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Atlantic City - The BEST Steakhouse

crazyspice Feb 27, 2009 12:38 PM

My husband has one of his "A" level customers coming to Atlantic City for dinner on March 12. He is from the mid-west and an avid steak lover. My husband and I have never been to Atlantic City. We have been to great steakhouses around the country, but we are clueless about Atlantic City.

Please help a fellow Hound and give me your best recommendation for a great steak experience. Many thanks in advance!!

  1. crazyspice Mar 13, 2009 07:00 AM

    Thank you to everyone for your suggestions! In a conversation with my husband earlier last week, the customer indicated he had driven by Knife and Fork and always wanted to try it. So, the decision was made for us.

    When we arrived for our 6:00 reservation, we were the only party in the restaurant. I can't tell you our server's name because she did not introduce herself. She seemed anxious to get our order. We were barely seated and she wanted to know what we wanted to drink. We had not looked at the wine list. We explained we were not in a hurry and asked for a couple of minutes. She came with our drinks and asked if we had any questions about the menu, which we hadn't even picked up. As it is restaurant week, she explained the additional menu to us. We asked her to give us some time. When she came back, we ordered appetizers, Oysters on the 1/2 shell, corn & crab chowder, shrimp cocktail. We were still not ready to order dinner and our server did not get that we were there to dine, not eat as quickly as possible and run out the door. We were still the only party in the dining room. The oysters were good, not great. The chowder was excellent and the shrimp were perfect. The butter they brought to the table tasted like the refrigerator. The rolls were fresh and hot.

    We ordered dinner. I started with the iceberg lettuce salad. The lettuce was the hard yellow center and I wasn't thrilled with that, but it was fresh. The pancetta was almost non-existent. The customer's wife opted for the special restaurant week 3 course dinner ($33.95) corn & crab chowder, filet mignon, goat cheese potato gratin & broccoli rabe and a trio small deserts. The rest of us ordered the 8oz filet mignon. All of our steaks were perfectly cooked. I am still cringing over the customer's request to have his steak cooked medium well! Whatever. My steak was perfectly rare. For the table we ordered the goat cheese potato gratin, asparagus with bearnaise (wood fire roasted), sauteed mushrooms and the battered string beans. Everything was delicious and hot. I was the only one who felt there was too much rosemary in the mushrooms. My husband ordered the banana burrito for dessert. He said it was excellent. I do not eat dessert, but it was beautifully presented.

    Now another very large and VERY noisy party is seated. We ceased to exist for our nameless server at this point. I had requested another glass of wine. She never brought it. I flagged down the busboy and asked him to get my wine right away. For the rest of our visit, we were taken care of by the manager, with the exception of the server dropping off the check and smiling sweetly.

    If the service had been better, our experience would have have just about perfect. The customer and his wife were thrilled and that is all that really mattered last night!

    6 Replies
    1. re: crazyspice
      m
      mcegielski Mar 17, 2009 08:55 PM

      glad to hear the food was great! i knew it would be. i have had service there one time that was way overbearing. it seemed like someone was constantly popping up on us to see if everything was ok. the food however, i have always found to be exceptional. i love those battered green beans! i've also had that corn and crab chowder and the goat cheese potato gratin. all wonderful! i like that 16 oz lobster tail with the added crabmeat. decadent to say the least but delicious. my steaks at knife and fork have always been tender, juicy, and cooked to perfection,

      what i think is best about knife and fork is that is has history and soul. something that is lacking at the casino restaurants at the borgata. i did a menu read at every restaurant there last weekend except flay's as it was inside the restaurant and not outside on the wall. i think that seablue looks really interesting. i'm glad you folks hit knife and fork and supported a local business and not the corporate casino joints with big name celebrity chefs that are only there once a year!

      if the customer wanted another real slice of atlantic city you could of brought him to baltimore grill for incredible pizza or the irish pub for a night cap!

