BFTB received some good work-related news a couple of weeks ago and I decided to make a reservation at Beef 'N Bottle, a restaurant we'd both been dying to try, in order to celebrate. Luckily, we decided to dine on a Thursday, which just so happens to be one of the nights (along with Monday) that the restaurant features half-priced wine (by both the bottle and the glass!). The outside of the building looks fairly... unsavory (think red-roofed doublewide), but the inside is much more intriguing. Autographed celebrity photos and memorabilia adorn the dark wood-covered walls and make the small space seem extra cozy. All together, the various decorations and extra dim lighting gave the space an old school, mobsters-who-lunch kind of vibe. BFTB and I were seated at a booth in the back corner of the restaurant and were greeted by a signed picture of Danny Kaye (woohoo White Christmas!), a friendly server, and an impressive wine list. After examining the menu, we decided to order a bottle of the Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir (which I've now had at three separate restaurants within the past three weeks and would definitely recommend) and start with an order of the Oysters Rockefeller. For our entrees (both of which came with salads), BFTB selected the classic ribeye and a sweet potato and I ordered the night's special, The Panthers Ribeye (cajun spiced and topped with blue cheese and an onion ring) and a loaded baked potato.
Our server brought out our Oysters Rockefeller and we dug in. The six half-shells were stuffed with cheese and spinach to the point that finding the little oyster itself was somewhat of a treasure hunt. I love salt (I'm convinced I was a deer in a former life), but these guys were plated atop a mound of coarse kosher salt and it was inevitable that some wiggled its way into the edible portion of the app. As a result, I had one crazy salty bite that was a little unpleasant, but they were otherwise recommendable (nowhere near as delicious as the Oysters Rockefeller at 42nd Street Oyster Bar in Raleigh, though).
Right when we finished our oysters, our server brought out our salads. Beef 'N Bottle has a D.I.Y. approach to vegetation, in that they serve each customer a plate of lettuce and provide a platter o' salad fixings for the table. Admittedly I'm a little Type A, so I like that method and I excitedly loaded up my salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes (which were remarkably fresh for January), green peppers, thick slices of red onion, and a giant glob of blue cheese dressing (clearly, having anything close to decent-smelling breath was not high on my priority list). The dressing was loaded with hunks of blue cheese (major pro) and tangy like a buttermilk dressing (another pro), but was a little too thick and mayo-like for me to be a super fan.
|Loaded Baked Potato|
Both of us really enjoyed our steaks (sorry, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of BFTB's), but I think I would have been just as happy with a plain ribeye sans the extra seasoning and blue cheese/o' ring topping (in fact, it was so overwhelmingly flavor-tastic that I ended up scraping a large portion off my steak). The two steaks were flavorful, high quality cuts of meat and were cooked exactly as we'd ordered them -medium for BFTB and medium-rare for me. We also really enjoyed our sides. Although there wasn't anything extraordinary about either the sweet potato (served with butter and a sugar/cinnamon mix) or the baked potato (topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions), they were tasty classics that were solid accompaniments to our meat-tastic meals.
All in all, the food was good and we both left stuffed to the gills, but nothing was outstanding enough to warrant a return visit any time in the immediate future. Don't get me wrong, nothing was bad by any means; I just think I can prepare an equally (or more!) delicious steak at home. That said, the ambiance and old school vibe of Beef 'N Bottle do make the restaurant worth a visit for a special occasion meal with your favorite carnivore. For steakhouses, Beef 'N Bottle gets a 7.75/10.