Steak Dinner, New Haven County or Fairfield Co.
On Wednesday night we ate at Central Steakhouse as part of the " Wine, Dine, Design, monthly event, featuring some of the New Haven's architectural firms. http://winedinedesignnh.com/. We have eaten at Barcelona, Zinc and now Central Steakhouse. Barcelona was somewhat underwhelming and Zinc was good. Central Steakhouse was great!
There are usually about 50 people attending these Wine tasting/cheese/talk/dinner events. The Wine Thief hosts the wine tasting at the architect's offices.
At the restaurant, we sat downstairs, in the wine cellar, surrounded by bottles of wines costing into the thousands.
We had crab balls and spring rolls for appetizers, a simple salad, consisting of a chunk of iceberg lettuce, in a pool of dressing. It was accompanied by a small pile of bacon, cheese and two, luscious, marinated cherry tomatoes.
For entrees we had a choice of steak or samon. The salmon came out perfect and the steak was quite food, too. Potatoes with brown gravy came with the steak and we had a few asparagus spears.
For dessert we all received a plate of four dessert trifles. The chocolate, covered with a coconut icing was popular. They were all very good. The wine flowed freely and service was excellent. We had coffee afterwards. This was all pretty amazing to me considering they were trying to serve fifty people all at once! They did a very admirable job of it. I suggest you try Central Steakhouse for yourself and if you like an incredible depth of fine wines, I have seen none better.
For those of you that have not been to Zinc, I include a couple of pictures from the last event. The event photographer, Judy Sirota-Rosenthal took them.
I finally made it to Joseph's Steakhouse last night. Our meal was pretty much a bust. I was disappointed big time to say the least. I would characterize the food, given the exorbitant prices they charge, as a bonifide rip-off.
I got the extra thick sliced griiled bacon for an appetizer. Three pieces of okay tasting bacon for $11.95. I ordered the porterhouse for one at a price of $52.75. Now don't get me wrong. I have no problem laying out cash if I get what I pay for. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My dining companions all opted for the "surf and turf" which consisted of a decent sized filet mignon and a good sized lobster tail. Everyone was happy with their meal although it was nothing out of the ordinary. Well cooked and tasty was the consenses. My porterhouse, on the other hand, was incredibly small. So small I could have eaten at least two. The steak, which is served sliced and rassembled before being served, yielded approximately eight perfectly cooked pieces of very ordinary, bordering on pedestrian, meat. I am not exaggerating when I say that I've cooked a more juicy, more tender and better tasting steak at home many times over. Ant that was accomplished with "choice" grade meat purchased at a butcher shop or at my local supermarket chain. This outrageously mini-porterhouse was supposedly a "prime" aged piece of beef. It did not taste so.
Of course, this being a typical steakhouse, everything was ala carte. Nothing on the menu, imo, was worth the price. At $400.00 with tip for the four of us I feel very ripped off. As I said before, I have no problem dropping that kind of cash on a meal, if I get what I want. And what I wanted was a fairly large and perfectly tender melt in your mouth porterhouse steak. I didn't get that. I would have been embarrassed to serve a piece of beef like that and dare to charge that kind of money. The only saving grace was the perfectly made martinis. And they had Hendrick's gin which was a plus. I won't be going back. I also plan to e-mail them and tell them exactly what I thought of their establishment.
Joseph's steakhouse is a great choice if you both want steak (or some other grilled meat or seafood). It's an old fashioned, no frills steakhouse. The quality of the meat is great, but appetizers and sides could stand an update.
Central Steakhouse in New Haven has great steak, though there is a lot more to the menu beyond simple steakhouse fare. http://www.centralsteakhouse.com/index.html
I've only been to Carmen Anthony once (the Waterbury location), and while the meal was good, there wasn't anything special or notable about it. Their menu comes off as if they're trying to break the simple steakhouse mould, but haven't quite managed to avoid being boring. That being said, a lot of people seem to like it, so there might be something to it that I just don't see.
If it was warm enough out to eat on the patio over the water, I'd strongly recommend Sage in New Haven. It's not a steakhouse, but they do have very good steak (though ribeye is not a regular menu item if that's what your boyfriend is looking for). Even without the patio an option, it's still worth considering. http://www.sageamerican.com/index.html
I hear through reliable sources that Joseph's Steak House in Bridgeport is excellent. I am definitely going to try this place myself as soon as I get a chance. As a matter of fact, I already tried to make a reservation but they only had a 5:45 and an 8:30 which wasn't working for me that night. Supposedly the owner of Joseph's was affiliated with Peter Luger for fifteen years before he opened his own joint. It's expensive but if it's a special occasion it's probably worth it. Check out the website.
I'd say "no" to Carmen Anthony's. I know this place has its followers, but I've been twice and been disappointed twice. I'm never going back, unless it's on someone's very generous expense account.
The first time, my husband and I both felt ill after eating there - we guessed there was MSG in the "Montreal Seasoning" they put on the steaks. The chopped salad was fabulous, but the steak was just OK - nothing I couldn't have done on my grill or broiler at home.
The second time, we got steaks wihtout the seasoning. My steak was overdone and my husband's was fine, but nothing too special. Certainly not worth the exorbitant prices for the meat and the a la carte side dish shake-down. I know this system is SOP for steakhosues, but IMHO it's one of those practices that makes sense in New York but comes across as very silly in New Haven.
Also, the service was strange. The second time we had a reservation and went in (with another couple) to a dining room that had one other party - a group of loud businessmen. The hostess seated us right next to these other people. We figured the place was going to fill up - but it didn't. A few other parties came in, and they were also all jammed together with us and the loud guys.
Different waitresses kept coming to our table to see if we wanted anything. So we ordered drinks from one, only to see that she was put out when we ordered the appetizers from another one. Another waitress took the wine order - not a sommelier, mind you, just one of the other waitresses.
That said, Central Steak is a better bet - also a better wine list and a more hip environment. I'm agnostic about Morton's in Stamford, but my husband and many other people love it. It's about the same price as Carmen Anthony's and way better.