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Jacob & Co ?

Read a rave review of this new steak house in one of the Toronto papers. Anyone been ? If so, any recommendations and comments ?

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  1. Just adding a place link -

    http://www.jacobsandcosteakhouse.com

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    Jacobs & Co
    12 Brant Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2M1, CA

    1. Haven't eaten there yet but the meat window is an awesome thing to behold. There is something very wrong yet gratifying about that glass wall. These owners seem to be unabashed about what their restaurant is all about - meat & money. At least there's some real honesty somewhere.

      1. Tried it out a few weeks ago, shortly after it opened...
        I have never reviewed a restaurant before but the review in the Star was almost dead on. The only difference was that my (our) steaks were cooked beautifully. They had to have been the best steaks I've ever tasted, which I know sounds crazy- but if you eat them you'll know what I mean. It was expensive, though.
        But I should also add that everything, from the hosts to the sommelier to the waiter were operating at a level I have never experienced. New or not, if they can keep it up, this place will become the hot spot of 2008. I am trying to find somebody to take there for dinner who has an expense account.

        1. I went there the other night after reading the Star review. In short, all sizzle, no steak. THis is not a steakhouse. Its a coolish lounge that happens to have steak on the menu. The steaks are tiny compared to the beautiful big ones I am used to at Harbour 60. At Harbour, I get the 24 ounze bone-in rib steak for $51.95. At Jacobs, there were very few choices of cuts, and other than the porterhouse, the biggest steak they had was 14 ounzes. I ordered the 14 ounze rib eye steak - aged something like 33 days, making it one of their high-end selections. This cost $46.00. What a joke. The so-called aging didnt make a dint of a difference in the flavour. In fact, the Harbour 60 steak was at least a hundred times better, and way bigger, and even WAY cheaper! At Harbour, one of the highlights is the olives, feta, hot peppers and fresh bread served free as an hors d'oeuvre. At Jacobs, nothing except a giant Yorkshire Pudding like muffin that they call a cheese puff. Tasteless, heavy, unappetizing nonsense. The caesar salad made tableside was cute, but who cares? Harbour's was WAY better and it was made out of sight. The shrimp cocktail was good and reasonably priced, but at Harbour the shrimp cocktail is an absolute show-stopper with the largest shrimps known to man, albeit quite expensive. The side dishes that we ordered were nothing special and expensive. We didnt even end up eating them after trying them. The fries that they say were coocked in duck fat and cost $11.00 (compared to $8.00 at Harbour) didnt taste anything special at all, but I had to eat them because I was still hungry from that steak which should have been on a "Ladies Menu". We sat staring at the menu looking for appetizers and side dishes that were attractive and couldnt find any...at restaurants I like I have trouble narrowing down what I want to order because there is so much that looks good. Not here. Its a struggle to even find something good to order.

          The service and decor were good, and my complaints are not becasue it is a new restaurant. If they keep that menu for 10 years I will still say the same thing. It is not even remotely worth going to. The steak was only marginally better than at any old restaurant, and small compared to the ones that I am used to at real steak houses like Mortons, Hye's, and Harbour 60.

          Honestly, it was a huge disappointment. Maybe they are trying to appeal to a cool King Street West crowd, but nobody will come back for the food. Its nothing special at all!!!

          After walking out the door, we actually called up Harbour 60 and told the hostess that they have nothing to fear from this place.

          Harbour 60 is way better and actually cheaper.

          19 Replies
          1. re: Teffub

            I could have been at your table tef. I was equally underwhelmed by this pretentious menu. The servers and staff were all very friendly and welcoming. The room was very comfortable. But the menu! It wreaked of superiority and did not deliver - by a long shot.

            Harbour 60 is my favorite Toronto SH as I have written often. It is less expensive, much more tasty, offers better choices with [at least] equal quality. Jacob steaks are far too thin for my taste.

            Jacob needs to grow up fast and change their menu in order to succeed IMO.

            1. re: torontoeh

              Here is my list of steak houses in rank:

              1. Harbour 60
              2. Harbour 60
              3. Harbour 60
              4. Hy's
              5. Mortons
              6. Barberians
              7. Harbour 60
              15. La Bifteque
              16. Jacobs
              48. JW's at the Mariott
              Last: Tulip (roadkill)

              I am going to try Topiary's and Carmen's, then I am done.

              Zak

              1. re: Teffub

                I agree with your 1, 2, 3, 4, Black Angus for my 5, 6, Ruth Chris and Morton's would tie for my 7, add Carmen's at 8 and put La Bift at second last ;-)

                1. re: fickle

                  Harbour
                  Hys
                  Ruths
                  Mortons
                  Barberians
                  Carmens
                  are the only places I will go. Havent tried Jacob, Topiary or Black Angus yet. Always seem to go Harbour now.

