EAT: Morton’s The Steahouse: Atlantic City NJ

 

Playing with time on Valentine’s day, at approximately 5:30pm sans reservations; lead us to Morton’s in the Caesars Atlantic City Hotel, hidden below the escalators off the Grand Foyer of the Hotel Lobby, sitting at ground level. With 3 decades of experience, it was no wonder that they were nearly booked solid, however  my love managed to secure the perfect time for us.

When we returned for dinner, I instantly felt the suave-gangster-undercover-back-door-game-element feeling of the 40’s prohibition; which could have been the Chicago roots, the decor, or the fact that a casino literally sat on the other side of the wall; most definitely it was a combination of all.

Both hosts were very gracious and pleasant, seating us immediately. I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of both the assisting staff and of the servers. Attentiveness, pleasant dispositions and productive team members seemed to be the norm.  This caliber of service most definitely comes from a staff that cares and a management team that listens and leads. Where cheerful productivity is, good food lives, and most definitely a pleasant experience lies; or so I say. I was eager to eat for sure!

After taking our orders and bringing our drinks, Augustine (our awesome and professional server) returned with one of the biggest loaves of onion bread I have ever seen, it was dotted with at least a million onion pieces.  Served fresh out of the oven, the warm and fluffy inside was that of the texture of a delicate croissant, but less buttery and not flaky at all. It was finished with a brilliant egg glazed crust.  I always judge a good steak house by the filet and the bread, this one is in the tops. The light onion flavor was mildly deceiving; because with a million onion bits on the outside, how could it not be a bold In-My-Face onion flavor? It was however delicious for sure!

Our meal began with the Ahi Tuna Tower ($19). Which was a molded Napoleon, with a hint of ceviche a la americana, melt in my mouth deliciousness!  This ahi tuna was so fresh I had to slap it around a few times (^_~).  It was tartar quality, vibrantly red and diced small; almost disappearing at contact with the tongue, had it not been for the blackened sesame seeds keeping it around a bit longer.  The tartar was set on top of a bed of gooey yumminess (avocados are my favorite!) I would call it a chunky guacamole, because it had avocados, mangos, red tomatoes, red onion and a bit of lemon. The two layers were finished off with a wonton bottom, then topped with a tomato salsa (the only thing I’d leave off). I didn’t think the tomato salsa added anything to this dish and should be omitted, as it took away from the smooth pairing of the ahi tuna with the avocado and mango salsa.  Plus when I tried the tomato salsa paired with just the tuna tartar it didn’t taste all that special.  However if I were in the mood for just an appetizer and dessert, this would be the appetizer to eat, minus the salsa of course.

Since we were both in the mood for filet, we each ordered a Lobster Tail and 6 oz Filet Mignon ($50), medium rare, with a side of Sautéed Spinach & Button Mushrooms ($14). Both filets were served with a slight hint of redness, each bite moist and flavorful, topped off with garlic butter maybe?  The lobsters weighed over 3.5lbs each, and were perfectly cooked, taken out of the shell, then finished off with a sprinkling of paprika, before being roasted under the broiler for a few seconds. The drawn butter accompanied a grilled roasted lemon, which is something I absolutely adore, a great char. The char on the lemon edges gave this traditional lobster a new level of flavor that I wasn’t expecting from a steakhouse. It was one of those small twists that deliver a big performance. Things like that make for all the difference in a dining experience.

And then there came the Sautéed Spinach & Button Mushrooms.  At first glance I was utterly disappointed that a legitimate Steakhouse like Morton’s served canned mushrooms. They are not the same quality as shown on the website either. I wish they told me they were out, so I could order something else; but thankfully the spinach was seasoned, cooked and served perfectly fresh.  I figured that I would just have more room for dessert and that I’ll never order that dish again.

For dessert we had their Valentine’s special which was  mixed berries, served with a sweet sparkling wine-infused creme fraiche. The strawberries, blueberries and raspberries were drizzled with powder sugar and cinnamon, after being laden with the creme fraiche. The bubbles in the wine created an airiness that made the berries more intense in flavor.  Think strawberries, whipped cream and champagne, then dial it WAY up! That was what this dessert was like. A great ending to a fabulous dinner.

This line below was copied from their webpage, so I thought I would rate it.

Quality= 8 Consistency= 6 Genuine Hospitality = 9

Morton’s The Steakhouse
Inside Caesars Casino Hotel
2100 Pacific Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-449-1044

http://www.mortons.com/atlanticcity/

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