      1. re: mcegielski
        m
        mcmullek Apr 27, 2009 11:44 AM

        After reading this post, we decided to check out Chelsea Prime Saturday night after spending the day jumping back and forth from the casinos and the beach.
        From start to finish, the experience was perfect. Everyone from the hostesses to the busboys were super attentive but not in an annoying way.
        I had the filet and the bf tackled the dry-aged porterhouse after starting with the lobster bisque. I've been to some of the better steak places on the West Coast: Smith & Wollensky, Ruth Chris, The Caucus Room here in DC and a handful of others, but my filet at Chelsea Prime was hands down the best steak I've ever eaten.
        Perfectly medium rare and surprisingly juicy despite the deliciously charred outside.
        The whipped & lyonnaise potatoes sides were decently portioned, although the lyonnaise potatoes were very salty- most likely from the bacon.
        The wine by the glass menu had some tasty & affordable options, as did the specialty cocktail list, which we're all $10.
        Granted we were in a great mood after "winning big," the ambiance and deliciousness really hit the spot. It was a splurge, but well worth it, and it made the 4-hour Greyhound back to DC bearable.

        1. re: mcmullek
          c
          cahoundinnj Jun 23, 2009 07:30 PM

          Glad to hear you liked it. As I posted above, it is the best steak house in AC hands down. I think it is actually the best restaurant in AC. I like Il Mulino, Chef Vola, Sea Blue and all the usual favorites. Love White House too. But $$$ aside, Chelsea Prime is the best meal in AC.

          1. re: cahoundinnj
            ellen4441 Jun 24, 2009 08:19 PM

            I've been to Chelsea Prime recently (which is owned by the Stephen Starr group, just like his Barclay Prime in Philly...)

            I now also vote for the Chelsea Prime as the best steakhouse in AC ...

            1. re: ellen4441
              AC Captain Jun 24, 2009 10:52 PM

              Ellen if I could respectfully correct you, Stephen Starr manages the food and beverage program at the hotel. The hotel itself and the restaurants are owned by Cape Advisors a small hotel group out of Cape May.

              1. re: AC Captain
                ellen4441 Jun 25, 2009 09:53 PM

                thanks, AC Captain; I appreciate the corrrection...

    2. c
      cahoundinnj Mar 3, 2009 07:17 PM

      Everyone has missed the best steakhouse in AC - Chelsea Prime. I've been to them all: Palm, Old Homestead, Bobby Flay, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Gallaghers, Knife and Fork, and others not mentioned. But Chelsea Prime is the best hands down. Beautiful room in the Chelsea Hotel. Overlooks the ocean in what is the best looking room in the city. If it's a client, reserve one of the white banquets that overlook the ocean from the top of the room.

      It's a modern steakhouse menu that is very pricey. Bone in filet is terrific as are all the cuts. Whipped truffle mashed potatoes. tater tots. For apps, you can't go wrong with the seafood sampler, tuna carpaccio, or any of the salads. Signature drink, The Chelsea, is great - a martini with cucumber and persecco. After dinner there is an upscale lounge area for drinks, a piano, another room with games a billiards table and another bar. The place is very classy and retro chic. You can't go wrong here.

      1. Foody4life Mar 2, 2009 12:21 PM

        May I suggest crazyspice & hubby visit the Borgata this weekend, see first hand the layout, atmosphere, etc. and visit OH, Flays and Pucks. Maybe have a drink and app at each and pick one for dinner.

        Since you've not been to AC, it'd be helpful to have a general knowledge of the place before hosting your hubby's "A" level customers! : )

        3 Replies
        1. re: Foody4life
          crazyspice Mar 2, 2009 12:25 PM

          It's interesting you posted this. I am going to Avalon this weekend for Girl's Weekend. I thought after we check out on Sunday, we could go to the Borgata and check out the restaurants.

          1. re: crazyspice
            tommy Mar 2, 2009 12:31 PM

            Excellent idea.

            And if your husband needs any input on how to manage and deal with his clients, have him come by chowhound. There's no shortage of opinions on steak, or how to run his business.

            1. re: tommy
              crazyspice Mar 2, 2009 12:51 PM

              LOL!

        2. tommy Mar 2, 2009 03:45 AM

          Regarding the Borgata and parking/having to walk through slots machines, etc...

          You can quite easily valet park, walk into the lobby and be at The Old Homestead without having to walk through smokey slot machines. It's really right there. Bobby Flay's is a bit more of a walk, but it's not as though you're walking through a maze of gamblers/club kids.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tommy
            Foody4life Mar 2, 2009 07:06 AM

            100% agree. For an "A" client meal, I'd take them to the "A" resort in AC - not to a chain & not to someone's basement byob, no matter how good it was.