                  From worst to most worst
                  Steak Pit
                  JWs
                  Biftheque
                  Tulip

                2. re: Teffub

                  my friends and i go to 6 or 7 steak restos in 1 night, tasting a 20 oz sirloin and a 22 to 25 oz rib, all cooked rare, and hys didn't make the cut for 2 years so we dropped them. the best rib steaks were at tom jones, harbour 60 and barberians. the best sirloin was harbour 60 hands down.
                  recently i went to jacob and co and truly enjoyed the porterhouse. i chose that steak because it was aged how i like beef to be aged and it was the right thickness. it was as good a steak as any in the city. go back and try that steak. the long aging brings out the complexity of the beef.

                  1. re: Teffub

                    I so agree with you that Harbour 60 is the best by far! Do not go to Carmen's. I mean the free garlic bread, feta and pickles are all fun, but the steaks are not edible. When my friends go there for birthdays and stuff, I always order the ribs because I just cannot stomach the bad steak there.

                      1. re: Teep

                        Thanks - I forgot. Ruth's Chris comes in at a tie with Hy's at #4.

                        1. re: salad lad

                          Okay it's probably been addressed before but you folks seem to really know your red meat. What about House of Chan. We've never been and sometimes think about going and then back out. Heard mixed reviews. Anybody been recently.....ever??

                          1. re: millygirl

                            Thanks for pointing that out Millygirl. I have been to House of Chan several times. Its a trip. First the good. I love the old school plate of sliced vegetables. I love the old school bowl of chinese chow main noodles or whatever that you dip in sauce. Their steaks are very good quality as are their lobsters. Good portions. A few old school chinese dishes are fun too, liked salt and pepper chopped chicken. Bad things, its dark as night, and kind depressing. But that may be its old school charm. I would say try it, its worth a try, but not as a steak house, more as a trippy steak house. I would rate it behind Harbour, Hy's, Mortons, Ruths, but before anything else.

                            1. re: Teffub

                              By the way, attended at topiary. Whoa was it bad. Double Whoa. Although the feta and pickle free appertizer was good, it was lame compared to Harbour. More importantly however, the caesar salad was nasty. They used dark green lifeless romain with way too much crap dressing. It was the first time in my life that i never finished a caesar salad. I ordered the rib steak. According to the menu and web site, they use only USDA Prime beef. I asked the waiter to confirm this, and received a somewhat unassured nod and non-verbal response. When I took my first bite, it was apparent that this was nothing even remotely close to USDA Prime, or the worst USDA Prime ever known to man. It was just crap. So disappointing. What a rip, and cost the same as Harbour.

                              1. re: Teffub

                                This is my dilemna with House of Chan. We're not talking a cheap meal so I'm always afraid I will disappointed with HoC, but at the same time I am curious. After all it is an institution. I guess I should just bite the bullet one day and go. Where is this place Topiary.....never heard of it?

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    Millygirl, if you want to try House of Chan on the cheap, just for for a plate of chinese food and nose around. Its no problem. Some people go there just for the chinese food. They also have some cheaper steaks and stuff too, and their fried potato slices and onion ring apps that come free with the steaks make the whole thing reasonable and worthwhile.

                                    1. re: Teffub

                                      Hmmmm, normally if I'm in, I'm in all the way but that's a good idea I never considered. Thanks teffub.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        You HAVE to try House of Chan! The decor is very old school chinese restaurant and very "kitch". The food is delicious - steaks, lobsters, and the chinese food is amazing - try a shrimp dish. You dont get those tiny shrimp most chinese restaurants use, you get, big, flavourful shrimp. Delicious. Also, the hot and sour soup is a best in the city. You can order a queen sized fillet (to share) and a couple of chinese dishes, to get a good sampling. Or, order the Chan's fillet oriental and get the best of both worlds - their amazingly tender steak, cooked to perfection, tossed in an oriental sauce and stir fried with lots of vegetables. You really cant go wrong, as long as you appreciate the atmosphere and arent looking for a swanky decor!

                              2. re: millygirl

                                House of Chan is great - as you get the full meal deal but can also order an amazing dish of sauteed spinach and garlic!

                                I also enjoy Seniors Steakhouse once a year. Great mushrooms, garlic bread - and a huge throwback! It's not the best or most expensive, but they serve a great piece of meat and it is really casual.

                                One of the worst steaks I've ever had was at Hy's - and ditto for Le Bifteque.

