Review: St. Elmo's
Yet another non-Long Island restaurant review on a blog about food on Long Island. However, as St. Elmo's is the only famous(ish) restaurant in Indianapolis (Peyton Manning can't be wrong, can he?), I thought I'd include it in a review here. Besides, it's my website, and I can do what I want.
St. Elmo's is a steak house. I haven't been to many steak houses in my time (at least the upscale ones--Peter Luger, Ruth's Chris, etc.), because, for some reason, steak houses are ridiculously overpriced. I've always wondered why I should bother paying $40 for a steak when I can buy the entire tenderloin for $40 and have lots of steaks and make them just as good as, and often better than, steak houses? Well, when we were in Indy, I put that hypothesis to the test. Hypothesis confirmed.
St. Elmo's is somewhat famous for its shrimp cocktail--and, really, only for the cocktail sauce. In fact, shrimp cocktail is the only appetizer on the whole, friggin' menu. Holy shnert, is that stuff hot. Even a piece of shrimp with most of the sauce removed will clear your sinuses like Drain-o through a toilet. I'm not the biggest horseradish fan to begin with, but I don't see why so many people love the St. Elmo's "death" cocktail sauce.
I ordered a Caesar salad for my appetizer. Without question it was the worst Caesar salad I've ever had. Not only was the dressing the mixture of mayo and vinegar you find only at lesser quality restaurants, but it was the worst tasting such mixture that I've had the misfortune of trying. Furthermore, the lettuce was simply cut into little pieces. Tiny pieces with the ribs still attached. I made it about half-way through when I just laid my fork on the bowl and waited for the waiter to take the thing away. "Did you give up?" he said, smirking, when he finally came by (the salad is a bit large). Yeah, I gave up putting my palate through such torture.
For our entrees, my wife ordered a strip steak, and I ordered the ribeye, my favorite. I wasn't impressed with either. The ribeye had more flavor, but, hey, it's ribeye, with all its delicious, melting fat. So, no surprise there. But, really, you pay good money for these steaks, and I can do just as well at home with "choice" cuts. (I can't find "prime" in nearby supermarkets, and I don't really go to butchers, though I think I need to start.) And at home you can put on a nice chili rub (a favorite of ours), marinate the steaks, or, say, add a red-wine sauce. Lots of stuff. There is none of that, of course, at steak houses. But there, where the quality of the meat itself is supposed to be the star, I find it hard to see why I have to pay $40 for a goddamn steak.
For sides we ordered creamed spinach and mushrooms. The mushrooms were average at best (Outback does it better), and the spinach was revolting.
We didn't bother sticking around for dessert. We'd had enough. Dessert we got from good, ol' Dairy Queen for probably $6.00 for both of us, and I'm sure it was better than anything St. Elmo's had to offer.
I'm not completely trashing the place. The steaks were fine, but not fine for the money these upscale steak houses charge. But the sides and salad were terrible. Just terrible. So, I've done the St. Elmo's thing. I won't be going back.
2 out of 5 stars