Steakhouses come and steakhouses go in Philly. Actually, they don’t leave that often considering how long Morton’s stood tall on Walnut Street, but, you get my drift – they’re a stalwart eatery, a gold standard on which to stake (steak) a town’s culinary reputation despite how basic the premise can be.
Yet, does it have to be so basic? Steak 48 – located at the long-vacant corner of Broad and Spruce Streets, mere feet from the Kimmel Center and the Wilma Theatre, below The Post Brothers’ luxury apartment complex The Atlantic – turns the old world charm of tony service, cuisine and décor on its head by offering something opulent, innovative and tasty at all times.
Blah blah blah seats 450, blah blah blah currently seating no more than 100 per dining time, with blah blah blah tables limited to 4 people per. Fuck Covid-19 for making dreck like that part of every story I have to write. Then again, such roominess is easy when you have 12,000-square-foot – a combination of two spaces occupied formerly by Ted’s Montana Grill and Ruth’s Chris in one – with sky-high ceilings best repped by its floor-to-ceiling glass expo kitchen and its wide layout central dining area, a series of dark private wood-laden intimate dining rooms with a roomy mezzanine atop it all, as designed by Judith Testani of Testani Design Troupe made an already operatic room sing louder.
The Scottsdale, Arizona-based steakhouse, with locations in Houston and Chicago, from James Beard Award-Nominated brothers Jeffrey and Michael Mastro knew what they were doing when they snagged that room(s), kept them mostly dark, save for bold splashes of muted creamsicle orange and white, and left them uncluttered.
There are the service touches that were divine – small, but handsome considerations such as warm moist towels for your hands to laying napkins on the floor before handing the diner her/his doggie bags (and yes, Tia, my Pharaoh Hound strongly approves of the bagging, as well as what came inside).
And that is what makes Steak 48 sing louder than love. Executive Chef Robert Watson is from the late, great Cutters and knows how to make a bone-in ribeye roar, to say nothing of pushing wagyu to wail. The corn crème brulee, the crispy shrimp-tipped deviled eggs; the scaled-large meatballs appetizer, the au gratin potatoes with caramelized onions, Gouda, and mozzarella, and the Caesar salad with a warm egg all acted as an elegant accompaniment to the rich, steak centerpiece.
Yeah, I’d go back to Steak 48.