Desi Vega’s Steakhouse (#305, 8/29/14) – 84
I haven’t been hitting up as many high-end restaurants of late, and my bank account thanks me. But with the benefit of a group-on, I dropped in on Desi Vega’s Steakhouse and had an excellent meal.
We made reservations for 8 p.m. on a Friday evening with just a few days lead time, so it’s not packed, but clearly did need the reservations. Parking was a little challenging, but not awful, and I could have used valet if I was so inclined. The manager was very helpful from the start; we were a bit early, but we ordered drinks and when the table was ready quickly, they simply brought the drinks to our table. It’s a relatively small place with windows all around that look out on Lafayette Square and St. Charles Avenue. I wouldn’t say it’s a romantic place at all, but a nice place with some “buzz” going on. I’m thinking it’s the type of place where people like to be seen. It was loud, but not overwhelming and the tables had good space between them, so you had privacy. As far as atmosphere, I would give it a 23 out of 30 – and most of the points come off because of my own preference for a little more relaxed of an atmosphere.
Jumping into the food, it was very good. I had a filet, which was pricey ($41) but very good. I added the crab meat and asparagus (thumbs up) as well. The meat comes on a crazy sizzling hot plate; the sizzling meat sound with the smell is always a good thing. One key thing is that vegetarians can eat here! There are a handful of options, so don’t be scared by the “steakhouse” name. The Mac and cheese was considered a specialty of the place, but I wasn’t impressed, nothing bad, just nothing spectacular. One of the appeals was that they have Pappy Van Winkle (15-year). It was $26 for a glass and it was very tasty. Overall on food, I will give this a 42 out of 50. All was very good, but nothing blew me away.
The service was top-notch. I’m not even sure how it could be any better. We were seated very quickly, nearly exactly at 8 p.m. We had multiple waiters and everything was prompt without seeming rushed. I’m trying to knock points off, but the only issue might have been a little wait to actually get the bill – but in some ways, that’s appreciated, they weren’t looking to run us out. I’ll give it a 19 out of 20 for service.
Final score = 84.