Alexander’s prides themselves as a “fine dining interpretation of an American steakhouse with hints of Japanese influences laced into the menu”. I was very excited about trying this place out because of raving recommendations from S&A and 4.5 star review from over 1000 yelpers.
Once you enter the restaurant, there is an awesome meat display (very awesome in a disturbing primal way) and an open kitchen.
Awesome display of wagyu beefs
You can have the option of eating in the kitchen and watching your food prepared (spend a minimum of $100/person). Our reservations were pretty last minute, otherwise this would be pretty fun (I think).
Walking past this, we saw another part of the kitchen – and expediting area.
Look at those giant slabs of meat!
We were lead to a nice corner, seated next to two big groups of people, their wine display, with an awesome view of everything that is going on in the restaurant.
Once seated we were offered an amuse bouche of some salmon roll, which was a little fishy. hmmm…
I think it was meant for the couple beside us, because they did not receive an amuse AND we did not get bread, we went straight from amuse to ordering food and getting our appetisers. (Service was kinda all over the place all night)
To start, we had the:
Popcorn Crab $22
Jumbo lump crabmeat, tempura fried, sansho, sriracha mayonnaise
I was most looking forward to this but was quite disappointed. The lumps were not “big” pieces, they were in little shreds, so most of them were overcooked. Even the colour was a lot darker than expected.
The flavours were definitely good but just execution fell short.
Hamachi Shots $24
Truffled ponzu sauce, chili, avocado, frizzled ginger, wasabi greens
I loved loved loved these. The hamachi was very fresh and was not overwhelmed by too much sauce. Everything tasted great by itself and as a whole. The gentleman that served this to us, told us how to fully appreciate this dish – first eat it as individual components then try mix everything together and take it as a shot. 😀
For the main we ordered:
Dry Aged Porterhouse $58
28 oz , 28 day aged porterhouse topped with a pesto, black garlic, demi glace and basil oil. There are options to add seared foie gras for an additional $20, which we did.
This was a disappointment, meat was overdone and underseasoned. I forgot to ask them to leave the pesto on the side, IMHO, it did nothing for the dish. The pesto was bland and the overall dish was bland. I had to ask for salt & pepper.
The foie gras was disappointing as well, it was a generous portion but was a little burnt and had some vein in it.
For the sides:
Maine Lobster Mac & Cheese $18
w white truffled oil.
Worse mac & cheese ever. Meep is not a picky eater but he took a bite and told me something is wrong with it. I tried it and it was total mush. The macaroni was so overdone that it mush and the lobster was stringy and you can see a crusty layer form on the top. I had to send this back (note: I usually don’t make it a habit of sending food back, but this was just inedible mush)
Truffled French Fries $12
White truffle oil, Parmesan potato puree.
Fries were pretty impressive. They were really crispy with the fragrant of the truffle oil. I found it odd that fries were served with a potato puree. It just felt like eating fries with mashed potato. Very odd, the puree was left untouched.
An awesome dish for sharing (I had this to myself because Meep was full, and halfway through the truffle oil became too much)
Valrhona chocolate sphere, dark chocolate cake, namelaka, hot raspberry sauce, malted milk ice cream.
This was definitely a winner. We both loved this dessert, the hot sauce was poured over this pretty chocolate sphere that slowly melted, revealing a decadent chocolate mousse in the centre.
I enjoyed this with a good cup of coffee.
Complimentary cotton candy at the end of the meal.
Total damage: $230 (including drinks and tip)
Overall personal rating – 3.25 out of 5 stars (Good)
The service started off great, our server was very informative, patient and attentive. He was honest when I asked his opinion about menu items and made good recommendations.
BUT the service faded after we received the appetisers. I think he got overwhelmed by the number of tables he had because the restaurant was really busy. We didn’t get bread; got our amuse bouche even before our menus; and entrees were luke warm by the time we got them.
We did not see him even after we got our entrees. I waited almost ten minutes (meat was cold by that time) before we managed to get his attention so that I could send back the mac & cheese and ask for salt & pepper. He did not ask us how the food was the whole time (before or after I complained about the mac & cheese). When our replacement side (truffled fries) came, I was pretty much done with the meat.
Then he was setting up the table beside us while we were waiting for the plates to be cleared and be offered the dessert menu. I was trying to be understanding because he did look a little flustered and all over the place but was also getting pretty impatient.
He did make a point to wait and greet us as we left the restaurant (I’ll give him some credit for that).
That being said, the food runners and busboys were very good. We were told in detail about each dish as they were placed in front of us; water was constantly re-filled and plates cleared timely. I think another visit to determine if they were just having an off-day is required.
Note that water is $9 per person. (unless you specify that you do not want mineral or sparkling). Regular coffee is $3 and not on the menu (I just asked for it).
The menu online is only a sample menu and not updated – actual menu features a tasting menu for $155; no New York Trio, and the steaks come with very different “sauces”.
Alexander’s just got awarded 1 michelin star for the 2011 Michelin Guide released on Oct 26, 2010. I am surprised that a steakhouse was able to obtain such an accolade.