So Indy loves steakhouses and my son loves steak---we were out celebrating with him and decided to check out a place that I had never been and cross another one off the list. We made a big deal out of taking him to a “fancy” steakhouse and he was excited. As soon as you walk into Morton’s, you certainly get the old-school steakhouse vibe. The big wooden door, no windows…you walk down a flight of steps to the actual restaurant with its tuxedoed servers and white tablecloths. The maître d' greeted my son in a very friendly way, and we started off on a nice foot. I didn’t know how they might react to a kid in the place, but he was exceptionally kind. Our server seemed slightly less thrilled with it, but was still professional.
We were seated in a nice booth (most of the restaurant is made up of U-shaped booths). Once we sat down though, we discussed the fact that the place just feels dated with its camel colored booths and very old school feel. I don’t know, I guess I sort of appreciate a slightly more modern feel. Anyway, at Morton’s they do this whole presentation of the raw meat and explain that it’s all prime, and even bring a live lobster over. In the future, I would ask to skip this, but my son enjoyed it—to a point anyway (I mean, I do not need to see a raw potato and be told about how it can be baked, or a tomato to be told how it can be sliced into salad). We pretty much knew what we wanted though. The men in my family are ribeye guys and were planning on splitting. I went with their “smaller” version of the filet.
But before I get into all of that, they do have a nice bread service—a big round loaf of onion bread with butter. We all enjoyed the warm bread and butter, particularly my son, who pretty much would eat butter any way he could. Hubby and I also split a tuna tartare appetizer ($15.50) which was quite good. It was finely diced tuna layered with finely diced tomatoes as well as chopped avocado. It was topped with toasty black sesame seeds and set on top what they called a Thai sauce. There were actually two sauces on the plate. I rather enjoyed the dish, and it had a nice flavor—we were told there was peanut oil in the sauce, although it tasted heavily of sesame to me. The ingredients were all very fresh and ripe.
As for our main dishes, as I said, my men are ribeye guys and that is what they chose to split ($45). I had the small filet ($44) and we had the garlic mashed potatoes ($10) and the sautéed mushrooms ($10.50) as sides. Hubby had recently had the mushrooms on a business dinner at Morton’s and had really liked them. So first of all you will notice, this place is expensive. Yes, they are prime steaks, but that meat better be freakin’ awesome for that price. Unfortunately, my son summed it up pretty accurately when he said, “Mommy’s filet is way better.” (I shared with him too). The ribeye was too chewy and just not very good. My filet on the other hand, was very well cooked and we all agreed that it was much better. Was it worth that much money over a steak at other places? Not so sure. I mean, you can get a great steak at St. Elmo for $10 less AND including a starch.
The potatoes were great though—light and fluffy and just a hint of garlic throughout. Also, the server who delivered them gave us a nice extra pat of butter on top, making my son completely happy. The mushrooms were a disappointment, particularly to hubby who said they were not as good as the ones he had in San Jose on his last business trip. They were okay, but there was nothing really special about them. T hey weren’t seasoned really in any way. Although I think my son enjoyed the simplicity of them and ate several when he is often not a huge mushroom fan.
We also had a chocolate mousse for dessert ($10.50) which we were all very happy with. My son chose it, but it had incredible richness for a mousse. Sometimes I think they are too milk-chocolate-y tasting for me, but this one was great. As you can see, we ate pretty much the whole thing.
Going along with the whole really expensive theme here, the mark up on the wine seemed a little crazy. They had a bottle on the list that we had really enjoyed elsewhere (at The Ripple Inn actually) and it was about double the price. That seemed a little crazy. I understand the mark ups at restaurants can be high, but when it is twice another restaurant’s price), that seems particularly decadent. (We did not order it by the way). We did have wine with our dinner though which made this probably one of the most expensive meals we have had in Indy (and after a quick check of the steakhouses around town, I think it is the most expensive as far as the meat goes). And while my meal on the whole was pretty good, I can’t really say it lives up to the price. I guess maybe this is a place for expense accounters (hence hubby’s business meals) and not the rest of us.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
41 East Washington Street