First impression: If you want to spend some real money on a top drawer steakhouse meal, it's hard to do better than Abe & Louie's. Open since November of 2005, the downturn in the economy seems not to have effected business. Just try getting a reservation during prime time on a Friday or Saturday night.
Ambience: Clubby, steakhouse chic with lots of dark wood, white linen-covered tables and nattily attired staff.
Starters: Along with excellent steak tartar ($15), jumbo shrimp cocktail ($17) and other classic steakhouse appetizers, salads are superb here. I love the Traditional Hearts of Iceberg ($7), ice cold lettuce dressed with the best 1000 Island dressing I may have ever tasted. Beef Steak Tomatoes ($8) are also very good. Perfect bright red tomatoes are topped with a mild blue cheese and Vidalia onions.
Entree excellence: The signature steak here is a Bone-In Filet Mignon ($45), served with portobello demi-glace. While plenty tender, it's not the most flavorful filet I've ever eaten, but very good just the same. That demi-glace was ordered on the side and wasn't hot enough. Prime Rib of Beef au Just ($45 double cub, $41 regular cut) is tender and flavorful without going overboard on the garlic. It arrives with a garnish of freshly grated horseradish along with a dish of creamy horseradish sauce. Rib Lamb Chops ($40), like the steaks, are seared on the outside and cooked to perfect temperature inside. They come, traditionally, with mint jelly. I've enjoyed exquisite Lobster Savannah (market price) here on several occasions. The kitchen takes the meat from a 2-pound lobster and mixes it with mushrooms and butter in a sherried cream sauce before returning it to the shell, topping it with parmesan and putting under the broiler to brown. There are also daily specials, including Steak House Beef Ribs ($27) on Sundays, Filet of Beef Wellington ($40) on Thursdays and Lobster Fra Diavoloa (market price) on Fridays.
Side issues: Start with Abe's Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (market price) which was $20 the night we dined. A gratin dish is filled with creamy macaroni and healthy chunks of lobster. Sauteed spinach with garlic and mushrooms ($8) is also very good, although there were many more mushrooms than spinach. Caramelized Vidalia Onions ($8) are a nice non-sauce condiment for steak, although the tomato-based house bottled sauce is near perfect
On the lighter side: Plenty of seafood options, including grilled swordfish steak (market) and tuna steak ($35)
Sweet!: Chocolate souffles ($9) are on the menu and need to be ordered with dinner. But I much prefer the Colossal Chocolate Cake ($8), a classic seven-layer sweet of the where's-the-milk variety. I can still taste it. Key lime pie ($8) is also very good for a company that started in Boston.
Service: Very good, although some servers are more snappy and inviting than others.