Morton's The Steakhouse has been sizzling up steaks ever since 1978. Founded by Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch, the restaurant chain now has 74 worldwide locations in the U.S. and in major cities worldwide such as Toronto, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai, and Macau. Morton's (Twitter: @Mortons, Facebook: Morton's The Steakhouse) prides itself on quality service and serving the best USDA prime-aged beef (which are aged for 23-28 days and custom-cut per Morton's specifications). I've been to Morton's in the States once but never in Toronto, so when the kind folks at the steakhouse invited me in for dinner I jumped at the chance. Who can say "no" to steak?! Vegetarians, yes, but certainly not me!
Located in the trendy Yorkville neighbourhood, Morton's at the Park Hyatt Hotel offers a classic dining experience. Get ready to step into the past with their white tablecloths, wood paneling, hanging lights and booths buffed to a serious shine.
The old-school traditional steakhouse charm at Morton's is as good as it gets.
My friend and I started the evening off with cocktails. The drinks come strong and deep at Morton's, and I love that.
DEATHS DOOR NEGRONI ($17.50)
Death's Door Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth garnished with an orange wheel and a lemon twist
DOUBLE CROSS VODKA MARTINI ($21.95)
ONION BREAD (complimentary)
Warm, soft, and fluffy, this golden brown onion loaf was *almost* too precious to eat. This is the perfect savoury bread.
1/2 DOZEN OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL ($20)
Six Malpeque oysters served with lemon, horseradish and Tabasco. Oyster craving satisfied.
JUMBO SHRIMP COCKTAIL ($25)
This photo does not do these plump and juicy prawns justice because they were indeed very "jumbo" in size. The dry ice, of course, is just for show. It's a bit tacky but it's part of the throwback steakhouse experience and that's why it's SO great. Actually, I want all my shrimp cocktails to be served on dry ice from now on.
LOBSTER STUFFED ROASTED MUSHROOMS ($18)
Roasted mushrooms, garlic butter, lobster, parmesan cheese, parsley
These were good but not great. The mushrooms were overdone so they came out wrinkly and dry. The garlic butter and parmesan cheese also overpowered everything so I couldn't taste the lobster much.
14 OZ BONE-IN FILET MIGNON ($66)
This was my friend's steak. The first thing we noticed was the pool of juice on his plate. I'm thinking the kitchen did not let the steak rest long enough to seal the juices in before serving it to us. The steak was also poorly seasoned. We did a side-by-side taste test between his filet and mine (more on that below) and his noticeably lacked flavour. What saved the night was the foie gras cocgnac butter ($5) he ordered on the side.
8 OZ CENTER-CUT FILET MIGNON ($52)
This was my steak. Again, not the best presentation with it on top of all that juice. I almost wish they didn't have that limp-looking garnish there because it made everything look even worse. This filet was tender and had better flavour but it would've been a lot better if it was seared a bit longer. I ordered the black truffle butter ($5) which was decent.
"TWICE BAKED" AU GRATIN POTATOES ($13.50)
Exceedingly delicious. Layers of tender potatoes with heavy cream and grated cheese, what's not to love? That beautiful golden crust made my heart melt.
SAUTEED BRUSSELS SPROUTS ($13.50)
Exceedingly not delicious. I normally love Brussels sprouts but definitely not these ones. Here's the thing, if the Morton's menu didn't say that they were "sauteed" I would have thought they were just boiled or steamed. These Brussels sprouts weren't even close to being browned; it's like they never even hit the pan. They also lacked their usual nutty flavour.
MORTON'S COFFEE ($10)
Amaretto, Baileys and dark creme de cacao with cinnamon sugar rim
My friend opted out of the whipped cream. Much like their cocktails this Morton's Coffee was also very boozy. Boozy liquid dessert. Yum!
GRAND MARNIER SOUFFLE FOR 2 ($19.50)
Choice of chocolate, grand marnier, lemon, or raspberry
Our server knew I wanted a photo of the souffle before serving it to us :)
This grand marnier souffle for two was really impressive. We waited 20-25 minutes for this beauty and it was totally worth it. Even though it looks massive I'm sure I could finish it on my own (haha!) because it was really that air-y and light. I preferred the souffle on its own without the sabayon (a light custard that was served on the side).
MORTON'S LEGENDARY HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE ($15)
Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream
I had such high expectations for this dessert mainly because of its name, and also because it came highly recommended by our server. I fully anticipated a cake similar to a molten lava cake with a thick, hot-fudge-like centre that oozes out when I dig my spoon in. To my disappointment that didn't happen. There wasn't much chocolate inside to begin with so nothing oozed out; if anything I had to use my spoon to scrape the chocolate out, hoping that would begin the "oozing process"....which it didn't. I was so disappointed about this I didn't even bother taking a photo of the inside.
There were obviously some hits and misses with my experience at Morton's, and seeing that it is such a long-standing and reputable steakhouse chain I'm hoping that this was just an off-night for them. Have you dined at Morton's before? What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know.
*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*