Jack's Old Saybrook
I applaud Jack for his latest move. he saw a void in the market and went for it. he increased his bar seats and opened a chop house. He tries hard, he's hands on. I liked his old place. But his new incarnation is certainly one of the better spots on the shoreline and up the river.
I give him credit for wanting to be better and chasing the brass ring.
Went there with a friend Friday night. The place was packed and we were lucky to get reservations on relatively short notice.
We split a Bibb lettuce salad with blue cheese, walnuts & pear slices. Very tasty and well-balanced with a vinaigrette that complemented, not overpowered, the rest of the salad mix. Before our main course we were presented with a palate cleanser of raspberry sorbet on a toast round.
We each tried a steak. Mine was a New York strip, done perfectly meduim-rare as ordered, accompanied by my choice of brandy-peppercorn and horseradish-mustand sauces. My friend chose the Delmonico, also perfectly m-r, with foie-gras butter and balsamic-shallot jus as his sauces. We had the strange situation where each of the four sauces were perfectly constructed and balanced, but due to the high quality of the aged beef, none were really needed. But when you did use a sauce, it transformed the bite of meat into another taste experience. So I compromised, eating my steak round-robin, plain, sauce, sauce. An unforgettable dining experience.
The goat-cheese potato au-gratin we ordered as a side to balance the steaks was tasty but a bit too heavy and could easily have served four (I took home half). A poor choice on our part. We accompanied our meal with a very nice $29 bottle of Rioja, and ended it by splitting an order of vanilla beignets with chocolate sauce (please don't call them donut holes!).
The only small downside to our meal came with the check, when we noticed that we were charged small surcharge for splitting the salad and the beignets in the kitchen without being warned of this policy (we would have gladly done it ourselves).
All in all, a great meal at more-than-reasonable prices for better-than-steakhouse quality food. Dinner with tax & tip came to about $134.