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Morton's


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The sibs and I are taking my dad (the steak-lover) to Morton's for Father's Day, and it's the last on the list of the big 5 steakhouses locally - Daniel's, El Gaucho, Ruth's Chris, The Met - that we've tried. From what I've read of the reviews the service is awesome and the food is great. So why isn't it mentioned as much as the other four places when the topics turn to steak? Is it more expensive in general? Too foo-foo? Too new? I'm almost scared to take him there because of the lack of information on the restaurant in general.

Please fill me in on your experiences there as well if you haven't posted about them before. I'd love to know what people really like from there, what isn't worth ordering, how the desserts rank and if it's okay that I'm probably going to share a steak with my sister since I don't eat that much meat. Thanks.

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I've never been to the Seattle branch of Morton's, but I've been to a couple others. The main difference between Morton's and some of the other top tier steakhouses is that Morton's wet ages their meat, rather than dry aging it. It's a less expensive process because less specialized aging facilities are required and the yield is higher. Wet aging also produces is a milder flavor that tends to appeal to a broader spectrum of diners.

Ruth's Chris also wet ages, but the Metropolitan and El Gaucho serve dry aged steak. It may be that Morton's and Ruth's Chris, being large chains, have decided it's not worth the effort to souce dry aged beef.

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If you enjoyed the other steak houses in town, then I'm sure you'll like Morton's as well. I thought the beef was as good as any of them and the people were friendlier in general. The only real drawback to me is that they do this little show-and-tell schtick about the different cuts available that night that I find a little grating.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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The only real drawback to me is that they do this little show-and-tell schtick about the different cuts available that night that I find a little grating.

We took a friend there a few weeks ago for dinner, since they'd sent us a $50 coupon in the mail, so we figured we wouldn't have much to lose. I wish!

The place was a tomb... two other occupied tables full in the place, one of which was a drunk and obnoxious group. And this was a Thursday night! Not a single bottle of wine on the list for under $50, and nothing worth drinking under $75 (mmm, supermarket wine with a 500% markup...)

Steak was fine, sides were exactly as you'd expect, and service -- including the bizarre dog-and-pony show Tighe mentions -- was mechanical in the extreme. I kept thinking there was a teleprompter above my head that the waitron was reading.

The prices, even for a steakhouse, seemd outrageous. I definitely wouldn't return. You can get a much better steak dinner at any number of other local places. It was an icky chain-restaurant experience from beginning to end.

~A

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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I've been to the Seattle Morton's once and though I found the food and drink great, I didn't like the service. I hadbarely started on my appetizer when they tried to take it away to bring us our meat. Plus, I guess i was naive, but I didn't know that a $19 bottle of wine I could get at Whole Foods would cost me $80 at the restaurant.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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It's true that the wine list is exhorbinate, as with most other steak houses. The one time we went we did BYO and the corkage didn't seem too bad.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I've never been to the Seattle branch of Morton's, but I've been to a couple others. The main difference between Morton's and some of the other top tier steakhouses is that Morton's wet ages their meat, rather than dry aging it. It's a less expensive process because less specialized aging facilities are required and the yield is higher. Wet aging also produces is a milder flavor that tends to appeal to a broader spectrum of diners.

Ruth's Chris also wet ages, but the Metropolitan and El Gaucho serve dry aged steak. It may be that Morton's and Ruth's Chris, being large chains, have decided it's not worth the effort to souce dry aged beef.

Morton's wet ages their meat, rather than dry aging it

Ah!; I thought I had a good grasp on the meat thing, but then I realized it different language use , but I know what it means now.

Wet-aging avoids this moisture loss and thus is a much less expensive process than dry-aging.  When beef is processed, the producers seal the large, sub-primal beef cuts in cryovac vacuum packs, which are placed in boxes and shipped to butchers.  (Thus the term "boxed meat", which is used in contrast to hanging meat.)  Some butchers will age the meat by leaving it in the vacuum packs.  This is wet-aging. 

Wet Aging

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