With my unwavering passion for red meat, my latest endeavor brings me to Old Homestead Steakhouse in Atlantic City, NJ. The Old Homestead is one of the fine dining venues at the Borgata Hotel, “offering four food groups: Beef, Beef, Beef and Beef.” Having roots from the late 1800’s, my expectations were very high for this legendary New York, and now Atlantic City institution.
Right as you walk in, you know you are going to spend a lot of money. From the French-looking maître’d, to the attire of the wait staff, you know this place is expensive and elegant. The decor of the restaurant is very contemporary yet “homey”, emphasizing earth tones such as various browns and beige. Once my party was seated, a waiter brought over two rolls for each person, individually placing the rolls on each person’s plate with a pair of tongs. This practice was lost on me. I immediately thought this is a prime example of a place trying to be too fancy. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t simply give us a bowl of bread instead. I remember saying to my fellow diner “they can hand serve us bread, but they can’t keep my water glass full?”
The small nuances aside, the menu is well put together. The restaurant offers a variety of warm and cold appetizers, including a raw bar as well. The entrees are obviously focused on steaks; however, there are offerings of chicken, lamb, fish and crustaceans as well. Everyone in my party ordered Old Homestead’s Signature Steak, which was the “Gotham Rib Steak”. This steak was a gigantic 34oz. portion of a bone-in ribeye steak; also known as the cowboy cut. When the steak arrived, we were in awe of the size of the steak. The steak was served with what looked like a previously frozen onion ring on top, ultimately degrading the presence of this expensive cut of meat and resembling a steak presentation at Applebee’s. The steak was cooked to my liking, but unfortunately it was severely under-seasoned. I added salt to almost every bite. We also ordered a side of mashed potatoes, which had a lovely smooth texture, but unfortunately was also under-seasoned, desperately needing more garlic, salt and pepper. For better or worse, I was constantly comparing my experience throughout the meal to Bobby Flay Steak, a mere 500 feet away.
At the end of the meal I definitely think I was more impressed with the size of the steak than the actual flavor or preparation. While cooked well, the steak did not have that nice char, which is often characteristic to good steakhouses. I am curious to see if other steaks at Old Homestead are prepared better; however, I will not be back to find out. For the price I paid for my steak, I could have prepared a more flavorful, equally as tender steak at home for a party of four. Unfortunately, I give the Old Homestead in Atlantic City, NJ 2.5 out of 4 stars.