I’m both sad and relieved that tomorrow is the last night of Restaurant Week. Sad, because the fact that it was only a week long meant that I didn’t get to try everywhere I would have wanted to. Relieved because after 6 days of eating out in a row, I can get back to eating stuff I make at home. Because of the richness of the foods I’ve eaten, I can get back to eating light so I can get rid of the few pounds I managed to gain this week. So, there is such a thing as TOO MUCH of a good thing. Rumor has it that they’re thinking of doing a Fall Restaurant Week, so we’ll see. Maybe I get to do it all over again later this year.
Tonight, we decided to visit The Top Steakhouse, which is one of our favorite places because it is so deliciously retro. I mean everything – from the food to the decor to the piano bar to the dark paneled rooms, to old-fashioned phone jacks in the booths, to the Naugahyde that covers just about every seating service; the second you walk in you feel as if you’ve gone back in time to 1955. They even have the same menu (although the prices have increased, naturally). See what I mean?
I mean, really – when was the last time you walked into a restaurant and were served a relish tray with pickles, sauerkraut and olives? Pretty good pickles, sauerkraut and olives at that? I love the small touches like this that set this steakhouse apart from all of the others.
Bread service was straightforward, with a couple of warm rolls and a nice soft buttery spread (I’m pretty sure it was butter, but it was soft like margarine).
I picked The Top as one of targets for Restaurant Week because one of the choices for first course (the others being escargot or salad) was their French Onion Soup, which is among the best I’ve ever had. Nice, large diced onions in a beefy broth spiked with something alcoholic (brandy or sherry, perhaps?), topped with more croutons and cheese than you can shake a stick at. I always order this every time we come to The Top because it beats all others in town hands down for its cold weather comfort factor.
For my entree, I went with the Surf ‘n Turf, which pairs a 4 oz. lobster tail with a 6 oz. bacon-wrapped filet mignon. This was my first time eating lobster straight up, and I loved their presentation. The steak was cooked perfectly to order, and was delicious. You get your choice of side with this, so I went with the baked potato, which our waitress filled to the brim with butter and sour cream. So absolutely decadent.
I liked the fact that the drawn butter was served in a warming dish, which is different (and better) than being served drawn butter in a cold cup where the butter starts congealing halfway through eating your food. This is one of the small touches I was talking about.
My husband chose the Crab Stuffed Filet of Flounder, which had the unique presentation of wrapping the filet around the crabmeat stuffing, topping each end with Bearnaise and bread crumbs and searing it to a nice brown, before finishing it off in the oven. These too were cooked perfectly, and were flavorful and delicious. He also chose the potato, but his 2nd side, broccoli, was served as an unadulterated bunch and was rather unwieldy to eat.
We shared an a la carte side dish of Creamed Spinach ($6.95), which didn’t have much flavor, but lots and lots of cream.
Dessert was Creme Brulee, which had an excellent custard, but lacked the typical brulee “snap” of the caramelized sugar that the dessert is known for. If we had to guess, we think they may have prepped and refrigerated these beforehand, leading any crunch to be affected by the storage.
Service was a bit formal, but quick and attentive. Our server was pleasant, helpful and made the experience a good one.
Although a lot of their entrees are priced very high normally, they have a few items that are standouts for those without expense account budgets. Anything on their Bar Menu comes to mind. We were no stranger to The Top before this visit, but the quality of their food and the atmosphere of the restaurant makes us think we need to visit again, soon. But don’t wait on us – tomorrow is your last chance to take advantage of their Restaurant Week special. Give them a call for reservations. You won’t be sorry.
If you’d like to go: The Top Steak House, 2891 E. Main Street, Columbus (Bexley). 614.231.8238