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Does anyone have any info. on the Palm steakhouse?

salimykid Dec 17, 2013 02:19 AM

I am familiar with Grill 23 just curious how the Palm is.

  1. CocoDan Dec 20, 2013 10:06 AM

    I find it interesting that so many had bad/so-so experiences at the Palm. As I said in an earlier post, it's not my favorite restaurant, but I'm always happy with what we"re served there.

    Karl, keep in mind the Palm started out as an Italian restaurant not a steak house. When I was living in NYC in the '60's it was one of the hot spots in town. I admit, a lot has changed since then, but did I mention that I really like their crab cakes?

    A steakhouse is what it is, and most are carbon copies of each other, except I think G23 is a cut above all in Boston.

    17 Replies
    1. re: CocoDan
      Karl Dec 20, 2013 10:43 AM

      I had no idea it started out as an Italian restaurant, that explains that section of the menu. Very interesting. The Italian items I did see looked good, I might try that section of the menu next time.

      1. re: CocoDan
        9lives Dec 20, 2013 10:45 AM

        I used to go to the original with my grandfather as a kid in the 60s.

        As of a few years ago, only the original and Palm Too dry aged thei prime beef. The other locations wet aged.

        I"ve had mixed experiences at the Boston Palm and no great urge to return, though I wouldn't turn down an invite.

        The online menu shows a few dishes with shallots so no good excuse to not offer a mignonette.

        1. re: CocoDan
          Alcachofa Dec 20, 2013 11:53 AM

          Dan, next time I am taken to the Palm, I was thinking of getting their crab cakes. What do you think?

          1. re: CocoDan
            MC Slim JB Dec 20, 2013 01:47 PM

            Yes, the Vito Andolini-esque legend is that the owners intended to name it after their hometown, Parma, but a NYC bureaucrat misheard the name.


            1. re: MC Slim JB
              9lives Dec 20, 2013 02:03 PM

              Another shtick of the original was that there was no printed menu, ala Peter Luger. They may have had 1 but asking for it branded you a rube.

              Surly waiters (no waitresses) were known to be pretty rude to those who didn't "know" what to order.

              That didn't work so well when they started expanding,

              1. re: 9lives
                hotoynoodle Dec 20, 2013 02:29 PM

                on the other hand, i find it funny that steakhouses have menus at all, since they all serve essentially the same stuff.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  Veggo Dec 20, 2013 02:52 PM

                  Lot of truth to that!
                  My memory may be in error, but I don't recall The Palm styling itself as primarily a steak house in other locations. Is steak their emphasis in Boston? Honestly, I associate it with Nova Scotia lobsters in at least 3 other cities, at about a hundred bucks a throw.

                  1. re: Veggo
                    C. Hamster Dec 20, 2013 02:59 PM

                    I admit to watching Phantom where the chef described it as Italian Steak House on an episode within the last 6 months.

                    My SIL who knows her food sh*t does like the one on the east side of NYC which may be the original.

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      Veggo Dec 20, 2013 03:10 PM

                      I lived 2 blocks from it in Manhattan near the UN, and across the street is Palm Too. I think I have been to the one in Houston the most.

                      1. re: Veggo
                        C. Hamster Dec 20, 2013 05:14 PM

                        Yes. That's the location. Is it the original ?

                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          Veggo Dec 20, 2013 05:32 PM

                          I think the one on the west side of 2nd Ave. is the first one. I wasn't there then to know. Curious that I frequented the Houston location many times in the 80's, well before I lived in Manhattan in 94-96. I preferred the burger at the Smith & Wollensky grill for lunch. When the Gov't removed the sidewalk mailbox in front of my home for my own safety, I moved to Mexico City. Great beef in Polanco, where I learned about chimichurri, one of my few expertizes! And the bad guys haven't got me yet! A toast to Admiral Bobby Inman, whose guidance helped me immensely in Mexico.

                  2. re: hotoynoodle
                    9lives Dec 20, 2013 03:27 PM

                    A few years back, I think the old NY steakhouses felt the same way.

                    PL was tomato (which was awful) and onion with ther "steak sauce"/Porterhouse for the # at the table, creamed spinach and German home fried potatos..maybe shrimp cocktail.

                    Palm was NY strip or huge lobsters, creamed spinach, 1/2 and 1/2..fried potatos/onions for you dirty minds..:), some kind of salad, shrimp cocktail.

