Rating: 3 cows
Forever memorialized in Swingers, The Dresden wasn't just a cool place to get a drink and listen to Marty and Elayne sing a bunch of songs to hipsters. It's actually a full service restaurant with a menu full of, you guessed it, steaks. The Dresden is much in the same vein as The Derby, Musso & Frank's or any old style restaurant: it's like going back in time. The furniture is the same, the decor is the same, the servers are the same, the food is probably the same... only the prices have gone up (though still quite reasonable).
We started at the bar, which has a wonderful old feel. Unfortunately that’s about where the charm ended. This is not a place to order a cocktail if you have taste in cocktails. The Old Fashioned was regrettable, and the Dark and Stormy came out red for some reason. If you’re drinking at The Dresden, stick with beer or wine and you’ll be much happier.
Dining at The Dresden will certainly be an enjoyable experience as the servers are welcoming and do a fairly consistent job. The booth we sat at even had arm rests. Yes you read that right: arm rests in a booth. We hadn’t seen it before either, but somehow in a place like this it didn’t seem too surprising. You can tell by looking that the food is of good quality, but cooking it the way you want it is a bit more problematic. Every steak was ordered medium rare but they were served medium. The meat was tasty though with considerable flavor, which underscores the quality of the beef. It’s not the best of the best, but it’s far from mediocre.
Steaks came with your choice of potato and vegetables. A Caesar Salad could be added for $6 more. The Caesar was better than average but nothing exceptional. The filet was nicely sized and had more flavor than expected given the fact it was overcooked a bit. The Chateaubriand for two is an impressive display that is carved right at your table and also includes with a side of potatoes, vegetables, and mushrooms. It's too bad that since the Chateaubriand is for two, you don't actually get more potato. Included in your meal is the complimentary Garlic Cheese Toast, which is pretty much welcome wherever and whenever it’s served.
The dessert options are your typical cakes and ice cream. The selection does vary though which implies a good amount of turnover. The cheesecake was good, very good even, though nothing so outstanding that it deserves any more than a mention.
While the steaks weren't as impressive as we hoped it would be, it still is a Hollywood staple that does at least seem like it's trying to do it right. I don't think we'd be opposed to giving it another try but it may be awhile before we do.