!

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  1. I always liked their NY strip. For sides, I like their Caesar salad, their lyonnaise potatoes. For dessert, you MUST have their Godiva chocolate cake. You need to order it with dinner. It is like a chocolate molten cake.

    1. It' probably as good or better than any of those other places as far as steak, though it may be the most expensive.

      Really, the only steak to get there is the bone in ribeye. It's quite flavorful, and they seem to always be able to hit medium rare, unlike Abe and Louie's which overcooks almost every time.
      Be warned though: it's the fattiest cut. Some people are scared off by that.I have no idea why; it's the fat that makes it taste good. But if you're squeamsh about it, then go with the single sized porterhouse, which is half new york strip and half filet mignon, with a good t-bone to gnaw on afterwards.

      For sides, the usual: good creamed spinach.

      1. I really like their stuffed shrimp appetizer, and their ceasar salad. Steakwise, I think I've only had their filet which is quite good. Sides, I like their mushrooms and spinach and lyonnaise potatoes, it tastes great with the steak, and if we have some left over, I put everything it in an omelet the next day. :) And for the dessert, they have a molten chocolate cake, and I think anything gooey and hot from the oven is plenty special. Have a great time.

        1. A couple of thoughts:

          I like the steaks here, though I prefer dry-aging to the wet-aging process used here. My favorites are the bone-in ribeye and the porterhouse. On weekend nights, there's also prime rib available, which is great if you can get a very rare or rare cut.

          Sides are good, and huge. I like the hash browns, creamed spinach (probably two sticks of butter and a pint of heavy cream in there), and often get sauteed mushrooms to go with my steak.

          Try not to laugh when they roll the "menu" over, a trolley full of various meat cuts in Saran wrap (I always thought this was the stupidest gimmick), or to scream when they wave that live lobster in your face.

          There's a reason they make you order certain desserts at the time you place your dinner order: a) they're time-consuming, b) they're expensive, and c) if you waited till later, you might not order them. They do a nice dessert souffle.

          Not my favorite in town -- I kind of hate that dining room, even with the redo -- but it's easier to take if the company is picking up the check.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I'd be tempted to scream when they waved a lobster in my face just for fun & giggles.

          2. I actually enjoyed their sides there more than the steak (but I'm not a big steak person). Their sides are enormous and can be entrees themselves. I enjoyed the grilled asparagus when I was there and they had these giant tomatoes in their tomatoes, mozarella and basil salad that were very tasty.

            Just a note that most of my colleagues found their steaks to be overdone. I like my steak cooked well, so mine was fine. Anyone who asked for medium or rarer were generally disappointed with their steaks.

            7 Replies
            1. re: kobuta

              I've found the exact opposite to be true. Perfect deep red MR every time.

              Out of curiosity: Why would you spend $40 on a well done steak? You can make a perfectly good flavorless hockey puck at home.

              1. re: tamerlanenj

                Imaginably the writer just doesn't prefer his/her meat moo'ing? I'm partial to well-done meat myself- I don't like any red in it- just a personal preference, as bloody red meat isn't appealing to me. Just because a steak is well-done doesn't mean it will be " a flavorless hockey puck." I've had delicious steaks at Morton's which were cooked to my liking...

                1. re: bex77

                  Impossible! You both should have your children taken away! :-)
                  I guess I just don't get it. That red color isn't blood, you know. "bloody red" is a misnomer.

                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                    It may be a misnomer, but it describes the taste very well... :-)

                    1. re: kobuta

                      You know what blood tastes like?

                      I honestly think that most people who like their steaks well done have never even TRIED it another way. Start with medium well at least and see if you can work your way down to medium. Your taste buds will thank you.

                  2. re: bex77

                    Morton's quality is variable. I don't go because I consider the pre dinner act with the lobster puerile and somewhat appetite ending.
                    I cannot imagine paying these prices for well done steak, which Hilltop will do as well using commercial beef. Even though certain chefs, such as Daniel 'Boulud, will serve his meat well done, many will not, and will suggest other entrees. My view- give the public what it wants. Serve them the steak that would have gone into the stock, finish it off in the microwave or butterfly it.
                    To order a great steak well done is just the Jethro Bodine nature of certain diners. Take their money and sigh.

                    1. re: aadesmd

                      I think a well-done steak is a crime against beef, too, but have had to grill some really nice steaks that way for relatives. *Sigh* -- whatever makes them happy. Well-done steak eaters should read Bourdain on this, though: many restaurant grill cooks save their oldest, nastiest cuts for the well-done crowd.

              2. Manage your expectation lchow. expect mediocre steak, lousy service and a who cares about attitude by the management.

                first you probably got reso here because it's the last place anyone wants a steak in the 'hood. the steak is usually ill-prepared and in fact it is the ONLY place in the world and in his life (50+ years) that jfood did not finish a P'house. Cooked to the wrong doneness and when jfood told the waiter he brought over the manager and jfood's comment to the manager was that the steak was overcooked to Med-Well not the Med-Rare ordered , the manager responded "Thank You" and walked away.

                they also tell you that any dessert souffle needs to be ordered with the apps because they take 45 minutes to bake. then they serve the chocolate "specially prepared" souffle cold. give jfood a break.

                As far as jfood is concerned the best thing to order at Mortons in Boston is a pizza delivery from around the corner.

                Sorry to be blunt but jfood would go there again even if treated.

                8 Replies
                1. re: jfood

                  Anyone can have one bad experience at anyplace. I find this review to be a bit overstated. Look, the truth is with these steakhouse chains is that they are more or less interchangable. Yuo can have a good night or bad night at any one of them. I've found Morton's to be a bit more consistant than most, but that's just me. There's simply not enough difference between a Morton's and a Palm and a Ruth's Chris to get your panties in a wad over.

