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Winning the steakhouse war

Nothing turns me off like the testosterone driven steakhouse industry with big wallets and big peacock feathers at attention swamped with a bunch of middle aged men for their big night out. Wild horses could not drag me back to the top steak houses with their huge meat and huge sides and huge loud rooms.

Have you ever been to one of these steakhouses when a celebrity athlete shows up? Quite often your service will diminish as theirs expand.

So I laid the ground rules. Go out for your boys night. Have fun, drink excessively and eat excessively. Be Happy!!! And have alternate transportation in place.

But you cannot go to a big chain boys club steak house. You don't even like the crab cakes and the sides all that much.

And he agreed.

So I gave him the reservation number to Bogies - a speakeasy back room steak house. I knew it was a gamble, sending them to a small backroom instead of all the pomp of a place like Abe and L's, Capital Gr, Morton's etc........

It took about 24 hours to get a call back to establish a reservation. But they agreed to roll the dice and give it a chance.


The backroom atmosphere
The service
the cocktails
The best wedge salad of their lives
Ribeye perfection
Loaded potato
elevated Mac n cheese
the service
the wine
the elevated chocolate lava dessert

They came to Bogies when they had planned on Capital Grille and they suddenly saw the light. There's a not too new steakhouse in town called Bogies, and they're keeping it on the down low.

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  1. Honestly if my husband set ground rules for my GNOs I don't know what I would do. LMAO probably. As would my friends.

    That said we had drinks at Bogies a couple of months ago. Excellent cocktails. The wait was too long for dinner but what we saw and smelled looked great. We have plans with another couple to get there after soon.

    1. I took this to be playful and tongue in cheek... they had a good time; that's what matters. Maybe if they turned out to hate it I might have felt differently, but it's nice to see compromise, and more importantly the trust that the place you recommended would beat out their initial inclination. kind of what i go to CH for... giving me recs i might not normally think of or have otherwise passed up bc of one bias or another.

      1 Reply
      1. I've been to a lot of the big steakhouses across the country over my life. I've never experienced bad service if a celeb/important person walked in. As for the style of steakhouse you describe as testosterone driven, I'm not sure what you mean, would that be the same as a pinky finger in the air French Restaurant? Or a Farm to Table organic restaurant that is an exclusive high end place? I sense a bias, from you, towards Big Steakhouses, OK it's your opinion and state it loudly but, it's not universally the same for everyone so, I'm not sure there is a war.

        1. Bella,
          I took this as your opinion of major steak houses, and I agree that most are carbon copies of each other. However, I enjoy the ones that include seafood on their menus and do a really good job with it. My wife can have her great steak and I can have a top notch fish dinner. Ok, most are noisy and filled with "big shots", but A&L has really good seafood items, as does Gr23&Bar (my favorite). And as I've stated many times before I really like the crab cakes at The Palm. Bogie's isn't going to happen for me-----what would I order?

          Anyway, I enjoyed you post. Most entertaining.

          7 Replies
          1. re: CocoDan

            Well, they do have mussels, chicken, and pork, and they're known for their classy caviar service.

            1. re: Boston_Otter

              Seconded. i actually like that roast chicken more than i like the fried chicken outside at jm (but, that said, that roast chicken is one of my fav chicken dishes, period).

              the macaroni and cheese (unless it's chnaged) has a red onion jam and vermont butter creamery's cremont cheese... you definitely wouldn't feel sorry for yourself eating that while others went to town on steak.

              and Kevin (sorry, not going to split my responses here), yes, replies have been deleted.

              1. re: valcfield

                waiiit, hold up! what's your antecedent, valc? the Palm? Bogie's? and I like a number of VT Creamery products, but what is Cremont? thx.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Bogie's. and while i normally wouldn't incentivize a lack of googling, here's a description of their cremont ;) http://bit.ly/1dCTbMr

                  1. re: valcfield

                    thx much for that link. i've never seen that cremont and now we'll def get it . I do like their unsalted butter.

                    p.s. i've given up on the many CH rec'd mac 'n cheese
                    i have tried; all too dry and overcooked for me. Do you know if Bogie's is wonderful/ with lots of melted oozy cheese?

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      the cremont makes for a much lighter style of mac and cheese compared with say the mac outside at Curley. It is definitely not dry or overcooked, but neither is it oozy, thick cheese.. consistency (iirc, been a couple months now, which i lament) more saucy than gooey. They've rotated a lot of mac and cheese varieties through bogie's and Curley, and this one is definitely a favorite, but don't go in expecting a gut-bomb mac.

                      1. re: valcfield

                        val, saucey sounds just fine. Thx. Do some people actually search for a 'gut bomb' mac? It just sounds so gross...

          2. Folks, the OP has clarified that she meant this post in good humor. We'd ask that people please accept the post in the spirit in which it was intended and focus your replies on sharing any experiences you might have had at Bogies or other steakhouses rather than on taking her to task for how she framed this comment. Please focus on the chow, not the chowhound. Thanks.

            1. "Trying something new and untested" is a good rule to follow. When my friends and I want steak, it's tempting to just head out to Jimmy's or somewhere known and safe. Stepping outside of a comfort zone to try somewhere new is always fun even if it's a bit of a gamble. But when it pays off -- as with Bogie's -- it pays off big time.

              1. I too am testosterone driven and I don't much care for the cookie cutter big steakhouses.

                2 Replies
                1. re: trufflehound

                  Right, but that's presumably because it is driving you to seek out those pheromone producing truffles instead, no?

                  1. re: trufflehound

                    And I'm not testosterone driven but I like a good traditional steakhouse once or twice a year. If someone else is paying.

                  2. Bogie's is very, very good no matter how one sees the rest of the steak world.

                    1. I'd put Boston Chops in a similar category too - great service, fun cocktail list, and delicious food to boot.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: addiez

                        Very good brunch and a terrific burger, too.

                      2. Bogie's does have the best wedge salad I've ever had as well, and is my favorite steak house in town, and I like them.