            Take your pick at the Borgata . . . Old Homestead, Bobby Flays or Wolfgang Puck's. They're all very good. Many things to like here include - you don't have to walk forever to dine, you can start with cocktails at Flay's then go down the corridor to the OH for a more formal and classic steakhouse meal, or stay at Flay's if your customer's interested. Puck's has a broader menu. Your after dinner options are also much better at Borgata and you won't have to drive or cab somewhere.

            If you're interested in Chef Vola's byob, here's a post you may want to read: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/473826

            1. re: Foody4life
              j
              jer114 Mar 2, 2009 11:44 AM

              Yes, I think the complaints about "club kids" and smoke are more cliches and not from people who have actually dined at the Borgata. We all know the drawbacks of casinos---overpriced for one---but you can definitely get a good meal at the Borgata.

              1. re: jer114
                s
                scrappyone Mar 2, 2009 12:07 PM

                Another vote for for Wolfgang Puck. Better service, more imaginative menu choices and an air of class that the others are missing. Your client's expectations will be exceeded here.

          2. j
            jer114 Mar 1, 2009 07:35 AM

            Since others have gone into detail, my short answer would be that Knife and Fork may provide the best MEAL, but for best STEAK if cost is no object, then I'd go Morton's or Old Homestead.

            12 Replies
            1. re: jer114
              crazyspice Mar 1, 2009 07:46 AM

              Morton's is out as it is a national chain and available to our guests. Right now we are deciding between Knife and Fork and Old Homestead. Chef Vola's is out because it is a BYOB.

              Personally, I think it would be nice to take them to a restaurant that is not in a casino hotel.

              1. re: crazyspice
                j
                jer114 Mar 1, 2009 09:45 AM

                Well, we are talking about Atlantic City here, which is mainly known for...casinos. So, I don't understand why that's a big deal. Still, best of luck to you.

                1. re: crazyspice
                  AC Captain Mar 1, 2009 10:17 AM

                  It sounds like you (crazyspice) have had the steak house experience before. So keep in mind this will be nothing new for you but if I had to choose the best steak house in AC its Old Homestead. Many of these steak houses including Old Homestead can be hit or miss. Some people will have a great evening on one night and others will not on a different night. I think Old Homestead is the most consistint steak house in AC.
                  Check out the menu of the Dining room section of Wolfgang Puck American Grille, not a steakhouse but they offer a great steak.

                  1. re: AC Captain
                    crazyspice Mar 1, 2009 10:46 AM

                    Indeed. We have dined in steak houses all around the country. Although we live in the area, Montgomery County, PA, Atlantic City is not on the list of destinations for us. I will definitely check out Puck's menu. Thanks!

                    1. re: crazyspice
                      m
                      mcegielski Mar 1, 2009 07:21 PM

                      if ambiance has anything to do with it jus ttake a look at KNIFE and FORK INN pictures. the place is gorgeous and old school atlantic city glamour. i have ate there 4 times in two years and it has been outstanding everytime.
                      if one wants to park in casino parking, walk through rows of slots and cigarette chain smokers, club kids acting like teenagers, and then deal with overpriced food in a faceless enviroment that is their decision. I am not saying that Flay or Homestead (i have been to original Homestead in NY six or so times) or Morton's or Palm won't do a great job. I am sure they will. However, if you want something unique, charming, and delicious go to KNIFE and FORK INN. If you do in fact hit it please let me know what you think. I am going there March 15th and canot wait!

                      1. re: mcegielski
                        AC Captain Mar 1, 2009 09:19 PM

                        One problem if not the biggest, casino dining is inflated and way overpriced, if this is a business account go to borgata. If not don't spend your money at knife and fork it's extremely past it's prime. Then again most steakhouses are overpriced especially in the winelist. Sorry rambling pick a place at the borgata it's the most concentrated area of good food in AC. There is no more free smoking in casinos if that helps.

                  2. re: crazyspice
                    p
                    Papa Bing Mar 2, 2009 04:14 AM

                    Why no BYO? I think Chef Vola would offer a unique dining experience that would have your "A" list customer very impressed.

                    1. re: Papa Bing
                      tommy Mar 2, 2009 05:08 AM

                      I think there are many valid reasons why you wouldn't want to bring a client to a BYO.

