I don’t know how many times I drove past Eddie Merlot’s thinking, “I have got to try that place someday.” Last Friday, I finally got around to it. There are several reasons for why I’d recommend Eddie Merlot’s, but the most important one has got to be the steak.
I ordered the 16 oz. Bone-in Filet Mignon. I am not exaggerating when I say I have never had a better filet mignon steak. I’ve had a lot of steaks, and there may have been equals, but none better. The tenderness and juiciness were there, as were the marbling and flavor.
My dinner companion, who opted for the 14-oz. Prime Ribeye, agreed. But more importantly, she shared a bite with me. It, too, was excellent.
2 Reasons Why I Think Eddie Merlot’s “Gets It”
In my opinion, to run a successful, top-tier steakhouse, there are two things you absolutely must get right: Quality and cut. That Eddie Merlot’s succeeded on both counts, to me, is not surprising for two reasons…
First, I learned they serve nothing but USDA “prime” grade beef which, in the U.S., is universally considered the gold standard for meat, not only in terms of tenderness and juiciness, but marbling and maturity. In my experience, there is a much greater likelihood that non-prime meat will contain unchewable portions, which totally ruins the experience.
Second, our server informed us that all meat is cut in-house, by Eddie Merlot’s chefs. My appreciation for the significance of this dates back to an experience I had over a year ago, when enjoying what seemed to be a great steak dinner at a supposedly top-tier steakhouse, I discovered a big, nasty vein in my steak—not the kind of thing you want to see, let alone eat! This is where careful attention to cut matters.
Eddie Merlot’s, from the Start…
Now that I’ve talked about the steak, I’ll back up a bit and talk about everything else.
The place was already filling up when we arrived, around 6:15 on a Friday. Do yourself a favor and set a reservation. Our server arrived promptly to take our drink order. He was courteous and very knowledgeable, even though it seemed to take a while for our orders to arrive. Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was dinner rush.
They apparently take their wine seriously at Eddie Merlot’s, judging from this climate-controlled wine room. The room is visible from the main dining area and adds an extra dimension to the interior design. It also calls attention to their impressive wine list, although I will be the first to confess I am anything but a wine connoisseur.
We started with an order of Crab Cakes, with is made with colossal crabmeat drizzled in a tasty creole remoulade, and garnished with cilantro microgreens. There’s not much to say other than it was excellent.
Next, came my chopped salad which contained lettuce, Gruyère cheese, red onion, celery, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, crispy prosciutto, seasoned almonds and a creamy herb dressing. It was good, but quite honestly, it was not nearly as flavorful as the menu description led me to believe. It’s not that it was bad—all the ingredients tasted fresh. Maybe it was the ratio of ingredients. To me, it tasted kinda plain.
My dinner companion went with the Tomato and Mozzarella salad, which she was gracious enough to share. It was excellent. I especially liked the thickness of the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Surprisingly, our bread and butter didn’t arrive until after we had finished both our appetizers and salads. I’m not sure whether this was by design or on accident. Either way, it was good, fresh bread, even though by this time there was an awareness that we’d better slow down, or else risk spoiling our appetite. I’m not sure what was sprinkled on top, but whatever it was, it was good.
Be advised that the side dishes at Eddie Merlot’s are served “family size,” which means you get way more than you’d expect from a typical portion. Case in point: The Hash Browns shredded potato pie. This thing was huge.
We also ordered the Asparagus Spears with Hollandaise sauce (not pictured in photo). They were crisp, not over-cooked. The only strange thing, to me, was the Hollandaise sauce. It was just lukewarm, and because it had the consistency of mayonnaise it could not be poured, but instead, had to be dabbed. It was not enjoyable.