I like to eat dinner out about once a month. Other than that, I’m at home cooking and baking my heart out. I really like eating at home, knowing what’s in my food, where it came from, and who prepared it. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional dinner out. When it does happen, I like to eat out at fancy restaurants where I can wear the pretty dresses I buy to quell my passion for fashion but don’t always have a use for. Many months, this trip out is at Morton’s Steakhouse.
It’s my go-to for fabulous food, spectacular service, and inviting environment. And after a dozen or more visits over the past couple of years, I haven’t been disappointed yet, not something I can say about many restaurants. For me to ever want to go back to a restaurant it has to have both good food and good service. If one is bad, it ruins the other. And Morton’s has more than good food and service; it has great food and service.
Walking in, the warmth of the restaurant immediately washes over my guests, usually my parents and family friends, and me with dim lighting, quiet, yet peppy, music, and dark wood. Then there’s the kindness of the hostess and manager. They greet us instantly, leading us to our table. Sometimes a booth, sometimes a table, sometimes in the secluded private dining rooms opened for regular dinner service because the restaurant is so crowded. No matter where we sit, depending on the size of our party, the tables are never crowded together, giving us plenty of room to enjoy our conversation without having to hear every word of the conversations going on around us.
We also like it at our local Morton’s thanks to Sara, our regular waitress. A couple years ago, we wanted somewhere to go and found ourselves at Morton’s. We’d never been to that location before and hadn’t been to Morton’s at all in a long time. Sara was our waitress that evening and every evening we’ve dined there since. We have become friends. She has dreams quite like mine, is one of the nicest people I know, and is really awesome at her job. Without her, we probably wouldn’t go there nearly as much as we currently do.
The food is also really amazing. Drinks come first. On this visit, I had a Cosmopolitan made with Grey Goose. It was one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had. Very fresh and light without the artificial taste many drinks have. Mom stuck with her usual appletini with a cinnamon sugar rim, totally addictive. Dad had beer, while our friends had red wine.
For me, Morton’s isn’t the place for appetizers. I fill up on the entrée and dessert. Of course I do save a little room for the amazing bread they bring to the table. It’s basically a giant dinner roll. An onion covered, golden brown, slightly crunchy top is broken open to reveal a snowy white, soft interior. It’s some of the best restaurant bread I’ve ever had; almost reason enough to make a trip to Morton’s.
But just when I think I’d be happy munching on the bread all night long, the entrees arrive at the table. I’ve had a wide variety of things at Morton’s: filet mignon, strip steak, lobster tail, crab legs, Chilean sea bass, Porterhouse, and it’s all been awesome. On this visit I wanted something different. Once I had one of their scallops when someone ordered an appetizer and loved it; I’ve also been on a scallop kick as of late, so I ordered plain broiled scallops for my entrée, and they surpassed every expectation I had. They were succulent, tender, and incredibly sweet, perhaps one of the best entrees I’ve ever had there. And they are served with an apricot chutney that is also delicious. Filets, a strip, and a rib-eye rounded out the entrees at the table, all of which were total hits.
An entrée alone does not a meal make; so we order sides. The Brussels sprouts (that’s right, I love Brussels sprouts) and lyonnaise potatoes are hits, but on this visit I went with sautéed mushrooms and onions, amazing, and the one thing I order at every single restaurant I possibly can: French fries. I’m totally obsessed with them and consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. Over the past couple of years, Morton’s has had three different kinds of fries, the most recent of which made its debut at our last visit. They began with regular fries, then switched to steak fries, and now are serving shoestring fries with parmesan and truffle oil. It was always the seasoning that made the fries, so to see it go away was a little disappointing. Our fries were without parmesan (no cheese for me), but the truffle oil was overpowering. Probably the only disappointing dish I’ve ever had at Morton’s. The good news is, the fries themselves seemed crunchy, light, and not the least bit oily, so there’s promise that without the truffle oil next time they’ll be the hit they always have been. I hope so, as I have yet to find a better fry than is served at Morton’s. Dad had to go and order the macaroni and cheese, recently restored to the menu with the addition of bacon. It’s his favorite that he always tempts me with, and he loved it.
But a girl who loves sweets can’t exactly leave without dessert. I keep it light with the magnificent Grand Marnier soufflé. It’s killer, particularly with the zabaglione whipped cream on the side. It’s unlike any other whipped cream and will leave you craving only it when it comes to cream. I also love the upside down apple pie, but have been taking home one or two for another night when I’m not so full. They were kind enough to serve the ice cream on the side with a healthy serving of caramel sauce. For some reason, the ice cream there tastes better than it does anywhere else. And the caramel? Don’t even get me started on the caramel.
The restaurant was also packed, a nice thing to see in an economy that’s still trying to find its footing. I’m impressed with Morton’s on each visit and already looking forward to going back. If you’ve already been there, I bet you’re looking forward to your next visit as well, and if you haven’t, next time you have something to celebrate or are just looking for a fun night on the town, check it out.