I am not a huge meat eater, but I LOVE steakhouses. I love the sides, the bread, the massive desserts, the suave, swanky dining rooms, the caricatures on the wall, and the memories of childhood dinners out that it provokes. When my parents told me to book a place for our dinner with the grandparents, I immediately thought of Strip House. I had heard rave reviews about their steak from meat connoisseurs, and realized that steakhouses are the perfect please-all option for my family, which consists of people with a wide variety of food preferences. Non meat eaters can order fish or lobster, and the steak lovers obviously have a wide range of choices.
From the outside, with a tacky neon sign and a faded red awning, Strip House looks more like a …Strip Club than a steakhouse. But inside the mood is sensual, mystical, and very New York – a more swanky version of the typical Palm or Wolfgangs. The host was very accommodating of my special request for a round table, which is key for a party of 6 or more. My family and I were seated in the center of the dining room, in plain view of our server and the bus boys, perfect for a high maintenance group.
Bread basket was great – wide variety included an onion roll, a french roll, some crackers, and a few other options that kept us busy with our drinks for the first half hour. To start, my grandmother and I shared a bib lettuce salad with tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, and red onion. I love steakhouse salads because they are generally served ice cold. This salad was delicious and definitely fit the steakhouse salad build. I also tried the caesar salad, which wasn’t the classic caesar salad I expected, but still flavorful, chilled, and tasty.
My father ordered the shrimp cocktail, which usually is the last thing I would like to eat, but I couldn’t resist a taste because the shrimp looked so fresh and plump. They were delicious – probably some of the tastiest poached shrimp I’ve had. And who knew you could differentiate shrimp cocktail?
I decided to skip the red meat for my main – I know, I’m a disgrace to a steakhouse. Unfortunately, the ONLY drawback on the menu was the lack of variety in the fish options. Generally, steakhouses have at least 3 – 4 solid seafood dishes. I had a choice between the seared tuna, which is pretty generic, and the Red Snapper, which doesn’t usually appeal to me. I opted to try something new and went with the snapper, and it was actually quite delicious. The skin was crispy, the base of bacon and potatoes was flavorful, and the fish was perfectly cooked.
Obviously, I tried the steak (my grandmother’s, since she is the only other person in the family who likes their meat medium rare), and the center was perfectly tender, savory, and juicy; the outside a crust of meaty flavor.
My sister ordered a seafood platter for her main, and it was massive.
The sides were equally amazing, and probably the most memorable, decadent part of meal (save dessert) – cream truffled spinach and crispy goose fat potatoes. Crazy! A few bites of those definitely put me over the edge.
But my fullness didn’t stop me from ordering dessert. Prior to coming to Strip House, I had seen pictures of their famous chocolate cake on Yelp, and I made it my mission to order it whenever I finally got a chance to dine there. I couldn’t resist…I ordered the Strip House famous chocolate cake, the warm chocolate brownie with ice cream, and the profiteroles for the table. Each dessert was RIDICULOUS. Our entire table almost freaked out in awe and surprise of the portion sizes. The cake was probably 6 inches high – a piece fit for the entire family, with 24 layers (my aunt meticulously counted) of dense chocolate ganache. Holy man it made my night.
The profiteroles was more like one gigantic pastry vessel of a bottomless supply of hazelnut and chocolate ice cream, also delicious, and the warm chocolate brownie was everything a warm chocolate brownie should be – damn good and a solid reason for my existence. I am honestly obsessed with dessert…it’s not a proper meal without it.
So, after the grand finale show of dessert, including THE BEST chocolate cake of my life, no lie, it was hard to even consider giving Strip House anything but a rave review. But, when my father professed that his steak blew that of Harris’s in San Francisco out of the water, I knew that the restaurant was an overwhelming success. The service was great, the food, from the sides to the steak to the dessert was phenomenal, and everyone of my family members left full and happy. The next opportunity I have to book a restaurant for a date, a special event, or a fun group dinner, I will undoubtedly consider Strip House.
Address: 13 E 12th Street between 5th and University