John Howie Steak in the Bravern (Bellevue) Report
Had Friday reservations for 6:15 since that’s what was available on Open Table and I didn’t feel like calling. They weren’t too busy when we were seated but the place had mostly filled up by the time we left about 8:30.
Nice room. The view east over 405 is nicer than it sounds. Frette linens. Nice flatware. We were seated at a 4 top.
Bread basket was okay. Pretzel roll, ciabatta, some other roll I can’t remember, and some lavosh. It was on par with Seastar.
Amuse was a bite of shrimp salad with tomato. It was okay I suppose but I don’t like raw tomatoes so don’t take my word for it.
There was quite an assortment of dry aged steaks plus some Wagyu selections. There were several non-steak dishes as well.
For starters, wife and I shared the steak tartare. It came with both a very mild horseradish sauce and a Guinness mustard sauce. The beef was very fresh and tender. I thought it was all pretty good and would rate it up there with the tartare we’ve had at Cut in Las Vegas. Only complaint was that it only came with three toast slices. It was quite a large serving of beef.
They offer two tableside prepared salads. Caesar or spinach. I kind of dislike tableside preparations but we ordered the spinach salad. It was a pretty standard wilted spinach salad with perhaps the exception of the three fried quail eggs (pre fried in the kitchen) which topped each of our salads. We enjoyed the salads.
For our main, we ordered the 40oz Porterhouse to share. This was more than enough for the two of us. It was gigantic. The captain brought out the tableside cart and did the honors of carving and splitting it for us. The steak was very good. Some might beware that their definition of “medium rare” is probably closer to “rare” but that was okay with us. We had enough steak for another meal the next day.
For sides, we got fries and chanterelles with creamy leeks. Fries were excellent and served with what tasted like the mild horseradish that came with the tartare. Chanterelles were very good with a creamy leek sauce. The leftovers were really good over scrambled eggs.
Each table also had a selection of three salts. A black Hawaiian sea salt, some vaguely pinkish sea salt, and some white. I’m not really quite sure of the point of them all since everything came well seasoned.. One of the rolls was topped with the black salt. btw
For dessert we got the assortment of sorbets. There was mango, pear/raspberry and honeydew. They were pretty good. I forget where they get them but it’s the same as what they serve at Seastar.
They gave individual boxed white chocolate truffles with the check.
In general, service was good. There were some kitchen timing issues though. The amuse, starter, and salads came out really fast (almost uncomfortably so) and then there was a fairly long wait for the steak. The table next to us was seated at about the same time as us and they were just finishing their steaks as we were leaving. And I don’t think they had an appetizer so there were definitely some timing issues.
We had a card for a free appetizer or salad and they just took $20 off. With that discount, the food/drink (3 glasses of wine and one cocktail) total was $180 before tax and tip.
It wasn’t a cheap meal but I’d highly recommend it especially when compared to the steak alternatives in town like Daniels or Ruth’s Chris. There’s really no comparison.
thanks for taling the time to share your experience at a new place - it's a minor (but quite telling) point that your SHARED appetizer was presented to you with 3 (?) toasts - a quite small odd number rather than the preferred larger even number like 6 - obviously, your clueless server failed to inform the kitchen of your sharing. btw, i also dislike tableside salad service; simply ask that they prepare your salad elsewhere and bring it forth only when completed