As you can imagine, there are numerous steakhouses in Calgary but none with quite the ambiance as Caesar’s Steakhouse. I defy you to find mirrored walls, chariot ceiling detail, Roman columns, and a grill in the centre of the dining room shaped like an Olympic torch anywhere else.
(Contrary to the name, the Caesar cocktail was not invented here but at what’s now the Westin hotel a few blocks away.)
My friend Jensen and I have come here for some old-fashioned cow. She orders the 8.5 oz New York strip with peppercorn sauce, I get the 10 oz ribeye. Both are about $36 but include a bonanza of sides.
The French onion soup comes first. It’s plain and salty (which I enjoy) with a piece of toast floating on top, as opposed to the cheesy baked variety.
The cheese toast is incredible. I couldn’t put my finger on it though. There was no gloppy mound of melted cheese so I think it may have been grated parmesan along with the salty garlic. You’re never supposed to fill up on bread but this was addictive.
Our two salads were quite different. I ordered a Caesar salad which was good but I’m not convinced it was worth the extra $7.50. Jensen got the iceberg salad that came with her steak combo. It looked like it came out of a bag and was drowning in some sort of vinaigrette.
Good thing we came for steak and not salad. My ribeye was deliciously marbled and grilled the way I ordered it – as the world should be. Our server, in his black tux, came out with the silver tray to dress my baked potato with sour cream, chives and bacon bits.
Jensen’s striploin and stuffed baked potato were also good. Unfortunately, her peppercorn sauce was more of an overpowering peppercorn crust than a nice gravy. She scraped it off and enjoyed the rest of it.
Bottom line, thumbs up for the steak and cheese toast. Not so much for some of the little things. However, I’m willing to overlook that for the fascinating surroundings. Service was professional and pleasant. Did I mention some of the staff wore white dinner jackets with black bow ties?
We arrived early on a Saturday night but by the time we started our steaks, the place was packed with mainly families, so call ahead for a table.
Caesar’s Steakhouse, 512-4th Ave SW, Calgary, (403) 263-1222. Open Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-midnight and Saturday 4:30 p.m.-midnight.