Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Tony's

I recently had one of the best dining experiences I've had in a really long time! Granted, I haven't been out to eat very much lately, but I was more than impressed by the food, service and experience I had at Tony's. I went on a Saturday evening with my aunt, which was my second time dining there and her first. My boss at work turned me on to Tony's Steakhouse about a year ago after he raved about how amazing it was and that the steak is better than Jeff Ruby's. That got my attention because I love Jeff Ruby's! 

Tony Ricci is the owner of Tony's and, according to their website, has worked in upscale dining for over 25 years. I know he was previously the general manager at Jeff Ruby's Precinct for a very long time, and he has certainly taken his knowledge and experiences from there to create a fantastic restaurant of his own!  

When my aunt and I arrived for our 6:30 reservations, the restaurant was already starting to fill up, and there was a crowd forming at the bar. You instantly get a good vibe when you walk in the door. They have such a warm and inviting atmosphere. I love that you can see the chef's cooking in the kitchen and the servers pulling their orders. Soft, classical music (think Frank Sinatra) plays in the background. A jazz band was setting up near the bar a little later in the evening. While some may describe Tony's as a "fancy" restaurant, it doesn't feel stuffy or cold like other "fancy" restaurants.

We were seated right away by a friendly hostess and a server immediately came over to fill our waters. Then our main server came over to fill us in on that nights specials, take our drink orders and give us bread and butter. The butter is topped with a crunchy garlic salt that is delicious. I couldn't get enough!

My aunt and I both decided to order the filet mignon. It came with a choice of mashed or baked potatoes and a salad, which is a great value for only $34. I chose the caesar salad based on the recommendation from our server. She said the homemade caesar dressing is amazing, and she was right! For a simple salad, it was quite delicious! There was a small hint of flavor from the anchovies, but not too overbearing, which is my fear with homemade caesar dressing. I broke the Parmesan crisp into pieces and sprinkled it over the top of the salad, and it added the perfect crunch and flavor to the salad.

My aunt went with the wedge salad, which was an iceberg wedge with ranch or blue cheese dressing (she chose ranch), bacon and tomatoes. This looked delicious as well, and she really enjoyed it!

After another piece of bread and butter, our entrees made their way to the table. I chose to get the mashed potatoes (which I forgot to take a photo of) with my filet. It was such a treat to have homemade mashed potatoes. They were creamy and garlicky and yummmmy, although we had so much food I could hardly eat them.

My filet was outstanding. I ordered it "medium rare plus" and it was cooked to perfection. I ordered it Oscar style, which comes with crab meat, bernaise sauce and asparagus. This is my favorite way to order a filet! My only complaint was that there were a few shells still on the crab meat. This was disappointing, but the filet with the bernaise sauce was out of this world delish and made up for that little snafu!

Oscar style filet - sorry it's sideways! Wouldn't let me flip it around!
My aunt ordered her steak "medium plus" and hers was cooked to perfection as well. On our way to dinner, she was telling me how she likes a lot of pink and no red in her steak and no restaurants ever get it right. I was glad Tony's got it right for her! She ordered hers with a side of mushrooms and the baked potato. I've had the baked potato before, and it is delicious. As you can tell from the picture, it's huge, and it's covered with garlic and salt and served with butter. Seriously...what's not to like??

Halfway through our dinner, we saw my boss (ironically, the same one who originally told me about Tony's) across the restaurant and chit chatted with him for a few minutes. After we finished our entrees, our server came over and told us that my boss wanted to treat us to dessert. What a great surprise! Although we were stuffed to the gills, we managed to make room for a couple desserts. Usually there are only one or two things on a dessert menu that I like (usually the ones with chocolate!), but the dessert menu is quite extensive at Tony's. It was the toughest decision of the night! Tony's mother makes homemade tiramisu and cannolis at her home and brings them to the restaurant. Last time I went to Tony's, I had the cannolis and they were amazing, but I wanted to try something different this time. I decided to get the pot de creme. This chocolatey, custard dish was rich and delicious and was topped with whipped cream and strawberries. It tasted like the inside of a chocolate truffle. I'd highly recommend for chocolate lovers, although I'd suggest sharing because it is super duper rich. We were so excited about dessert, we forgot to take photos! L

My aunt got the vanilla bean creme brulee, which was also amazing. It was much lighter than the pot de creme so we shared the two and they balanced each other out perfectly. It was crunchy on top and smooth and creamy inside. It was served room tempeture, which I like. Sometimes creme brulee is served chilled, and I don't like that as much. Sorry again for no photos!

To wrap up this really long post...I think it's clear that I would highly recommend dining at Tony's! The whole experience, from the service, to the ambiance, to the food is outstanding! Our server was amazing...she was friendly and attentive and made great recommendations. And both times I've been to the restaurant, Tony is there and he greets every single table and asks how your server is doing and how the food is. It is such a nice touch and makes you feel "special" - as cheesy as that sounds! I will most certainly be back!


Food: 5
Service: 5
Overall: 5

Tony's on Urbanspoon

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