                    1. re: 9lives
                      Veggo Dec 20, 2013 04:06 PM

                      Ah, the memories you summon up! I wish I were near enough to do it again!
                      I suppose you have been spoiled by your own cooking?

                      1. re: 9lives
                        C. Hamster Dec 20, 2013 05:16 PM

                        I am pretty sure that PL has never called it's bottled product "steak sauce ". Just PL Sauce. At least not since I've known it. (Yes, I like it)

                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          9lives Dec 20, 2013 06:18 PM


                          1. re: 9lives
                            C. Hamster Dec 20, 2013 07:23 PM

                            Yes. They call it "Old Fashioned Sauce."

                            "Peter Luger Steak House Old Fashioned Sauce"

                            1. re: C. Hamster
                              9lives Dec 21, 2013 05:38 AM

                              If I need an attorney, you're hired..:)

              2. k
                Karl Dec 20, 2013 06:35 AM

                I ate there last night, it was good nothing to make it stand out from the other chain steakhouses. The space is impressive, very airy with huge ceilings, a real good use of some unused lobby space in the building. The high ceilings surprisingly didn't make it loud to the point of not being able to hear anyone. We had a large group and got a hot seafood platter and a cold seafood platter to start, both were very good, the presentation wasn't as impressive as the seafood towers at other steakhouses though. Most of the table got steak and all were cooked perfectly and had a nice char on them. One person got the veal parm and it was very impressive looking, as odd as it is to say I might actually consider ordering it next time which is weird to think of at a steakhouse. A few at our table were from Texas and they got the lobster, I guess in other parts of the country where lobster isn't easily available the Palm is known for the lobster. They were three pound lobsters and looked good and the diners were happy with them, they did a nice preparation of making it easy to eat in a suit and not get it all over you. The sides were ok, nothing memorable, potatoes au gratin, green beans and mushrooms.

                The one issue we had was the service, our waitress was very attentive and nice but the food runners were very flustered and confused. On three separate occasions food was brought to our table that wasn't ours, I understand this can happen while we are waiting for our entrees but when we are enjoying desert the food runner didn't think twice that the lobster and chicken parm was for our table. That was the real only hiccup.

                Overall a good meal, I wouldn't go running back to it but it fit what we were looking for in a business dinner. I much prefer the capital grille and Grill 23 but this was on par with mortons, delfriscos etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl
                  black_lab Dec 20, 2013 09:03 AM

                  If you had a large party and all of the steaks were cooked perfectly, they are ahead of the game from most other steakhouses in Boston.

                2. eLizard Dec 19, 2013 07:12 AM

                  meh. ok for a business lunch.

                  1. Veggo Dec 19, 2013 07:06 AM

                    It's hard to screw up a boiled Nova Scotia lobster and melted butter, I would stick with those. I haven't eaten at the Boston location, but I assume they are all similar.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Veggo
                      hotoynoodle Dec 19, 2013 07:14 AM

                      steakhouses are charging $25-$30 per pound for lobster, while it's about $7-$8 in the stores right now. good luck ordering anything smaller than 2.5 pounds too.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        Veggo Dec 19, 2013 07:26 AM

                        Good point. At other locations, The Palm is known more for the jumbo lobsters than for steaks, but I guess not in cities like Boston where lobster is cheap - lucky you!

                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                          MC Slim JB Dec 19, 2013 07:31 AM

                          As I noted earlier, The Palm does not offer a lobster smaller than 3 pounds.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            Veggo Dec 19, 2013 07:38 AM

                            In numerous other cities, there is no other place to get one that large.
                            R.I.P. Rosewood Grill in Las Vegas

                      2. t
                        treb Dec 18, 2013 05:22 AM

                        A far as high end chop houses in Boston, IMO, G-23 is probably at the top. Go with the rib eye, much more flavorful than a fillet.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: treb
                          rlh Dec 18, 2013 01:00 PM

                          If it's the top, I fear the middle and the bottom!

                          Went to Grill 23 last week and while the ambiance and service were top notch, I was underwhelmed by the food. The menu seems it's been the same forever to me - no seasonal specials, etc. - really?

