You all know that Eddie Merlot’s is my favorite. Even though I’ve been to the Jeff Ruby, downtown, Eddie Merlot’s still remains my one true steakhouse. Personally, I found the Jeff Ruby downtown to be a little “stuffy” – while the food was good, I didn’t like the ambiance/atmosphere. I LOVE fine dining. I feel very comfortable in fine dining situations. But, I don’t like the feel of old money and snobby people. And, those frackin’ after dinner jelly beans drive me up a wall!
I heard that Carlo & Johnny was different – a little trendier and upbeat. Since we were given a free dinner, as a Christmas gift, we were off and running to Carlo & Johnny. I was ready to be impressed.
One thing, immediately, that I have to give props, to Jeff Ruby about, is his choice in hiring people. He really understands that attractive hostesses, bartenders and servers, will bring in the money. When you pay uber money, for food, there needs to be certain standards. Service is one of them and, in that aspect, Jeff Ruby restaurants excel.
I do like the look and feel of Carlo & Johnny – kind of old school gangster. Lots of interesting statues and pictures. And, the lighting was perfect.
I started with a glass of wine…and we were given bread. I know some people LOVE the mushroom butter. I just don’t like it. The husband told me that I was nuts but I just can’t get into it. I did like it a LITTLE better with the rye bread, versus the white.
Since we’re both seafood lovers, we knew that we had to get some sort of raw bar item going.
We chose the crab leg and 2 (yes, 2 – those suckers are $7 each!) shrimp.
Visually, beautiful! I loved the lemony mustard sauce – that was my favorite! The shrimp was very good. However – the crab was super icy still. While I want it cold, I don’t want to crunch into ice chunks. THAT, above, was $41. Yes, I said $41. Thank God it was a Christmas gift.
I love soup and I figured that Jeff Ruby could do some soup well. I got a cup of Alaskan King Crab Chowder.
I AM picky, when it comes to soup. I thought the soup was all right. Very little crab. While the flavors were all good – they just didn’t blend well together. I thought it needed to be just a little thicker. The husband disagreed but what does he know?
The husband ordered the Cowboy Steak
And, a gigantor baked potato!
He LOVED his steak, of course! And, the potato was good (I might have stolen a few bites). I was a little perturbed that they brought this big dish of sour cream out and we get a tiny dollop and then he disappears with it. I gave him the stink eye.
I got the Anthony Munoz
It was delicious perfection. Mushrooms, shrimp and bearnaise. Plus, some bacon. And, a tender filet. It was melt in my mouth wonderful.
Oh, we might have gotten some dessert, to go.
Some sort of chocolate PB thing – the husband plated it on an attractive paper plate.
I don’t need to tell you that it was good, right?
And, since he doesn’t like anything non-chocolate, I had to get my own dessert. Carrot Cake!
It was damn good.
So, my final verdict about a different Jeff Ruby restaurant? Obviously, the food is awesome. And, he does just a really amazing job at small finishing touches. The signature on the wine glasses and the butter. The fact that the food always comes out beautiful (my steak fell and the food runner took it back so the kitchen could make it gorgeous again). The to-go bags are awesome (ALWAYS get something to go!). And, you’re treated very well. BUT – I still like Eddie Merlot’s better. There really is something to the ambiance that I just can’t push past with Jeff Ruby restaurants. The husband, actually, agrees with me, about this.