Mr. John’s Steakhouse. Garden District: 2111 St Charles Ave. 504-679-7697.
Tom Fitzmorris October 17, 2010 23:21
Mr. John's Steakhouse
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
The most consistent and best steak specialist in New Orleans, Mr. John's follows the time-honored New Orleans standards for its beef: all of top pedigree, served sizzling and aromatic in butter. Its menu is enhanced by a significant array of Italian food--a good match for steak.
Mr. John's is one of only three local steakhouses whose steaks are all USDA Prime, including the filets mignon. (Which the national chains tend to serve at lesser grades.) They have all the classic cuts, trimmed to the point of being manicured, sold at prices a touch below those of the big names. The sizzling butter touch--a New Orleans steak trademark--is exciting and delicious. While the Italian dishes are more or less routine, they go surprisingly well with the steaks, especially at a table with entree-splitting in progress.
John Santopadre, who passed away in 2007, was a classy operator of many restaurants around town over the years(i.e., Smilie's and Cafe Giovanni). He opened Mr. John's in 2003, with the help of Chef Duke Locicero from Cafe Giovanni. In 2006, the restaurant was sold to Santopadre's son-in-law Rodney Salvaggio (who ran Smilie's for most of its history), Desi Vega (an alumnus of Commander's Palace, Ruth's Chris, and Emeril's) and Paul Varisco (of The Milestones). The location was originally the Avenue Cafe, one of the first Uptown gourmet Creole bistros in the early 1980s. At the beginning of 2013, the trio opened a second, carbon-copy steakhouse called Desi Vega's in the former location of Mike's on the Avenue.
The dining room is a bit spare--but that's what a steakhouse looks like. Tiled floors and many windows looking onto St. Charles Avenue and its streetcars add charm.
»Peppercorn crusted tuna
Fried green tomatoes with crabmeat
»Wedge salad with blue cheese
House salad (baby greens, onion, tomatoes, shaved Parmigiano)
»Strip sirloin steak
»Cowboy bone-in ribeye
Filetto di manzo (Italian-style filet mignon)
Tuscan veal chop
»Crawfish pasta aurora (with a cream-enhanced red sauce)
Pannee veal with crabmeat
Garlic roasted half-chicken
Shrimp and grits
Fish of the day
»Potatoes au gratin
FOR BEST RESULTS
Come with several people, order the larger steaks and split them. Work in a red-sauce Italian entree as a side dish. Reservations are absolutely essential for Friday lunch and dinner and Saturday dinner, when you will have no lock just waiting for a table.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The decor needs something to soften it up. A bit more creativity in the side dishes would be welcome.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar +1
- Local Color +1
- Outdoor tables, drinks only
- Good view
- Good for business meetings
- Unusually large servings
- Good for children
- Free valet parking
- Reservations honored promptly