Last night the group convened for a extemporaneous Wednesday night Steak Night at Stoney River in Duluth, GA.
Drinks at the bar were well poured by an attentive staff. No snacks available, though many order appetizers and even full meals at the bar.
Once seated we were greeted immediately. The breadbasket arrived shortly thereafter filled with their delicious, miniature poppyseed rolls and honey butter. We went through the first heaping basket with ease, though the second basket was more of a challenge than we could meet.
We ordered their version of bleu cheese chips. They started with good quality homemade chips then topped them with a bechemel based bleu cheese sauce with a hint of nutmeg. Garnished with chives, this variation on this often overdone dish was excellent. (For the best bleu cheese chips in Atlanta visit Buckhead Diner where they don't skimp on the Maytag Bleu Cheese).
Then came our wine, at the recommendation of our waiter we ordered a bottle of the 2005 Franciscan Cabernet priced at $48, it was a 100% mark-up over retail, a much lower mark-up than many of their other bottles. The wine was good, though could have benefitted from a decanting. It improved as the evening went on. The waiter again made sure our glasses were always crimson and took the extra second to wipe the bottle with a black napkin, fold it neatly, and place the cork on top creating a bit of restaurant still life with every pouring.
My two compatriots ordered the lodge filet, a 10 oz steak, that is their best seller. Its price at $39 is quite fair particularly with the addition of the included starch of your choice. I had the 12 oz ribeye and found it quite succulent and perfectly cooked.
We skipped dessert on this trip due in large part to the sheer number of roles ingested, but enjoyed espressos and lingered over the last bit of our wine.
All in all Stoney River delivered a very enjoyable Steak Night at a relative bargain of <$80 per person including tax and gratuity.
Stoney River Wrap-up
Atmosphere: 4 (a bit loud, though still a comfortable place to settle in)
Drinks: 4 (a good wine list including reserve list, though mark-ups a bit high, our female member raved about the Belini Martini)
Meat: 4.5 (they use their "lodge" seasoning, good if a bit salty, but not for everyone)
Sides: 4 (one startch included with your entree)
Desert: 4.5 (order the Top Hat)
Service: 4.5 (a bit too attentive)
Note: A good solid chain steakhouse in the burbs.