Saturday, November 04, 2006

Morton's of Chicago, The Oriental

A very last minute impromptu dinner decision with contesting venues somehow ended up at Morton's. At Morton's, everything looked bigger and is bigger. This was actually our first visit to the famed steakhouse and the experience was decidedly very good.

Morton's of Chicago is located at the 4th storey of The Oriental hotel. The exterior of the hotel looks somewhat old, fading away in it's own way. That is however, a facade that belies the rather stoic, solid and dark; yet simplistically stylish interior. Which wa pretty much like how Morton's facade from the main entrance contrasted with the interior of the restaurant. The front of the restaurant looked serious. The restaurant itself however was bustling with the clinks of knives, glassware and overflowing conversations of people; from hushed toned barely whispers of couples to semi-boisterous merry makers and even bawling kids. The air in the place seems more filled with the warmth.

Being a newbie to Morton's means we get to do with the introduction of the vaunted (also read, expensive) steaks in their various cuts that are served in the restaurant. Our server for tonight was the lovely and amicable Tina, which the lousy photo does not do any justice to. Lol. We were presented with a tray of Morton's cuts of steak along with the bulk of the menu recited off the head like a litany. I was rather impressed because the menu was anything but small. The highlight of the introduction was of course, the steaks. You can guess from the photo on the right that they are really anything but small with the 48oz double porterhouse cut being the king of the hill in the platter. We went with a porterhouse and a double cut filet mignon to share. And a bunch of other items on the sides of course.

The dinner proper commenced shortly with the much heard about onion loaf. The loaf was pretty huge, and warm. Really, look at how tiny the steak fork looks compared to the bread. The onion flavuor in the loaf was light, just enough to be detected. I was actually expecting something that was blooming with fragrance once you pop it into your mouth. But that's not how it turned out. Not overpowering. What we liked about the loaf was that it arrived crisp and it's warm. So it went very well with butter. A small caveat lector for you readers. Don't finish it. The steaks are big, especially if you're doing a one on one.

Tailing the onion loaf was our order of a bottle of Pellegrino Liter (it's just sparkling water) and in not very long moments, the sides we picked to accompany the steaks. If you haven't been to Morton's before, do note. Steaks just gets you steak on your plate. There are no accompanying sides. So if you want something else along with the meat, you have to order them separately.

The sides which we had tonight were the sautéed wild mushrooms, hashbrown potatoes and steamed broccoli with Hollandaise.

sautéed wild mushrooms

Hashbrown potatoes topped with bacon bits and sour cream (these are like rosti, and very tasty)

Steamed broccoli

I'm just going briefly with the sides here because I know you want to get to the meat of this entry. The sautéed wild mushrooms were quite good. It wasn't too mushroomy for me. The bed of mushrooms was  actually over a toasted thick slice of garlic bread which isn't quite visible the photo above. The hashbrown potatoes were like a thick woven rosti. The sides of were crispy with the inner parts greasy. It's actually better than what I had expected for hashbrowns. Broccoli was big and very fresh. I would recommend this very dearly priced vegetable to be eaten without the Hollandaise sauce if you intend to savour the fresh sweetness of the crown. Trust me on that.

And the highlights of dinner, the steaks....

A very excellent double cut filet mignon
The not so excellent porterhouse steak
The juicy filet mignon bites the dust.
Porterhouse takes 2d4 damage
Halfway through my first helping
" the second without end..."
"The third arrives..."

The filet mignon was the better of the two steaks. Work on your imagination with words like succulent, juicy, aromatic so that I can just fast forward. The exterior of the steak's surface is flavourful of the smokey grill while the insides of the meat are a pink medium rare. The porterhouse steak turned out to be a disappointment. The toploin portion had a rather hard exterior and certain parts of the meats turned out more rare than medium, visibly with sinews. I'm quite surprised that the inconsistent doneness in such a place. I won't comment if it's a one time affair of a badly done steak or not, but it's a blemish on the otherwise pristine impression on the restaurant.

Off to the desserts, we had the signature chocolate cake from Morton's and the Upside Down apple pie.

I would think that most women will love this warm cake. Comes with a slightly crusty exterior that breaks into a warmer soft insides and molten chocolate which erupts from the centre when you cut it. Honestly, I enjoyed this rich hot chocolate treat. For some ladies, it might be even described as orgasmic. Heh! Try it for yourself. Words cannot descrive everything about taste. Guys that do not like chocolate or sweets, should simply pass and refrain from ordering one because this large but single portion sets you back at $23.50.

This quaint looking lump is the upside down apple pie and it's probably one of the best apple pies which I've had. The apple pieces comes slightly sourish which offsets the sweetness of the dessert giving the flagging appetite of an after dinner diner more horsepower to eat. Lol. There is also more crunch in the cooked apples which implies a fresher/better quality make than the run of the mill sugared mix. The generous amount of raisins in the pie was very apparent in each bite with "succulent" dried grapes that burst in between your teeth. Morton's doesn't have a large variety of desserts, but it seems that from what we've had so far, they're both pretty good.


Anonymous said...

the brocoli looks really pretty

Loviatar said...

u haven told us abt the damage of the meal yet.. lolx

LiquidShaDow said...

Lol....okays, the total bill with the ++ comes up to $315.85. That's for 3 and no appetizers nor wine. ;)