                      1. re: tommy
                        The Professor Mar 2, 2009 05:36 AM

                        hmmm...just curious...what are the obvious reasons not to bring a client to a good BYO? I can't think of a single one...

                        1. re: The Professor
                          t
                          TomDel Mar 2, 2009 07:16 AM

                          Not to butt in, but I can think of a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t want to bring a client to a BYOB. You or the client might like to have a cocktail before dinner and/or an after dinner drink. You or the client might not like wine and/or would prefer to have a cold beer with a steak. If you do go to a BYOB, how do you know what kind of wine he or she likes or is in the mood for that night? I just think you’re more likely to please a client or guest by letting them order what they want to drink and having it available.

                          1. re: TomDel
                            crazyspice Mar 2, 2009 08:54 AM

                            That is the primary reason we don't want to go to a BYOB with this client. We have never dined with him before and all I know about him is he likes red wine. I can't ask him to bring his own wine and I don't want to select a wine he might not care for.

                            1. re: crazyspice
                              p
                              Papa Bing Mar 2, 2009 10:39 AM

                              So find out his favorite and bring it.

                2. ellen4441 Feb 28, 2009 08:51 PM

                  My steak was tough at the Knife and Fork; went a few years or so ago, shortly after they reopened.... we are in agreement on our steak experience there, Chowhounder APPLECHEEKS

                  I do recommend CHEF VOLA'S for a really different kind of experience..
                  It's located in a basement of a house, been around 80 years, and you MUST make a reservation in advance...
                  they don't do any advertising ; it's word of mouth, and it's packed every night!
                  I had a real decent steak there; not the best I ever had, but certainly very good...
                  also they have lots of homestyle Italian dishes, and it's BYOB

                  If they ask who sent you, just say a poker dealer Ellen from the Borgata recommended it
                  (that would be ME) I was there in November...
                  Glad you asked about Chef Vola's , Papa Bing.... as it's the best kept secret in AC!
                  (not really, but they used to have an unlisted phone number!)

                  Hope you have a great steak experience, Crazy Spice, and please do your civic Chowhound duty and report back to us!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ellen4441
                    crazyspice Mar 1, 2009 06:24 AM

                    Thanks Ellen! I will definitely report back after our dinner. This will be interesting since I am VERY picky about my steak.

                  2. a
                    Applecheeks Feb 28, 2009 11:06 AM

                    I was not crazy about the steak at Knife and Fork. However, the Kobe burger sliders were out of this world. The Old Homestead was OK, better than the Knife and Fork - IMO. I truly enjoyed Bobby Flay's, as did my dining companions. I would return there in a heartbeat.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Applecheeks
                      p
                      Papa Bing Feb 28, 2009 04:19 PM

                      How about Chef Vola?

                      1. re: Papa Bing
                        crazyspice Feb 28, 2009 04:21 PM

                        Please tell me more.

                    2. The Chowfather Feb 28, 2009 04:39 AM

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5958...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: The Chowfather
                        crazyspice Feb 28, 2009 04:47 AM

                        Thank you. Dining at the Borgata is not the primary requirement.

                        1. re: crazyspice
                          m
                          mcegielski Feb 28, 2009 10:28 AM

                          the palm and morton's and flay's are all chains.....

                          KNIFE AND FORK INN 100% all the way do not pass go do not collect $200.

                          knife and fork rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

                          1. re: mcegielski
                            tommy Feb 28, 2009 10:31 AM

                            I find that often chains like the Palm do a much better job than local restaurants. They get better meat and often provide better service, better wine lists, and a better overall experience. To suggest that someone should choose a local place over a chain simply because it's not a chain doesn't seem very reasonable, or a the very least, very fair to a restaurant that happens to have a few outposts.

                            1. re: tommy
                              b
                              big1515 Mar 3, 2009 07:12 AM

                              the Palm is noisey ,but the food and service are very good

                            2. re: mcegielski
                              The Chowfather Feb 28, 2009 11:37 AM

                              Flay's doesn't really qualify as a "chain"

                        2. Tapas52 Feb 27, 2009 06:12 PM

                          Consider the Knife & Fork

                          http://www.knifeandforkinn.com/index....