                                I'm going to Jacobs and Co. in a couple of weeks and am excited for what I will see!!

                      2. re: Teffub

                        Yes, Harbour 60 is the best by far but it is the first time that I have heard it being referred to as cheap. This is hilarious. I guess everything is relative.

                      3. i had one of the best steak experiences in toronto when i ate the 40 oz, 48 day aged porterhouse at jacob and co. the dry aging for that period brought forward the complexity of the taste of the meat, and it was quite wonderful

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jj2244

                          we went back again this week for my birthday, and I was tempted to get the Porterhouse, but it wasn't available that night...
                          we all tried different cuts and shared some Kobe beef- I can't see how it could be any better anywhere else, unless you want the red velvet dark panelling kind of place... the service was top notch, excellent wine pairing and I cannot wait to go back in the New Year to try the Porterhouse!

                        2. We went to Jacob and Co. last Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed everything. Great steaks, sides were delicious...and the service was the best we've had in Toronto in a long long time.
                          We also went to Hy's last month: the service and food was mediocre.

                          1. FYI Joanna Kates reviews Jacob & Co, Harbour 60, Edo & Prime (@ Windsor Arms) re: Kobe beef in today's Globe & Mail.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: deelicious

                              i've had a limited amount of kobe... but even 2oz of this meltingly tender but oozing with grease meat was quite enough in one sitting for me. so i vote for less is more.

                              but is it just me? whenever i walk past jacob's... it smells like somethings been deepfrying there and i don't mean the starches or veg. do all steak houses have a 20ft radius of greasy meat smell?

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                The Joanne Kates article made me mental. As the princess points out, high quality kobe or wagu beef is too rich to eat in North American style.

                                And the Japanese don't eat their beef butchered like a big, American steak. The meat tends to be sliced very thinly (thinner than schnitzel, almost like a cold cut), and it tends to be treated more like a garnish than the absolute main focus of the meal (I mean, a focus because of its luxury and decadence, but not because of its huge-ness).

                                We returned from a trip to Japan in early December, and Mr. Rabbit's Japanese cousin (who is seriously interested in food) noted that most Japanese find the texture of American steak rather repulsive, and they would never want a 12 oz slab of kobe. Aside from being prohibitively expensive, it would largely (no pun intended) be considered disgusting.

                                When we went for wagu in Tokyo, it was prepared as sukiyaki, thin strips of wagu grilled at our table in a sweet sauce (along with veg, tofu, and noodles), and it was to be dipped in raw egg. Comme ca (with pics):

                                http://www.rabbitreporting.com/restau...

                                End of rant.

                                1. re: Rabbit

                                  Totally agree, I had the Japanese Wagu at Thuet and they serve a 5oz slice bbq'ed table side on a Japanese ceramic hibatchi. Just a quick sear an on your plate.

                                  1. re: Rabbit

                                    Not all the beef are sliced very thinly in Japan, depends on the type of Japanese cuisine you are talking about. For sukiyaki, yes, if not, how are you going to simmer the beef at the iron pot ?

                                    But there are steak house like the famous Aragawa in Japan that serve high marbling wagyu beef as a whole piece just like what we have in North America (their 8 oz kobe fillet is $270, now we are talking about "real" kobe). You can also order a 8 oz wagyu steak at Teppanyaki, the chef cropped it into smaller pieces while cooking it on the table, similar to what we have here.

                              2. Went to Jacobs and Co. last night. Here's the skinny (LOL)....

                                - service was top notch - super friendly waiters, bussers, sommelier
                                - ceasar salad was the best i've ever had, and fun to watch! worth the price.
                                - steaks - i had 8 oz. USDA tenderloin, hubby had Wagyu Ribeye - both were delicious and you could cut them with a butter knife...and the sauces added to the fun when we started to get a little full
                                - the sides were completely delicious - we had the onion and the potato dauphinois
                                - wine was a decent value, and decanted
                                - 20 year old Australian tawny was offered up gratis as it was my husband's birthday.....

                                Basically, we had a wonderful time based on food, service, atmosphere. I just hope the impending recession and/ or location doesn't kill the place!!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MeMeMe

                                  Which of the two tasted beter? The USDA tenderloin or Wagyu ribeye? Thanks!

                                2. I'm trying out Jacob & Co. for the first time tonight. I'll post my review next week. Any suggestions on what to order and what to avoid? Anyone tried any of the mains other than the steak?

                                  1. Why do the steaks sound so small? Is their largest steak 14oz?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: duckdown

                                      I'm not sure why their steaks "sound" small. Their largest steak (porterhouse) is 40oz. You could have just, you know, looked: http://www.jacobsteakhouse.com/