                          The bartender required a lot more help that i'd expect preparing a Manhattan - yes, please use sweet vermouth - no, please do not shake it - and finally hey, what about the bitters - no, please use Ango not Peychaud's and so on... It ended up as good as what I make in my own kitchen with the bonus of a Luxardo cherry garnish (dropped into the drink...). Wonder if a martini would have been as complicated...

                          My $52 dry aged sirloin (14 or 16 oz.) was a fine, flavorful specimen (and that is ALL that is on the plate - gotta love these high end steakhouses) - I just wish it had been cooked medium rare as requested vs. med to med well - being in a group I didn't want to send it back and wait for another to be cooked properly - but this should not occur in the first place at this price point. My dining neighbor's sirloin was cooked to perfection and he ordered the same as me.

                          Wine markups seemed to be on the order of 500%+ - not a surprise, but a reminder why I am there so infrequently.

                          My tasty $21 crabcake was about the size of a silver dollar...well, maybe 4 of them in a stack.

                          Dessert options were uninspired and perfunctory - I skipped them altogether and went to Clio for Todd's perfect eggnog instead. Now THAT was delicious and satisfying.

                          1. re: rlh
                            ClippyZ Dec 18, 2013 09:21 PM

                            I also had a really mediocre experience there this summer. For the price, I should actually say sub par. We were there for my husband's 40th, and it just felt stressful. Service was slow, awkward and constantly changing hands. We both had to send our steaks back to be more done, and then both came back charred on the outside (is it that hard to get it medium first time around)? Manhattan, like that of rlh, took too much explaining. It just was a really forgettable meal, with the exception of the price, which was painful (as one would expect at a steakhouse, but one would also expect the steak to be done properly).

                            For my money, best dry aged steak would have to be purchased at Savenor's and grilled at home.

                        2. m
                          mkfisher Dec 17, 2013 08:17 AM

                          I went for a work lunch. We ordered a mixture of salads and sandwiches. All were underwhelming. Smith & Wollensky Grill, which is right across the street, executes this concept much better.

                          1. p
                            pcarC4 Dec 17, 2013 07:18 AM

                            I went for the forth time this past weekend I thought the service was pretty good as well as the food, my favorite filet in the area. However, everything is definitely a bit overpriced.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pcarC4
                              StriperGuy Dec 17, 2013 09:00 PM

                              Favorite filet in the area? Faint praise. Compared to where else, and what makes theirs better?

                            2. C. Hamster Dec 17, 2013 07:05 AM

                              The last time I was there (for a business lunch) we ordered raw oysters to start.

                              They came with a gallon of red cocktail sauce.

                              We asked for mignonette sauce.

                              The waitress said she had never heard of the stuff. She agreed to ask the chef if he had ever heard of the concoction.

                              She came back and said that the chef had never heard of it either. So (1) a "high end" steakhouse chef does not know what mignonette sauce is or (2) she lied to us.

                              Neither is good.

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: C. Hamster
                                hyde Dec 17, 2013 08:06 PM

                                Not only should the chef have known what it was, but any idiot in a pro kitchen could google it on his/her phone and made some in less than a minute.


                                Especially when I doubt your steak costs less than 50usd

                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                  Bellachefa Dec 17, 2013 09:20 PM

                                  I prefer a house made cocktail sauce with a dollop of horseradish, or a squeeze of lemon and some cracked pepper, but honestly, I have not had oysters (unless a special house preparation) not served with mignonette for MANY years.

                                  1. re: Bellachefa
                                    hotoynoodle Dec 18, 2013 05:34 AM

                                    i've toiled in 2 high-end steakhouses in boston, both part of bigger chains. (not the palm.) neither served mignonette with the oysters.

                                    the cooks have recipe books from corporate. that's as far as they go.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                      hyde Dec 18, 2013 10:18 AM

                                      That is remarkable to me.

                                      I have asked the woman at the counter at Taqueria el Amigo if they could fold some of their house-made hot sauce in with my grilled vegetable burrito, she yelled to the guy at the grill who shrugged and made the change on the fly without looking up.

                                      That no one could mince a shallot, add vinegar and pepper and kick to table 4 in a place where the average cover is ...what? , 100 dollars? is why I spend my limited resources on better quality ingredients and just stay home more and more.

                                      1. re: hyde
                                        StriperGuy Dec 18, 2013 03:33 PM

                                        Assuming they even have shallots.