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Tapas52
                            crazyspice Feb 27, 2009 06:45 PM

                            There is a Morton's in St. Louis, so that is out. We definitely don't want to take them to a national chain. Both Old Homestead and Knife & Fork have great menus online. Bobby's menu looks fabulous, and I need to ask a few more questions to see it it will appeal to these folks. I would love it though! Thank you so far for your suggestions!

                            1. re: Tapas52
                              tommy Feb 28, 2009 05:06 AM

                              Speaking of different cuts of meat, the Knife and Fork Inn lists a "rib eye filet" on their menu, which as far as I know doesn't exist in nature.

                              1. re: tommy
                                b
                                bnemes3343 Mar 2, 2009 09:02 AM

                                Rib Eye Fillet: Rib Eye Fillet is prepared from a side by a cut through the M. longissimus thoracis (eye muscle) between the 5th and 6th ribs and the junction of the 13th thoracic and 1st lumbar vertebrae. Rib Eye Fillet consists of the eye muscle portion lying along the thoracic process.

                                1. re: bnemes3343
                                  tommy Mar 2, 2009 09:33 AM

                                  Ah. But I thought we were talking about a cow in the states, not a kangaroo in Australia. Maybe I misread the menu.

                                  http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/p...

                                  1. re: bnemes3343
                                    j
                                    jerseyshore777 Mar 18, 2009 07:28 PM

                                    First day with a meat buyers guide?

                              2. j
                                Juniperpie Feb 27, 2009 01:34 PM

                                If you're in Atlantic City the BEST steak house by far is Morton's located in Ceasars Palace. they are very expensive, but if you want to make a good impression and get your money's worth then Morton's is the answer.

                                Here's some other steakhouses I've been to in AC: The Palm in the Topicana. The food does not hold up to the reputation of the restaurant and I was pretty disapponted especially since the price for a basic steak dinner is very high there. Then you have The Old Homstead located at the Borgata. A very good choice for a good meal. Pricey as well though. In the Borgata you also have Bobby Flay Steak. Not the best, but still pretty good.

                                All in all Morton's is the one I would recommend. The presentation, the service, the atmosphere and the food are all top knotch. Remember though, to order your dessert at the same time you order your meal. They have wonderful desserts made fresh that take a while to make. I hope this reply helped.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Juniperpie
                                  tommy Feb 27, 2009 01:58 PM

                                  It's my understanding that Morton's serves wet-aged meat, and The Old Homestead serves dry-aged beef, if that's a consideration for this dinner.

                                  Bobby Flay's restaurant can offer a very good dining experience, with a dazzling room and fun cocktails, and a wider array of steak choices than the typical NYC-style steakhouse, including Kobe-style ("american kobe", whatever that actually means), and hanger.

                                  I'd also suggest that the Borgata is quite a nice place as far as casinos go, which might be a factor.

                                  1. re: tommy
                                    bgut1 Feb 27, 2009 03:40 PM

                                    If tommy is correct about the aging, I would definitely go with Old Homestead as dry aging is the only way to go.

                                    1. re: bgut1
                                      tommy Feb 27, 2009 05:42 PM

                                      although my preference is dry-aged steak, and I rarely spend money on wet-aged, it's really not the only way to go to my mind. Most people don't know about or care about the aging process, and most wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and if they could, many don't appreciate what they might perceive as the gamey flavors of dry-aged beef.

                                      it's a consideration to some, but for others there are other factors that far outweigh the aging process. For example, Bobby Flay's is a bit more energetic, and he's a nationally known chef, and those issues might make his place the more enjoyable option.

                                      Quite frankly I found the ribe eye at the Old Homestead pretty standard (and I'm not a huge fan of the Old Homestead in NYC), whereas I really enjoyed a hanger at Bobby Flay's (athough another meal there was less than enjoyable). Conversely, the Kobe burger at the Old Homestead ranks as one of the best burgers I've ever had.

                                  2. re: Juniperpie
                                    b
                                    bnemes3343 Mar 2, 2009 08:59 AM

                                    As we will be in AC this coming weekend, and have a reservation at Morton's (never been), I'm pleased to see a positive review. Our other food destination will be the White House Sub Shop on Artic Avenue. I've been drolling over the pictures of their house special for months and months now.

                                    1. re: Juniperpie
                                      shorebilly Jun 7, 2009 07:42 AM

                                      I have to agree Morton's is the way to go, a bit expensive but really good.

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