I recently had the opportunity to check out a steakhouse in the Saint Charles area that has been around for over 30-plus years. The reviews online for the steakhouse seemed mostly positive. I had seen this restaurant reviewed on the now-defunct show Chicago’s Best many years ago and wanted to check it out for myself.
The restaurant that I went to visit is St. Charles Place in St. Charles.
The first thing you will notice when pulling into the parking lot of St. Charles Place is that it is massive. The restaurant also serves as a banquet hall, and the sheer size of the restaurant alone is something to see.
The evening that I went for dinner was somewhat busy, but there were still so many tables open. I could imagine that this restaurant could seat hundreds of people if need be.
When I walked into the restaurant I noticed the owner. I knew he was the owner from watching the Chicago’s Best episode on TV.
The owner sat in the front of the restaurant in a chair that almost looks like a throne. There also was a lady next to him who I assumed helps him out to seat people if need be.
The owner got up from his chair said hello and brought us over to a side booth.
The overall feel of the restaurant is extremely unique. The booth that we sat in felt very dated. The booth also sunk in quite severely from what I imagine was years of people sitting on them and the springs giving way.
The look inside had somewhat of a hunter’s lodge feel. There also were many overtones that made you feel like you were in a French castle with paintings that resembled French artwork. I will state again I do not know what look the owner was going for, but it is very unique.
The restaurant also is very dark. When we were dining, there still was some natural light outside. I think if it was dark outside the restaurant would seem even darker with no light coming from the front entrance.
Our waiter came to our table, handed us menus, and told us there were specials on a separate menu. He also told us that the special for tonight was buttermilk mashed potatoes, which I thought was a strange item to have as a special. The other item that was on their special was steak bruschetta.
I looked over the menu and noticed that the prices for the food were extremely high. I would say even more expensive than Gibsons or Morton’s steakhouse.
A 7-ounce fillet was $43. Pasta dishes were all in the mid-20s. Two cokes cost $8 dollars. A single piece of carrot cake was $21.
I understand inflation causes restaurants to raise their prices, but many of the reviews I have read for this restaurant stated that they are exorbitant in their price gouging on food.
I ordered the steak bruschetta for my appetizer. I also ordered their giant onion rings that I have read in reviews are delicious.
The steak bruschetta was definitely the highlight of the night. The steak was tender and the spread they put on the bread was almost like garlic cream cheese. It was absolutely delicious. The tomatoes that were on top of the steak were fresh and tasty.
My only critique would be that I would’ve liked the bread to have been toasted. Ours was just untoasted Italian bread cut into pieces with toppings put on.
The onion rings came in a metal French fry holder wrapped in a cloth napkin. It looked unusual. I have never seen onion rings presented this way before. The napkin almost made the onion rings soggy due to the steam in them being smothered in the napkin.
They were good, but I would not say I would order them again. There was nothing really special about their flavor. They also were the cheapest item of the night at eight dollars.
I ordered the filet medallions for my main course. There was from what I could see no other option but to get them as Steak Au Poivre in a brandy peppercorn sauce sauce.
I also noticed that St. Charles Place was different from other steakhouses. They did not have À la cart Side dishes. All of the entrées came with either french fries or a side of mashed potatoes. If you wanted to order vegetables you could for an extra charge.
The entrées did come with a small soup or salad with your choice of dressing. I opted for the Caesar salad.
My wife ordered the 7-ounce fillet with mashed potatoes.
I also ordered their spinach which did not state if it was creamed or otherwise.
My steak medallion dish had a good flavor. The top had a deep charred crust almost burnt but the inside was tender.
The top also had heavy peppercorn seasoning that was part of the burnt char. The mashed potatoes were good, but nothing special to make them into a special of the night.
My wife enjoyed her fillet. She asked for a blue cheese topping that our waiter forgot to add. It was no big deal because she still enjoyed the steak and she also enjoyed the mashed potatoes.
I asked her whether she thought her steak was worth $43 and of course, the answer was no.
The spinach was absolutely awful. It tasted as if it had absolutely no seasoning. There was no salt or garlic, but it was drenched in oil that I’m not quite sure what it was. The spinach also was whole leaf spinach.
I noticed a lot of people coming into the restaurant that all seemed to be regulars of the area. I think that this is what keeps this restaurant alive. I could not imagine with the option of Gibsons or Morton’s steakhouse that I would ever come back here.
The price was high but not really that much different from high end steak houses, The probl;em was the portions were not in line for the high price. The portions were on the small side.
I also want to add that dinner for two before tip was just under $160 for small portions.
I was glad that I did get to check this place out because it is very unique from the owner to the overall look of the restaurant.
I smiled to myself as I left the restaurant and saw the owner again sitting on his throne at the front of the restaurant. He seems like quite the character.
I think that if you are in the St. Charles area you should definitely check it out for yourself at least once. It is quite the experience of an old-school steakhouse with an eccentric twist.
I give St. Charles Place a rating of 6 out of 10. I think that the food is not bad, but the prices are ridiculous when you can get the same, if not better, at other steakhouses for less.
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