Friday, January 29, 2010

Mortified At Morton's

Last night I took my brother-in-law Jim and the Mysterious Chinese Woman to Morton's here in my neigborhood in Brooklyn. It was kind of a going away celebration (leaving for Mexico on Saturday) and a treat for Jim who looks after our place while we are away. It was my first visit to this Morton's and we had a great time.

From the lady at the door who asked for a last name and at least feigned laughter when I expressed sympathy that she must be an orphan if she didn't already have a last name, to the waitress, Jen, to the assistant general manager or whomever he was.

I immediately bonded with Jen whose wine recommedation was Blackstone Merlot, an old favorite of me. Her delivery when she announced the specials and presented the various cuts of meat and fish you could chose from was as good as a Groucho Marx routine.

The meal was fine, but not out-of-this-world great. It was up to standard steak house standards, which is really pretty high. I think the non-chain's like a Sparks or Peter Lugar's may have a bit of an edge. But that is just my opinion.

My Cajun ribeye was a wee bit overdone (my fault, really, I should have ordered medium rare) and a bit too salty. But then I notice most steak houses serve their meat on the salty side.

When I mentioned that my steak was a bit overdone I was immediately offered another one and was told I could have it in about five minutes. I said "no" because it really wasn't that over done and I had already eaten about half of it. I wouldn't have even mentioned it except that when Jen asked how everything was I just said mine was fine but..., well, you know the rest.

Jim's steak, I believe the double-cut Chicago ribeye, was done just the way he liked it and the Mysterious Chinese Woman enjoyed her filet. All in all everyone quite enjoyed their meal.

After our meal Jen asked if we wanted to take anything home. Both the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I had steak left over, so we wanted that. Jen asked about the salad and I went off and said no, we didn't have a rabbit, the rabbit died, and I didn't even know my wife was pregnant. This only vaguely makes sense if you are old enough to remember that a pretty common test for pregnancy was to inject a rabbit with the urine of a woman who might be pregnant. If the woman was pregnant there would be a corpora hemorrhagica in the rabbit's ovaries. You had to kill the rabbit to detect this but if they were bulging it meant the woman was pregnant. Needless to say all the rabbits died but somehow the phrase, "The rabbit died," came to be a euphemism for a positive pregnancy test after the late 1920 and early 1930s.

Anyway, Jen knew what I was talking about and said my train of logic was like something out of "Leaving Las Vegas." Strangely enough, I knew she meant "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas." So then we all started talking about Hunter S. Thompson. It was spooky.

After the meal I had ordered a Sambuca but the assistant general manager (I wish I knew his name) offered each of us a choice of brandy, Frangelica, port or Sambuca, on the house. We all chose port.

Jim and I each had a piece of Key Lime Pie for desert and it was one of the best I have ever had. It had a Grahm Cracker-crumb crust which I have always liked with cream type pies. That was the way my mother made pies like this. The pies were on the house too. I don't know if the after-dinner drink service and free pie was because I "complained" about my steak or not. If it was, it was way more than necessary. In fact, nothing was necessary. My steak was perfectly fine, tender, tasty, just a wee-bit overdone to my taste.

There was a crowded bar scene when we arrived around 8:00 PM, mostly a suit and tie crowd, and it was still going pretty strong when we left a couple of hours later. Kind of my bar crowd back in the days when Bar Man actually worked. Not really my scene these days, though. I think I have worn a suit twice since I retired ten years ago.

Anyway, we had a really great time and I will definitely go back again when some occasion warrants it, like I am in the mood for a good steak or a piece of key lime pie (the pieces were really big, too).

Oh, the mortified part. It seems that because Morton's has numerous enough restaurants to be considered by New York to be a chain, it has to abide by the, in my opinion, stupid law that you have to post the calorie count beside each item on the menu. It really looks kind of silly to look at a fancy menu and see this. I was told that they have to be posted on the wine list as well. I should have looked, but didn't need to when I ordered Jen's recommendation, the Blackstone Merlot.

Anyway, the mortification: my steak was 1,100 calories. Mercifully, the desserts were displayed on a tray and there was no menu, for which I am grateful. And I didn't peek at the wine list.

Morton's the Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Okay, early tomorrow (5:00 AM pickup) we are off for sunny Puerto Vallarta. I will, of course, be posting from down there and I promise I will be more prolific with the pictures. I should have brought my camera last night.

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