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Oak Room or Fleming's

t
tweetie Jan 5, 2011 02:24 PM

I haven't been to either and both are featured as 50% off deals today. Which would you recommend?

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Oak Room
138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

  1. t
    tysonmcneely Jan 10, 2011 07:08 AM

    My Friend got the Oak room deal the and we went for lunch on Friday. We both ordered the 12 oz strip, rare. Our food came out 40 mins later. His steak was cooked to about med well, mine was beyond well done. This was literally the first time I've ever sent anything back. The steak I got back was cooked nicely (actually rare.) They ended up comping the whole meal. So it wasn't a great experience, but the price was right. I don't suggest going there if you are crunched for time.

    1. g
      Gabatta Jan 6, 2011 05:46 AM

      Are you looking for a lunch or dinner rec? That Oak Room deal referenced in your OP is lunch only. Grill 23 is not open for lunch this time of year.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gabatta
        t
        tweetie Jan 8, 2011 04:53 AM

        Yes, I noted the lunch restriction. Thanks for pointing it out, thought. Often the terms are a deal breaker for me.

      2. MC Slim JB Jan 5, 2011 03:18 PM

        Sort of Hobson's Choice.

        The Oak Room has brilliant old-school atmosphere: an antique, gilt-edged notion of fancy fine dining. It's a bit stuffy, the bar is lovely, the prices are kind of astronomical. I don't think its reputation for food at that price level is very sturdy. But there aren't many places in town that serve Chateaubriand for two tableside (for a mere $100). It's been a while since I've been in for more than anything but a drink and a snack at the bar.

        I'd rate Fleming's at the bottom rung of our top tier of luxury steakhouses. It's a national chain owned by the same folks as Outback. Its decor is kind of trite: red-leather banquettes. It's not awful, but it's among the last places I'd pick for an expensive steak in Boston. It has that chain-level reliability and lack of individual character, a sort of soullessness. And they handle wines by the glass poorly.

        Prices are pretty comparable, both do their entrees a la carte (so side dishes fatten the check considerably), and both feature prime-grade steaks from large commodity producers.

        For a budget meal at a luxury steakhouse, I'd rather get the steak-frites at Grill 23. If I had to choose between your two, I think I'd reluctantly opt for the Oak Room. Lunch is always a better deal at such places, but it's a rather more limited menu, half devoted to burgers and sandwiches.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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        Grill 23 & Bar
        161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

        Oak Room
        138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

        7 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB
          t
          tweetie Jan 6, 2011 04:31 AM

          Thanks so much for such an insightful, indepth assessment! I keep hearing about the steak frites at Grill 23 so I'm going to skip the coupons and head there.

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          Grill 23 & Bar
          161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1. re: tweetie
            C. Hamster Jan 6, 2011 04:46 AM

            Wise decision

            1. re: tweetie
              MC Slim JB Jan 6, 2011 05:05 AM

              It's a great deal: prime-grade skirt steak from Brandt Farms, a really fine boutique producer. The first-floor dining room can be noisy; ask to be seated upstairs if you don't like a roar. I enjoy dining at the first-floor bar, which usually has a first-rate bartender.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            2. re: MC Slim JB
              t
              tamerlanenj Jan 6, 2011 05:13 AM

              Slim: I've not been to either place in a while but isn't Flemings a good 10 to 20 percent cheaper than oak room. I don't think there is any difference in steak quality, but Oak Room certainly has better atmosphere and service.

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              Oak Room
              138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

              1. re: tamerlanenj
                MC Slim JB Jan 6, 2011 05:54 AM

                Not judging from a recent menu survey. One example: Fleming's gets $48 for a 20-oz a la carte prime bone-in ribeye; Oak Room only $42. Cocktails at the Oak Room are definitely pricier: I think my last Negroni there was $17, where Fleming's probably gets $12 or so. As at all these places, it's the little things: Fleming's gets $11 for onion rings, $9 for creamed spinach. Oak Room charges $7 for all sides. I suspect Oak Room does a better job for non-beef eaters, too. I agree: Oak Room wins handily on atmosphere; I'd rate service about equal, which is to say, solidly professional, though Oak Room makes it feel fancier.

                I'm obviously not a Fleming's fan, but when I had an office nearby, it was a popular after-work spot thanks to some promo specials on cheap bar food and drinks that they used to run. Don't know if they still do those, certainly wouldn't go more than a couple of blocks out of my way for them.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                Oak Room
                138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  t
                  treb Jan 6, 2011 06:41 AM

                  Got to admit, at The Oak Room, the Chateau for 2 @ $99.00 is an excellent deal.

              2. re: MC Slim JB
                rlove Jan 6, 2011 05:42 AM

                Almost a Morton's Fork, as Slim puts it.

                I'd also give the nod to Oak Room, and ever-so-slightly more enthusiastic. Fleming's is DOA.

              3. h
                hto44 Jan 5, 2011 03:01 PM

                I know the Oak Room deal is only for lunch. I got one for my parents. Not a bad deal but I have a sneaking suspicion they will drop more than $40!

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                Oak Room
                138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

                1. t
                  treb Jan 5, 2011 02:53 PM

                  Oak Room, Flemings is not in the same league. Curious, who's offering the deal?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: treb
                    h
                    hto44 Jan 5, 2011 03:06 PM

                    OpenTable

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