Hate to burst your bubble on this one but Ruth's Chris is actually a rather large chain (135 locations).
This thread is to suggest and review places for Fine/Formal or great atmospheric dining, whether it's themed or not. Just not places in your hometown, but anywhere you've been or heard of.
Please rate the food, atmosphere, price and service with every suggestion. Provide links if possible.
Pictures welcomed and encouraged.
Unfortunately, where I live (Utah) there is a severe lack of Fine dining restaurants or places with amazing atmosphere.
Other than the rare few.
For great steak and more "smart business" atmosphere this is a great place. Located in Salt Lake City.
Price: $$$ $30 - $60
For great atmosphere, great meals and service including a sleigh ride in the winter The Viking Yurt
Non-Christmas pricing: $125 per person
Christmas (Dec. 20 - Jan 2) $175
For a beautiful outdoor setting and great food.
The link provides pictures and a video walkthrough of the restaurant and surrounding area.
Price: $$ $20-$40
"Sorry I tried to spit roast your mom."
Hate to burst your bubble on this one but Ruth's Chris is actually a rather large chain (135 locations).
Yeah - there are multiple locations in the Bay Area alone.
I think this is a difficult thread to follow because so many fine dining establishments are unique. I could list at least 10 restaurants that would qualify as fine dining that I've been to in the past few months alone - all of which are unique.
Obligatory: The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. 3-Star Michelin rating, jacket required, French cuisine. Every day they serve two different nine-course tasting menus, none of which uses the same ingredient more than once. Meals can take 3-4 hours, and reservations are hard as hell to get. Meals are $270/person.
Last edited by Lenas; 07-21-2013 at 08:28 AM.
Rainforest Cafe. It's a wild place to shop and eat! Great Rainforest atmosphere complete with animatronic gorillas and birds. Price: $10 - $25.
Chuck E. Cheese. Best pizza you'll find, but you need a kid to get through the door so it's a pretty exclusive place. Great party atmosphere, however. Price: depends on how shitty you are at ski ball.
If you like a little steak with your butter then chris' is for you.
If I'm in the mood for a meat orgy I prefer fogo de chao
Otherwise I'll grill it myself
A few years ago I went to http://www.lemeurice.com/le-meurice-restaurant and between the room and the degustative menu, it was just a marvellous dinner ( expensive but for a food lover, it's worth it ).
Basically the bill was like 1000€ for two, it was this expensive mainly because we ordered an extra dish with caviar (that dish was a let down, I expected something else, caviar was good but not 3 * greatness dish). I was happy to pay that much. Now set menu is around 280€ per person, service included.
But nowadays, I avoid restaurants, too often than not, the food quality is dubious at best, badly cooked or just industrial foods, and expensive at that ( 10-40€ for industrial/frozen food is fucked up).
On the other side, I am eating every meals at home, and with 120-180 CHF a week for two persons, really awesome and homemade ( including stock, pasta and about 30% of the sauce we are using ) meals.
The Olive Garden is where it's at. Take a classy broad there and you'll be getting a handy in the back of your Camero before you know it.
3-star michelin is incredibly overrated. Difference between a 3-star michelin restaurant and and 1-2 star restaurants is that you sign your $300+ per person bill with a montblanc pen and the bathroom attendant sits around waiting to spritz you with cologne after you piss into a gold plated urinal.
I definitely enjoy a good meal(I'm a fatty), and I've eaten at a lot of well know chefs restaurants, like Emeril, Booby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and Joel Robuchon(in Vegas, not France)
Expensive meals get to a point of diminishing returns pretty rapidly in my book. Was Joel Rubuchon's $800 tab for 2 people good? Hell, yes, it was amazing. Was it 8-10x better than going to a upper-end chain like Capital Grille or Ruth's Chris? Probably not. I'd take 8 meals at a Capital Grille without thinking twice over one meal at a 3* Michelin-reviewed restaurant. That being said, every decent sized city is going to have some local places that are better than Capital Grille, and possibly less expensive to boot, I just used that as a higher-end chain that many might be familiar with.
It's something that is fun to do once in your life just to say that you did it, but anyone that regularly spends close to 4-figures on a meal needs to get their head out of their ass. I did it once, and it was to celebrate my engagement with my now wife. Might consider doing it again for our 10 year anniversary or something big like that, but that's about it.
Every city worth it's salt has some awesome eating experiences where a $100 bill is way more than enough for 2 people.
I live in Doha, Qatar (highest GDP in the world) which is basically an extreme boom oil / natural gas country. They are the next Dubai in terms of westernization and the city is scattered with 5 star hotels all over the place. Gordon Ramsay has two restaurants here and one of them will do a 3 course lunch special on the weekends for the brunch crowd for 140QR ($38 USD). That is a starter, main, and dessert. Each course you will have two or three choices to choose from. It is by far the best value meals I have had for the quality.
One of my favorites in Ft. Lauderdale is Steak 954. Excellent steaks, but their seafood is amazing. It's on the very-expensive end of the spectrum though. Really nice atmosphere and it's attached to a very nice hotel(The W) right on Ft. Lauderdale beach. Great place for a romantic special occasion(or just a regular dinner if you roll like that).
