Restaurant Review: St. Elmo Steakhouse

Tonight Matt and I had dinner at St. Elmo Steakhouse in Indianapolis.  We wanted to take part in the Devour Downtown event going on right now, and this one was a great option.   Normally St. Elmo is really expensive, but their Devour Downtown participation meant that we ate for $30 each!  Devour Downtown is a really cool program.  It makes me really wish we lived closer to Indy and had more time to go to other places on the list.  Iaria’s Italian is next on my list!

First, before I go posting pictures, I want to let you know that it’s really dimly lit in this place, so my pictures aren’t that great.  I did my best without being really obnoxious with the camera.  I mean, this place has waitstaff in tuxedos and is notorious for having celebrities stopping in, so I didn’t want to be the nerd with the camera!  I did manage to get decent shots of everything we ate though, so now I invite you to relax as I proudly present our dinner!

Bread and water came out first.  I wasn’t initially impressed with a little basket of bread with butter, but my mind changed soon…

See those thin little cracker things up there?  THEY. ARE. AMAZING!  Thin, crispy little cracker breads with tons of Parmesan cheese with a touch of rosemary (and maybe even a little garlic?).  WOW – this was the perfect way to kick off my meal!  I wanted a whole basket full of these things.

St. Elmo is really known for their shrimp cocktail.  For years I have heard that theirs is the BEST, and it’s a “must try” on their menu.  It was part of the Devour Downtown options, so we took part.  Three large shrimp were cooked to perfection, chilled and buried in this bowl of cocktail sauce.

This appetizer normally costs $15!  I’m not sure if there are more shrimp when you order from the normal menu.  I’m thinking they cut the serving back for the Devour Downtown menu.

See the size of these shrimp? That’s a normal fork I’m sticking it with (for some reason, mine was missing a shrimp fork – I didn’t make a deal out of it).  HUGE shrimp for Indiana!  The shrimp tasted great, but the cocktail sauce was, um, well…INTENSE!  It has a LOT of horseradish in it, so it really packs a punch.  In my opinion this is not the best shrimp cocktail I’ve ever had.  This sauce just killed it for me.  They serve it with saltine crackers to help soothe your sore tongue or something.  I remember telling Matt, “You’d think they’d just save the money on the crackers AND the horseradish by putting less horseradish in the sauce!”  It was good, but definitely not great in my book.  For what it’s worth, the shrimp really was cooked well, and this was perfectly chilled.  St. Elmo should really be known for their filet, but we’ll talk bout that in a minute…

Next up is entrees: Matt had the filet, and I had the salmon.  Both came with smashed potatoes and green beans.

I have to say a few things before I go ahead with these pictures:

1) When we go out to eat, I want to maximize my exposure to the menu.  I love it when people want to pass the plates around so everyone can get a taste of what they’ve ordered!  (A great reason to love traveling with my mom’s co-workers – they’re pros at this! )  When Matt and I go out, I always try to never order the same thing he is having, so I can taste two dishes instead of one.  That is why I ordered salmon at a steak house.  Looking back, I should have just gone with my gut and ordered the filet too.  I will regret it to the end of my days.

2) Am I the only one who is really, REALLY tired of all the smashed potato stuff people are putting on plates?  I saw this on the menu, and groaned a little bit out loud.  I wasn’t looking forward to eating these at all.  I just thought they’d be filler.  Usually I am right about these things, but tonight?  I. WAS. WRONG.  These potatoes are immaculate. Smooth, buttery, flavorful, creamy, delightful potato clouds in my dreams.

Okay, on with the pictures…

The salmon was really well-cooked.  Salmon is almost always overdone, but this was wonderful!  So tender and moist!  Whereas most places overseason their fish, this was lightly seasoned and perfect for it.  I just squeezed that bit of lemon over it, and it was divine.  The green beans were good too.  They were a little buttery, garlicy, salty and cooked to a perfect al dente – just the way I love ’em!

This is the real star of the show though – Filet Mignon.  I should have taken pictures of it as Matt cut into it, but it was gone very quickly!  🙂  I firmly believe that filet like this is the whole reason God made cows.  Every cow longs to end up like this.  Heck, when I go, I give you full permission to grill me if you think I’ll be half this tasty!  (Ew – That got a little Hannibal there, didn’t it Clarice?)  This filet was so moist. So tender. So perfectly seared on the outside.  So perfectly red in the middle.  HOLY. COW.  Seriously – that thing was HOLY – set apart by God to be put in our mouths!  I mean, even the grill marks were perfect!  I’m normally a steak sauce kind of girl.  I know that a great steak would never need steak sauce, but I still love it anyway.  That all changed for me tonight.  The thought never even crossed my mind to sauce that meat.  I am a changed woman.  (Sorry A1!)

(Meanwhile, isn’t Matt’s tie/shirt combo so handsome? I love this one…)

Time for dessert!

I had the creme brulee.  (Someday I’ll learn how to put accents and stuff on these words.  Until then, get over it.)  Excuse me for a moment while I declare that creme brulee is quickly rising to the TOP of my all time top 5 favorite desserts.  Who’s been holding this out on me?  My favorite dessert by my Mom is her Sugar Cream Pie, and this is like SCP’s grown up, sophisticated, crustless Aunt Sophie or something.  So creamy and sweet with that crunchy sugary crust.  Yum!  Matt may have won with his entree, but my dessert won hands down!  (Also – while at dinner, the thought crossed my mind to brulee a sugar crust onto Mom’s Sugar Cream Pie.  Is that weird or wonderful?  Guess we’ll find out…)  I would have liked a thicker crust from my sugar here, but otherwise, this was the perfect ending for me.

Matt got the chocolate cherry bread pudding.  This was “eh” as far as we were concerned.  It had a nice density without being gooey or slimy – something that’s apparently hard to accomplish with bread pudding.  I think I would have liked it to be a little more chocolatey or something.  It was good, but not nearly as good as the creme brulee.

So – that was our dinner!  If given the occasion and money, I would definitely return to this place.  It’s an Indianapolis culinary landmark, and rightly so.  If for no other reason, then for that filet mignon.  The ambiance is romantic and “rich” feeling (a true poor-girl definition there), and the service we received was top notch!  Our server, Brian, was wonderfully kind and quick with anything we needed.  We didn’t wait around for anything!  If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought we were his only table.

Scrape up some money and go on a date here for something special.  It’s awesome!

KATIE RATING: 4.5 out of 5 (docked half a point for that cocktail sauce)

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3 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: St. Elmo Steakhouse

  1. I went to St. Elmo’s for the first time about a month ago. Sooooo good. I got the filet and the creme brulee as well- amazing!!!

    The shrimp appetizer usually comes with ten or so shrimp, instead of just three. I don’t care for shrimp, but I tried the sauce. YUM! I love the kick!

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