In a word: Now that's a steak.
The specs: #0281
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews by Dennis Getto (RIP), Jayme Joyce, Menacing Buddha, Yelp, At First Taste, Krik's Picks, Mad City Eats, Accidental Foodist, official web site,
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JM and Nichole ate the "Every night is date night" 16 oz. Chateaubriand with sauteed mushrooms and mac & cheese.
JM also had the French Onion soup and a lemonade.
Nichole also had the vegetable beef soup.
The bill was $73, or $36.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Johnny Delmonico's an A- (see our grading rubric).
Throughout the meal, the service was impeccable - friendly and warm, yet professional. The wine list was substantial, though we stuck to our usual libations (the lemonade was a bit watery - we might take a pass next time).
A warm bread basket reached us within moments. Each slice had a great sourdough crust and tender, sweet crumb that barely made butter necessary. Peoplewatching out the ceiling-height windows onto Pinckney St. during rush hour made the wait for our soups speed by.
Nichole's fragrant beef vegetable soup benefited from the addition of kale. Generous bits of meat and savory vegetables were tender but not overdone. This meal could have stopped at bread and soup and been quite memorable in and of itself.
In contrast, JM found the French onion soup a bit bland, without much kick. Overall, the hot cheese was its zenith, vs. the one-flavor glop in the bowl. Luckily the soup course was small and served to heighten the flavor of the steak to follow.
A side of macaroni and cheese, while promising and very appropriate for a Wisconsin steakhouse, shied away from the decadence of cheesiness you might expect. The crumb and bacon topping was the best part, of course. We liked the sauteed mushrooms a lot - their brothy saltiness was delicious.
The star of the show was the Chateaubriand for two. A generous (16 oz.) filet mignon came cut for two on a bed of lipid-drenched sauteed onions and zucchini. Thick cut, tender, and cooked to order, this was one of the best steaks we've ever had. The Bordelaise (red wine and beef marrow) sauce was subtly applied, adding just a layer of flavor to the surface of the meat, but it was delightfully salty and rich. Mm mm.
All in all, the price ($70 for steak, soup and two sides) was not bad for a top-notch, linen-tablecloth experience.