Vic Stewart's, Walnut Creek--Any Feedback Available?
Thread update: the price for the 49er steak is now $90. Had dinner there Saturday with wife, mother-in-law, and our 5-month-old. (The baby was warmly welcomed and extremely well-behaved, although she did try to eat the dessert menu.)
I absolutely love this place. It's classic steakhouse comfort and all the little things are done right. My martini was excellent, the bread was great, the Porterhouse was cooked perfectly medium-rare and an excellent cut (generous on the filet side), the wine list is not crazy-forward but has good solid choices on it, the atmosphere is fabulous no matter where you're seated.
About the seating: there are many options. The train car is brilliant, always my wife's first choice for a Valentine's meal. We dined in the back room on this recent visit, right in front of the fireplace--just a really nice space. The wine room in the front is great for groups.
The bar is also excellent and here's a pro tip: if you're not a mall person and out with someone intent on spending 2 hours in the Walnut Creek Macy's, just go out the back door, through the parking lot, and ford down the hill and across the street for a couple of beers. It's worth the quick hike.
I really don't like the big chain places (had a terrible experience at Ruth's Chris and will never return) and this is a great alternative. For what it's worth, I think the atmosphere at Vic Stewart's is much better than Morton's. Service is always extremely friendly, no attitude, ready to answer questions.
The Chron review did get it right regarding sticking to steaks (or the pork chops, which are amazing). The one time I had fish I did think that the quality was not in line with the price but it's really on me--what was I thinking?! The lobster tail component of the surf and turf was very good though.
A lot more than I meant to write, but I was surprised to see so few mentions of this place!
Here is an updated link to Bauer's review (from 1999):
My wife and I dined there in August. If you want a steak it is fine. Not all that different from Flemings or Ruths Chris. Better experience than Morton's which I think is abominable. Much cheaper than Alexanders. It is a fine dining experience and will cost you accordingly. I think it is the best steak in Walnut Creek.
850 S Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Vic's is a fine dining type place. I went there to get a filet and the waiter kind of goaded me into this 49er challenge. I didn't want to do it but he kept pushing so I agreed. They brought me out a 49 oz. porterhouse, salad and the works. I ate the whole thing with no problem and by the way, it was cooked PERFECTLY (I like medium). Anyway, I received a letter and certificate in the mail. Haven't been back to see my plaque on the wall because I live in SC. I recommend to go there, it was great.
Most recent review in Walnut Creek newspaper is 4 years old--not a great sign. So I called the restaurant and they do serve a 49 oz. double cut Porterhouse for $70 (comes with your choice of soup or salad and potatoes). Also called Morton's of Chicago in San Francisco--they have a 48 oz. Porterhouse for $69.95. (Everything at Morton's is ala carte). If you want a big steak I'd choose Morton's--atmosphere is a little more interesting.
"Mao"---this restaurant has NEVER been mentioned on this site, which is unusual. That, combined with the lack of response to your query, makes me suspect that this may not be a fave with our Bay Area hounds. Or it might simply be so far out in the burbs that a lot of people haven't gotten there.
I found some reviews on the web, but most seem to be over five years old.
If anyone out there has info, please chime in. Mao's left a couple of great reports on our Manhattan board; he's someone you want to hear from when he comes (hungry) to SF.