Dinner at the Masters – Pass the Bread and Putter

First off, let me start by addressing the comment that Omar and I seem to eat out a lot. True, we do seem to go out to eat quite a bit, but you have to understand that we do not live together and the time we do spend together is limited. Our crazy lifestyles with family and work obligations does not lend much free time for things like meal planning and cooking.  One of our most favorite things to do is to cook together.  Creating new recipes, trying new foods, but alas, these special moments seem to be fewer and farther in between.

So, to compensate our harried and hectic lives, we do treat ourselves to a relaxing and casual dinners out. Probably more often than we should. Instead of fancy cars, trips, and meaningless possessions, we spend our money on food prepared by others.  Because of this, we expect the money we do spend to be worth it.  We both agree that if we are to eat out we want the food to be better (at least AS GOOD) as we can make ourselves.  That is why rarely, will you see us order chicken out. Anyone can cook chicken, but not everyone can make a mouth-watering cheesy oozy pizza or the perfect steak.

Well back to the review.  Saturday night we decided to go to the Masters. Our friend Gordy Hunt was hosting his record release party, so of course we wanted to attend.  Part of the charm of the Masters is Gordy. (And we do go to the Masters quite a bit). Gordy is the Piano player in the bar area, and a longtime friend of Omar’s. The ambiance in the bar area is welcoming and Gordy plays sing-along songs from a variety of decades and genre’s.  Always fun to see what is next and Omar is always on hand to suggest obscure songs to challenge Gordy, who usually is up for the challenge. The crowd is very easy going and fun, and we always seem to have a good time. The nicest part is we can have a nice night out, with great music, and don’t have to scream to hear each other.

As for the food, I find that there are certain dishes you need to stick to in certain restaurants.  Dishes that are made well, and seem to always be spot on. The Masters does Prime Rib really well (that is they make it tasty, not that they cook it well done, that would be an abomination to Prime Rib!! LOL)   Omar ordered the Prime Rib, rare.  It came with soup or salad and Omar choose seasonal summer veggies. His soup, a seafood chowder was a New England style chowder (he was expecting a Manhattan??).  I think it was decent, but I did not try it.  His Prime Rib was cooked perfectly, and came with a spicy fresh horseradish.  Seasonal veggies were squashes and peppers I think.  His Prime Rib was tender and seasoned well.

I veered from my Prime Rib stand-by and opted for the special, an Oscar Style Sirloin Steak, salad and baked potato. I love Oscar Style steak, with a creamy rich béarnaise and fresh lumped crab, with spears of asparagus. I ordered the steak medium rare.  Well here is where we take a bad turn.  The steak was overcooked.  Not well done, more like a medium to medium well, but still overcooked for medium rare.  The steak itself was grossly under seasoned.  Needed some simple salt & pepper.  The Oscar topping though, was underwhelming.  You could tell it was a packaged hollandaise sauce (where is my tarragon??) with canned crab, which made the topping more of a gooey mess.  It wasn’t inedible by any means, but it was a far cry from the steak I had at Ruth’s Chris for Omar’s birthday.

The salad was good, not memorable and the baked potato was cooked well. Couple of very picky points that I must mention that a “fancy” restaurant should not give you foiled wrapped packets of butter next to a dry baked potato.  Seems very Big Boy-esc.  Also, the rolls, good, but not great. They could be elevated by adding some salt to the dough. Or even salt after buttering them. They need something. Some gusto.  Not really worth wasting the carbohydrate calories on.

Overall, the Masters has great ambiance, their food is OK. Stick with the Prime Rib. Get the Saganaki, that is always really good.  We go to the masters to enjoy a cocktail, and listen to some fun music.  Their menu is hit or miss.  We have had some great hits, and some bad misses.  Bottom line, come on up on a Saturday night, you might just see us at the Piano Bar – feel free to come on over and join us (and buy us a drink!!)

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