Had a nice meal at Donovan's last night - I devoured the 20" porterhouse ($51) - obviously they treat the prime meat with respect, so it's adorned with nothing more than s&p. The garlic smashed potatoes (apparently the "house specialty") were garlic-heavy (this is a good thing IMO) and the side veg (along with potato, also included in price) of snap peas carrots were cooked just right. French onion soup with gruyere crouton (maybe $7?) was very good, lots of onion, rich broth, right amount of salt, very tasty. My first thought was "I want more cheese" but it was quickly forgotten as I starting eating it. Calamari ($9) was a snooze and I suspect from a Sysco bag; Smoked salmon ($15) was good but the toast points need a severe upgrade. The bread left a lot to be desired - I think Simply Bread needs to send them a brochure, and hard butter is a pet peave of mine.
Slight mishap with the wine, our host accepted the bottle without reading the varietal - I heard him say "Luna" without saying "Merlot" (he would differ) and as I took a drink, I knew something was up - it turned out to be Sangiovese (no idea $). No big deal, we kept the wine and got the Merlot as well ('03, $80). You know they are making money on the wine, so to prevent rubbing it in your customer's face by leaving the Sportsman's sticker on probably isn't the best idea.
My SO and others at the table opted for the 10oz filet ($41) and they all seemed to enjoy it; I tasted it and agreed it was good, but I believe I've had better at Mastro's. Again, these are small quibbles because the quality of the meat is so good, it's really hard to find much fault when they are cooking it to specs.
Service was smooth, they kept their hands off the wine for the most part and let us take care of pouring. All in all, it was what I expected for a high-end steakhouse. Prices are steep but it with the inclusion of the potato and veg when others don't often do this, I really can't say that they are too far out of line.
I don't see much mention of this place on this board so I thought I'd share my experience. Cheers.
Thanks for the report. I recently received a $50 Donovan's gift card in the mail as part of a promotion. I was astounded at high dollar value. Usually promotional gift cards are in the $20 range -- at least the ones I get. Now, that I see the prices for entrees, I see why the denomination of the gift card is so high. Glad to hear it's a good place.
Donovan's Steak & Chop House
3101 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016
My in-laws got one of those $50 gift cards this past summer, and gave it to us since they were gone. DH and I went there last month; he had been there a few years ago, and it was my first time there. I was shocked at the prices. I had the bone-in ribeye (which the waiter said was the best steak on the menu) and it was $48.00. That is my favorite cut of meat and, in all honesty, it did not taste any better than what my DH grills at home (and that is steak that we pick up at Fry's or Safeway). My DH had the $60+ bone-in NY and he also agreed that he grills steaks at home that are just as flavorful. Granted, these steaks were twice as thick as what we buy at the grocery store, but the taste wasn't superior considering the price. (Our $50 gift card didn't even make a dent in the total bill.)
Appreciate the review. Each time I try to find something better than a Mastro's steak, I find myself woefully disappointed, I'd like to give Donovan's a try, with the expectation that it probably will not be better than my favorite. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!