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Monday
Jun182012

#24 Wolfgang's - Beverly Hills

Rating: 3.75 cows

 

When you hear about a restaurant in Beverly Hills named Wolfgang's, you might wonder if Mr. Puck really needed to open another restaurant in Los Angeles. We'll have to leave that question for another time, because Wofgang's is the eponymous steakhouse of Wolfgang Zwiener, though the similarities of the name are not lost on either of them.

Situated on Canon Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills, the atmosphere at Wolfgang's is inviting as it is unassuming. A large bar greets you when you walk in, with a few flatscreen TVs tuned to ESPN or the Sport of the Day. Behind the bar area sits the main seating area of the restaurant, and while it's separated from the bar, it feels like one large space. This probably helps, since the place itself isn't remarkably large. The bar is well-stocked and even carries a quality gin (Plymouth) aside from the Sapphire and Tanqueray staples.

We sat at a large round table, which was just perfect for our group of 6. The waitress seemed to be a bit frazzeled at first, but we later found she was more than up to the task and did an excellent job.

The prices at Wolfgang's, to say nothing of its prime location, suggest a top class dining experience, on par with the best of the best. The menu features a tantalizing 16-oz filet for $48 as well as a porterhouse for two that runs $45/person. There's also an 8-oz filet and NY Strip. Curiously absent was a Rib Eye, but Wolfgang's instead served both lamb and veal chops.

The most surprising item on the menu was the "Sizzling Canadian Bacon" appetizer. Dave had a similar item at Peter Luger in New York (where Wolfgang Zwiener cut his teeth), and after some ribald joking about Zwiener's meat, we found ourselves ordering "a round of bacon for the table." If you've never ordered a round of bacon for the table, give it a try, it's liberating and delicious. The bacon was a revelation. Why more steakhouses don't offer meaty strips of bacon as standalone appetizers we'll never know, but thank you to Mr. Zwiener for filling this unmistakable gap. Other steakhouses are on notice: start serving more bacon, Canadian or otherwise.

The other appetizers we got were the wedge and caesar salads and the lobster bisque. All were good, but nothing was a standout, except perhaps for the bisque, which was very tasty.

So let's get to the meat. The steaks arrived with a nice sear on the outside. The 16-oz filet was extraordinary, and it was cooked to perfection. The flavor was ample, though a touch more seasoning would have really elevated this steak to another level. The porterhouse turned out to be a tale of two steaks. The filet portion was quite good, while the strip seemed a bit lacking. The steak arrived pre-cut, and while it was good overall, we found the size to be on par with what similar restaurants would serve as a porterhouse for one. Given the price, we were expecting more. The 8-oz filet and strip were both very good as well.

The side dishes of french fries, creamed corn, broccoli, and lobster mac-and-cheese were good. The fries were billed as steak fries, and while we take issue with how they were advertised given their size, they were nonetheless very tasty. We topped off the evening with an ice cream sundae which was very satisfying.

Wolfgang's is a very good place to eat. The atmosphere and service are great, as is the food. The steaks here are solid, but they don't seem to quite reach into the upper echelon, which is perfectly fine; we just wish the prices were about $5-10 lower to compensate. If you happen to be in the area and have a chunk to drop on a steak, you will not be disappointed. However, in our humble opinions, you'd do better to take that cash down the street to Cut or Mastro's

Wolfgang's Photos

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