Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smith and Wollensky


Smith and Wollensky
318 N State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 670-9900

Ah, another tragedy. Forced to head to one of my favorite steakhouses for a burger. On a typical trip to S&W I prefer the cajun filet, but this trip was strictly business, so we headed downstairs where the grill is located (and where the burger is served). Given the proximity to the river, the decor of the downstairs area has a maritime feel, and was kind of cold, both literally and in ornamentation. The dank vibe and service that can best be summed up as "strange" did not exactly amp me for the burger.

Both Nat and I ordered appetizers. Nat got the exceptional tomato and onion salad, which is apparently as fresh during the dead of winter as it is at any time. And I got the pea soup. Bad decision. After a recent meat overload the previous weekend, I had pledged to balance my meats with vegetables, and thus pursued pea soup as my "veggie option." Unfortunately, the thing tasted like a bowl of meat, and was far too filling.

On to the burgers (depicted below). Nat ordered his with bleu cheese and I ordered mine plain. Both of them hovered in the ballpark of the Rosebud burger in ambition, but they simply lacked the pure power of what a steakhouse burger should be. Nat noted that the grain of the bun was off as well--a tad too mealy, which made the entire process somewhat of a chore. In honesty, I finished only 40% of my burger. In further honesty, I think I put too much Dijon mustard on the thing, which drowned out the taste of the meat.



Nat's

Mine

It should be known that S&W does not carry yellow mustard. I guess this is to be expected at more high-end places, but it's such a common condiment, I am still somewhat surprised whenever this occurs. Living in New York, obtaining yellow mustard in a restaurant seemed like finding the afikomen. I just don't understand why yellow mustard, like ketchup, is not omnipresent. One more condiment-related note, Nat and I are decidedly in agreement that dollops of ketchup/mustard served in a small dish are not only wasteful, but kind of gross. I would prefer not to have so much open air on my toppings, but what can you do.

I can spend but a sentence on the fries, noting that they held a lot of oil, tasted kind of good, and looked ridiculous being served in a chef's hat.

All in all, a forgettable meal, but I will be back to S&W for the filet.

2 comments:

j.dot said...

i gotta say...the burgers look alright but the fries look delicious for some reason. that is all...peace.

Cb said...

not with you on S&W in general. Some of the most forgettable meals I've ever had, but at unforgettable prices

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