Mention Morton's and all I do is smile like a cheshire cat. I had to bring my sis there once at least to spread the love and of course, magic. What better reason than a special occasion called birthday? The last few birthday meals were at La Strada and Au Petit Salut. Instead of the usual French and Italian, we went American, for once.
I made reservations for this a full month ahead simply because I really wanted a good table.
A birthday dinner in advance. :)
We were shown to a table scattered with confetti, nice touch methinks but look around and you'd realise in due time how many other tables are done in similar fashion. At least 5 other tables were celebrating someone's birthday!
Previously I tend to hurry straight into ordering and missed the whole walawalabingbang of being properly introduced to the wide array of food they have...steaks and lobsters and a platter of vegetables with sizes so huge, you ponder if you lived in liliputan-land. The poor lobster was tied up and paraded infront of tons of diners, by the end of the meal I figure it must have been overworked.
I used to scoff at the complimentary onion loaf for being too crusty and not as huge a rave as it seemed but this third attempt at this giant proved otherwise.
Fresh off the oven, upon prying open the layers I was greeted by the most heavenly whiff -- the wonderful combustion of dough and onions. The amount of onions rolled in is beyond measure making this oooh-so-good. I find it strange admitting and conquering defeat only on the third attempt but deep down, Gordon Grill's onion loaf is still tops.
Morton's Salad ($20)
Blue cheese dressing, chopped egg, anchovies
This chilled salad is still consistently good, particularly loved the blue cheese chunks and anchovies.
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat ($37)
Mustard Mayonnaise Sauce
Size definitely does not matter when it comes to "Jumbo crabmeat" for "Jumbo" probably is not the bestest measure of this. Slightly smaller than Tampopo cream puff, this was enough for two large mouthfuls.
Wanted to try the breaded shrimps but since the Birthday girl is queen...her wish is my command. Once again blown away by the flavours of this crabmeat. I confer this a true blue crabmeat (cake) packed with so much crab meat without fillers of starch nor flour. Nary a hint of the sea, this was diiiiiiiiivine. Paired with the lovely cream sauce and a dash of lemon, heaven was just an inch away.
Steamed Fresh Jumbo Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce ($25)
Pity it's not the season for its white cousins but these were the regular green ones served with a generous portion of creamy Hollandaise sauce. Not too bad a side but it was not suffice to garner a wow. At this moment, I'm really missing the juicy white asparagus! Oh yes, Morton's hollandaise bears no hint of sourness as with those that go with Eggs Benny.
Just to note, Morton's has removed its famous Macaroni and Cheese from the menu, replacing it with onion rings.
Single Cut Filet Mignon ($82)
The request for medium obviously fell to deaf ears when it arrived medium well. Well charred sides, the beef was tender but vaguely resembled meat simmered in broth.
Morton's Hot Chocolate Cake ($27)
Supposedly legendary and repeatedly recommended throughout the meal. How could the chocoholic ever refuse?
Be prepared for a 25 minute wait, at least so order your desserts at the same time as your entrees.
The first attempt was beyond words can describe. Overcooked? Undercooked? The moment of truth came to light when the molten lava chocolate refused to budge beyond the chocolate walls, remaining a firm dense mass within.
Even the manager on duty was too embarrased to even explain. I swear I could have eaten the plate if they insisted on another 25 minute wait.
The second attempt was thankfully much better, a slight prod and the overflowing lava oozed out with much appeal. I had to risk pimples for this legend and let's just say...it was all but a warm crusty chocolate cake with a bitter chocolate filling. Much ado about nothing infact, overrated perhaps and honestly, I have made better pimple sacrifices before. It tasted oldschool, somehow...like how Lana is a thing of the past and Awfully Chocolate is mod. There was nothing that a scoop of Haagan Dazs icecream (which they pride themselves for) could save.
The chocoholic concurred with me, good not great.
Souffle Grand Marnier for Two ($33)
Warning: 45 minute wait.
Was tempted by souffle when the waitress was rambling on about their dessert signatures. My first attempt and hopefully not the last. This was by all means huge, definitely enough for four despite its airy fairy puffed up texture. Tasted just like whipped egg whites with orange zest, barely there in terms of alcohol content. The way it disintegrated with the sugared whip cream was addictive but not too huge a fan of souffle.
Partly due to our indecisiveness over dessert, the original short and sweet dinner ended after a good 3 hours. Yet, it was enjoyable despite the hiccups along the way. Mortons...always an experience. Fine dining it ain't with all the chatter going on and buzz in the restaurant but there is just something about the ladies clad in gowns, men in ties that makes this extra alluring. Of course, between Gordon's and Morton's the disparity lies in the ambience. Both are equally charming, still.
On this very special day, to a very special person...Happy Birthday dear ster! Happy 2Xth birthday! Here's wishing you a cheerific year ahead...next year this time, we'll be going on more gastronomical adventures together as we always have and always will.