                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                          hotoynoodle Dec 19, 2013 06:58 AM


                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                            hyde Dec 19, 2013 06:42 PM


                                            Why do so many people eat in these places?

                                            Its not cooking, its heating.

                                            Its no wonder Tim Maslow looks like the Messiah.

                                            1. re: hyde
                                              MC Slim JB Dec 19, 2013 08:14 PM

                                              To be fair, a lot of cooking is heating. But I share your bemusement with the fact that this category is the acme of fine dining for an alarming number of people.


                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                hotoynoodle Dec 20, 2013 05:22 AM

                                                and the cheesecake factory runs hour-long waits on weekends. there is no explaining any of it.

                                                how a city as small as boston supports so very many steakhouses is really something.

                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                  Karl Dec 20, 2013 05:45 AM

                                                  corporate expense accounts, that's how. I'd be curious to see what percentage of their yearly business is done during the holiday season

                                                  1. re: Karl
                                                    hotoynoodle Dec 20, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                    in both places i worked, mon-thur nights were 85%+ expense account charges.


                                                  2. re: hotoynoodle
                                                    Veggo Dec 20, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                    Agreed. It makes more sense in Texas, but not in a seafood-centric New England city.

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                      Alcachofa Dec 20, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                      I'd rather go to Cheesecake Factory than the Palm and most other steakhouse chains. Better food. Not kidding.

                                                      1. re: Alcachofa
                                                        StriperGuy Dec 20, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                        Totally agree, though I'm not even a ccf fan.

                                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                                          hyde Dec 20, 2013 12:47 PM

                                                          This makes me honestly sad.

                                    2. black_lab Dec 17, 2013 06:49 AM

                                      The bar is too small.

                                      1. s
                                        surferbettygal Dec 17, 2013 05:50 AM

                                        Hi, they are in my building and we go there often for client lunches due to the convenience. I am not a fan at all. I think the food is mediocre and service has always been spotty at best.

                                        The drinks are terrible and they play a trick...the first drink you order is decent size and then second round comes in a smaller glass. Really?????

                                        I also think it's expensive for mediocre food and bad service so I would never recommend it.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: surferbettygal
                                          Alcachofa Dec 17, 2013 07:09 AM

                                          Yeah, I'd agree with "mediocre" based on my experience there. The sides especially were absolutely unremarkable.

                                          Grill 23 was much better in all areas, thought it's been a while since I've been there. Also, check out Boston Chops, if you must go to a steak house.

                                          I just saw the burger comment: it was good. Not great, but good. For chain places, I still think the Morton's burger is best by a mile, just full of beefy goodness, and I'm generally not a fan of Morton's.

                                        2. MC Slim JB Dec 17, 2013 05:15 AM

                                          The new location is much nicer-looking than the old one (faint praise) and has a pleasant view of the Greenway. But it still has those corny, ugly caricatures of local D-list celebs (Dave Andleman, really?), though they're less obtrusive. It also features a comfier bar area and now has a great outdoor space (not that you'd care just now). It's bigger, airier, sunnier, more luxe-looking.

                                          I had a couple of rough service experiences there in its early going, and I don't think the quality of the beef is comparable to Grill 23's: prime, but commodity, with no dry-aged options. On the plus side, I like that they do a 24-oz bone-in ribeye (though opinions vary on whether this affects flavor -- in my mind, maybe my imagination, it does), and a 36-oz strip carved tableside for two or more. The menu has a bit more range than some, including some traditional Italian-American dishes: not many steakhouses brag about their chicken parm. Note that the smallest lobster it serves is a three-pounder. I have designs on trying the burger.

                                          Neither my favorite nor my least favorite in a dull category, but a significant upgrade over the Westin location, and smack in the middle of its prime target audience.


                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            CocoDan Dec 17, 2013 06:00 AM

                                            MC, My wife has had good experience with their burger, but we really go for the Monday salad and the crab cakes. They are all crabmeat and they never disappoint. I've never had a problem with their lobster either. By no means our favorite restaurant, but it's hard to beat the crab cakes.

                                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                                              LeoLioness Dec 17, 2013 07:10 AM

                                              A caricature of Dave Andleman? I assume you just mean a regular portrait of him? At any rate, how appetizing...

                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                salimykid Dec 18, 2013 02:40 AM

                                                Thank you all for the info. Merry Christmas!

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