Whenever I'm in NY, though, it's all about Peter Luger's. Best steaks I've ever had. Anyone who likes steak owes it to themselves to try it at least once.
Anyplace I can get a nice milk steak with a side of jelly beans.
Last edited by Soygen; 08-06-2013 at 04:08 PM.
It's ok. Just take me to dinner and we'll call it even!
After that kind of assault on your character soy, at the least he can give you a quick blowie
Why would anyone spend 50 - 80 dollars on a steak when you can go to Wal Mart and buy the steak in the black package? No one can tell the difference! It's a STEAKOVER!
To be fair, I can count on 1 hand the number of steak restaurants that I've had a steak that I felt was better than what I can grill at home. They are few and far between, and I don't think any of them were less than maybe $50 just for the steak alone(whole meal being much more). A great steak is a thing of beauty, but 99.9% of restaurants aren't as good as what most people could make at home if they just took the time and care to do it themselves.
Lot's of options in Chicago but these are the best of the best in my opinion:
Less "formal" but more relaxed atmosphere and the food is just as good, if not better:
http://elideas.com/ (this is my favorite)
http://schwarestaurant.com/ (probably the hardest reservation to get... and the hardest to keep) Great article with more info: http://www.gq.com/food-travel/alan-r...harlie-trotter
Saw EL on the Bizarre Foods show, looked pretty interesting. Beyond the unique food, the whole idea of a small intimate room where the chef prepares courses of his choosing each night, and only serves 1 round of seatings per night is a neat idea. The guests are allowed to wander around in the kitchen, help make/serve stuff, etc. Would be a really fun experience.
How can you not like a place that has this as the first picture on their website when you visit:
Yeah EL is a really great place. I think Bourdain went there on a Chicago episode of No Reservations during the final season?
The Schwa article is kind of outdated now that I've read it again, and doesn't mention the biggest problem, which is that Michael Carlson is notorious for cancelling reservations the day of. I've heard plenty of horror stories of people being called at 3 in the afternoon and being told the restaurant was closed for the night with no explanation given.
Here are bunch of Chicago food nerds talking about it for 25 pages: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic...248df9ae42044b
99% of the time I'm eating anywhere nice like these places, it's being paid for by business interests. I would almost never pay 50+ bucks on a steak, but if it's free? Shiiiiiiiit. That makes it taste even better!
Sure, I'll play:
Berns Steakhouse - Tampa, FL http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/
This is a big deal in Florida, trust me. NOWHERE requires this outside of maybe a few places in Miami. I've been to steakhouses that cost just as must and taste just as good as this place that have no dress code. FLORIDA.Jackets and ties are encouraged, but not officially required. It is quite common to see formal wear in our restaurants since we are fortunate to be visited often for special occasion meals.
Rest of menu
Granted this is just Tampa, and there are plenty of other places just as good or same atmosphere. However this place is set apart by two things.
First thing: Dessert room
Second thing: Wine Cellar
Adjacent to the kitchen and in the warehouse next door, Bern’s houses nearly 600,000 bottles of wine from recent vintages all the way back to the 18th century. That includes a bottle of 1947 Chateau Latour which can be yours for just $30,000. No other restaurant in the world can boast such a large wine collection– and the second largest is a hundred or two thousand bottles behind. Bern’s wine collection and the cuisine it accompanies has earned Bern’s Steak House the Grand Award by Wine Spectator Magazine for 30 straight years. During that stretch, in 1996, Wine Spectator named Bern’s the best steak house in the United States.
You can do a tour of the wine cellar after you eat dinner. It's pretty amazing and they take you through the kitchen also.
I wonder how much insurance they carry for that wine collection since they allow it to be open to the public. Esh.
A bit off topic, but I've always wanted to try a bit of one of these insanely expensive (i.e thousands of dollars) bottles of wine. I'm curious if it really tastes so much different/better than what you can get at the liquor store. In my experience liquor has diminishing returns, in that the taste improves as you increase in price, but not at a nearly equivalent rate. The taste difference between rail liquor and top shelf at a bar is quite noticeable, but the difference between (from a personal experience example) a bottle of 12 year scotch from a random bar and a $450 bottle of 25 year scotch was hardly noticeable.
boston are has so many restaurants it's funny.
ruth's chris as mention above, excellent menu and service, but the parking sucks in that area.
for a meal similar in quality/price, in Peabody, MA
Pellana's Steakhouse: http://www.pellanarestaurant.com/
not quite as good
beverly depot in beverly ma- http://beverlydepot.com/
I've never had a wine that was in the thousand+ range, but I've had ones that were several hundred dollars a bottle. Some are great, others aren't as good as the 10 dollar bottle of cab I bought at Target. I'll stick to the cheap, but tasty stuff.
You know what I hate? When they have a prime rib and it's already cooked past fucking black and blue.
Go fuck yourselves, shitty meat eaters. ENJOY YOUR SHOELEATHER!
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