                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                    OK maybe this will help.

                    jfood has eaten in five different Morton's over the last year. Each have been extremely disappointing in the steaks and that is after starting eating Morton's steaks in 1978 in Chicago. The Boston location is the single worst of the Mortons jfood has eaten at in his life, and is the worst steak house, in Jfood's opinion, in the Copley area. The review is NOT an overstatement but a true and accurate statement of facts.

                    As others on this board know, jfood has been criticized in the past for giving restos too many chances before removing from the "Go" list. Jfood agrees that there are good nights and bad nights and good steaks and bad steaks. But when you receive bad steak, bad service, bad attitude, bad everything that has a minimal objective requirement then jfood feels fully justified in his review as posted above.

                    If you have a tangible experience at the Boston Morton's please feel free to post as a response to jfood's post, but "panties in wad" comment is not helpful with no input on the resto in question.

                    1. re: jfood

                      My 2 cents is that jfood has a point - and I agree! I have sent back steaks 3 times (luckily the company tab was paying for the meal - I would have left otherwise). Its one thing to have a "bad night" when the steak is $20 - and a totally different thing when the steak is $40-50! At those prices, i EXPECT the restaurant to not have an excuse for taking my hard earned money. I for one love a USDA Prime Steak which is cooked pittsburg rare - and when a "steakhouse" with astronomical prices cannot make it happen to a customer's specifications, there is something wrong somewhere in paradise!

                      As to ordering your dessert early? Have you had a chance to peek into the kitchen? see anyone actually whipping egg whites to perfection while you are eating? I doubt it. Another gimmick to get more of your money while the kitchen staff pours out the premade batter at the last maoment to make that souffle "to order"..... how dumb CAN the general public be?????

                      The only good thing i can say about Mortons is the bar - some decent standard cocktails can be had there.

                      1. re: cornFusion

                        Dumb enough that these places are packed every night.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          or maybe just the company tab dumbs down normally intelligent people? (Wish i could be working for one of those companies which so lavishly spend money on their employees)

                        2. re: cornFusion

                          From what i understand, chocolate souffle batter can be prepared in advance, but the fruit souffles need to be prepared to order so that they can rise properly. I think it's because of the acidity but not 100% sure.

                          1. re: cornFusion

                            I'll agree with jfood and cornFusion that the Boston Morton's is horribly bad.

                            The lobster bisque is OK but not as good as those at Capital Grille, Oak Room, or Locke Ober. Had the worst steak ever, ever, ever at a chain steakhouse there, a porterhouse that was tasteless and so full of gristle I was picking out inedible wads from start to finish. Unlike most other steakhouse chains, which give you a first-rate bread basket, these folks plunk down a huge, leaden onion roll in front of you. And the waiter was consistently inattentive and tough to find, even though I was practically the only person there. While their spinach and mushroom side dish was indeed good, that's no reason to return.

                            No way I'm giving them another shot, period.

                            1. re: bachslunch

                              hmm...I love the Morton's hot fresh onion roll. I HAVE had the kind of horrible experience you describe with an almost inedible porterhouse at Capital Grille. I think it speaks to the inconsistency and interchangability of all these places.

                    2. Hey!!! I hope you have a good meal. I know when I atet here it was excellent and my guest hada wonderful meal as well. I liked everything I had, so I suggest looking at the menu and seeing what you like, rather than settling prior to going.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Westy

                        I've had good experiences at the Boston Morton's. The bone-in ribeye I had was perfectly cooked.

                      2. Anyone try the happy hour "free" steak sandwiches at the bar? I've been meaning to check that out (not sure if it's even available anymore -- I think I heard about it over a year ago).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          I was ready to revisit just for this, too, but at least one Hound here has mentioned that this "happy hour" deal isn't on anymore.

                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                            As I've mentioned several times, no more free sandwiches. Their happy hour is 5-6:30 and 9:30 to 11, or something like that with apps at $4 I think.

                          2. <<<I for one love a USDA Prime Steak which is cooked pittsburg rare - and when a "steakhouse" with astronomical prices cannot make it happen to a customer's specifications, there is something wrong somewhere in paradise!>>>

                            Amen and Hallelujah!

                            Even worse is when they don't know what "pittsburgh" is to begin with!

                            To the meat-eaters, if there is a Fleming's in your area and you have not been, a reservation is highly recommended. Have not been to a Morton's, was totally underwhelmed by Ruth's Chris.

                            But the food and food service at Fleming's in Salt Lake City was outstanding. Only the wine service faltered (a sommelier is not a white by the glass), but then I was drinking beer so who cares?

                            Easily one of my Top 10 steaks, maybe Top 5. And my missus' bone-in veal chop was every bit as impressive.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                              Thank you! (bowing...)
                              If Flemings is NOT a chain restaurant, I think you may have made a point for good steak AND service. My favorite was a nice quiet Inn-like place in NH where the wine list was impressive, the Prime steak was well marbled (yes, there is a difference even among USDA Prime steaks) and the bar was wonderful ..not been back since there are new owners there now - but would be very happy to hear some reviews of it.

                              1. re: cornFusion

                                Flemings is indeed a chain, and while I think they're better than Morton's, I wasn't very taken with my experience at the Boston outpost, either -- their prime rib was at least OK if not worth the bucks, their spinach side was fine, and their service was first rate. Not in any rush to return, sorry to report.

                              2. re: GroovinGourmet

                                OK, first, I have to say that, before asking this, I looked in my food dictionary. What is "Pittsburg rare"? I have never heard this term before.

                                1. re: troutpoint

                                  charred on the outside, rare on the inside.

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                    As in "Blue" rare?

                                    1. re: troutpoint

                                      Pittsburg is frequently referred to as "black and blue" in the biz