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I hate it when steakhouses don't respect the fish!

So, one of my business partners and I had dinner this week at NY Prime in your fair town. I have eaten large quanities and embibed there many times as it's an easy walk from the Ritz-Buckhead. I have been watching what I eat lately and decided to go with the sea bass. I asked how it was prepared and got the response "light coating of seasoned breadcrumbs, a little lemon, white wine and butter and under a hot broiler". Sounded fine. I asked for no butter and was good to go. When the fish came to the table, not only was it overcooked (on a very hot plate, so I imagine it had been under a lamp), it was covered with a crumb topping that was rife with toasted garlic ( I am guessing it was raw when it went under the broiler). so strong that I could not really taste the fish. I ate it mostly because the food was secondary to the conversation, but the garlic was so strong that I got up in the middle of the night and ate a lemon and drank a liter of sparkling water to cut the aftertaste. In retrospect, what in the heck were they thinking doing that to a delicate cut of fish? What a waste, especially for such an expensive eatery. I usually eat steak in steakhouses and seafood in seafood joints, but admit to being surpised at the lack of respect given to the fish. Is this often the case? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  1. Expecting a steakhouse to do fish well is like expecting good sushi at an Italian restaurant.

    7 Replies
    1. re: MandalayVA

      I am curious as to people's responses which is why I posted. That said, I do not think I can agree with your post. Sushi is obviously very specialized. Broiling fish is not. Fish is also not ethnic. It is fould almost worldwide. To me,a very expensive eatery should be able to pull off whatever is on their menu. The teaming of garlic with a delicate fish, to me was what was really the issue. I have had really well cooked fish at Mortons a few times. Very curious about other's experiences.......hyperbole not so much.

      1. re: bimmertimmer

        When a restaurant has a particular food in its name--steak, fish, whatever--it's to be expected that the food is their signature dish. I ran into this on another site when the reviewer went to a place with "wings" in its name and complained that the burger wasn't any good. You don't go to a steakhouse for the fish, just like you don't go to a barbecue place for the salad or a vegetarian place for the chicken salad sandwich. I'd have been more surprised if you'd said the fish was good.

        1. re: MandalayVA

          Nonsense. When you are dealing with an establishment that is doing 30-40 buck entrees, everything on the menu should be well executed. Our dinner check for two (with a moderate bottlle of wine) was over 250$. Do you really think it's the same as a wing joint don't doing a good burger???!!!

          1. re: bimmertimmer

            agree with bimmer--a great restaurant should serve great dishes--BTW 250 is a little more than McKendricks--of course i dont know what you had--but my last visit mentioned below included oysters,salad dessert/coffee and with tip was 230--we should have a chow night at McKendricks--might be fun

            1. re: bobstripower

              McKendricks is close to my former office and I used to eat there all the time when I lived in ATL. It has been a while, but I always enjoyed it. Is Marissa still the hostess?

              1. re: bimmertimmer

                dont kow--shes a very pretty woman id say early 30s dark hair.The only guy i know is Taco--who ive known for 10 years now--its 15 minutes from me in Dunwody--im getting hungry

      2. re: MandalayVA

        If a high-end steakhouse chooses to offer other items, they should make them well, even if those items aren't over-the-top fame-worthy like their steak. There's no reason to get disgusting fish for $35 a plate (just a guess on the price), you know? Also, isn't fish a fairly common thing to find on a steakhouse menu? It's not like stumbling upon an American steakhouse and seeing they've added fresh felafel to the menu and being shocked when it's not fantastic.

      3. I don't eat red meat but do end up going to steakhouses, especially for company outings for the social aspects. I have had both good chicken and fish dishes and have never felt it was not tasty. There usually is only 1 maybe 2 options but well done.
        Sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience.

        1. It is unfortunate that you did not send it back.

          I would think the problem came from a poorly executed substitution: no butter eliminated the pan saute that likely was the normal prep for the dish. No excuse for raw garlic to come out though.

          I disagree that fish should not be expected to be properly executed at a steakhouse. Or burgers at a wing joint for that matter: if it is on the menu, I expect that the kitchen is able (and willing) to properly execute the dish.

          I have a buddy that runs a dive seafood place. I always have the server turn in a hamburger order if I come in without him seeing me, because he always gets ruffled at someone ordering a burger in a seafood joint. Thing is, he makes a great burger (and his prime rib is perfection), as that keeps some folks coming back.

          I say send it back and expect edible food. I would still contact the restaurant and share your experience.

          1. I always order steaks when I go to Steakhouses, having said that they should be able to nail seafood. My wife has ordered Tuna @ Chops that came out perfectly seared. Given the fact that most high-end steak houses offer a few non beef entree options that should be prepared as well as their steaks.

            1. thanks for the note--i love a good steak,but my wife doesnt.We've had great food at MvKendricks for both foods--she loves sea bass/scallops/lobtser--and they do an excellent job.I took an Indian cleint there w/o realizing he was a veggie--i aksed my fav waiter Taco if he could make up a veggie plates--my clientloved it--try Mck next time and ask for Taco as your waiiter--he'll get whatever you want and make sure its right

              2 Replies
              1. re: bobstripower

                I have not been to McKendicks in a long time, I think I need to make a visit and ask
                for Taco.

                1. re: Edward Tyson

                  we went last week and i had the steak Oscar,with a 12oz filet and crab in a Bearnaise sauce--wife had her lobster--we added the lobster mashed potatoes OMG..Great bottle of Osso Anna Merlot 2009,only 50 bucks,not bad--it costs 21 in stores if you can find it.Taco isnt always there each night on weekends, so check.Enjoy and if you guy please post . sit in the main dinig room,not the extension,and theyll give you a banquet table if you reserve