1200 N 1ST St, St Louis, MO | Directions 6310238.635371 -90.182720
Neighborhoods: Saint Louis, Near North Riverfront
Really? – Well, figured I would take the wife out for a good meal in a different city. Found Al's Restaurant, in St. Louis. Took a taxi, under the bridge, across the RR tracks, and down by the river we came to it. Once inside the smell of mildew and rotting fish almost turned us away. We decided to give it a chance based on the reviews we had read. There was no wait on a Saturday night at 7pm, and that should have been the first clue. While waiting we noticed we were the youngest by about 20 years; second clue missed. Since we were the only people waiting, and it took 10 minutes to get seated we should have realized the third clue. Once seated, and another 15 min goes by, the appetizer menu was finally ordered from. Prosciutto, why would you ever put that over cantaloupe? What ever. Once we got that out of the way, we finally get to the steaks. They bring the steak tray out (to the people beside us) to show the different cuts. Which is very nice, but when he was describing the prep for them that should have been the fourth clue to get out. Steak, good steak, only needs to have some salt and pepper. If it needs to be fancied up the cook doesn’t know what they are doing. So, once he gets to us he didn't have the tray of the different cuts of meat, he brought us menus instead. I don't know if that was to scare us off or what, but holy crap! They charge a whole lot of cash for their steak. Again, another clue to run. We figured based on the reviews, and the price it should be the best steak ever. We ordered the steak, and a salad. I got a Cesar and she got normal vinaigrette. My salad had a lot of pepper in it and I mean a lot. I don’t like pepper so this was over- powering for me. Her vinaigrette made her stomach feel a little funny. Finally after being there for over 1 1/2 hours our steaks come out. First time I have ever gotten a Medium steak, cut into it, and had no juice come forth. How is that even possible? My wife’s Peppercorn steak was supposed to be med/well, it was more pink than mine. Plus it tasted horrible, kind of like they cooked it over a kerosene flame. Well we just said screw it and no desert. We couldn't be let down anymore so we got the check and a cab call. My wallet was now $130 lighter, it was 2 hours later, we were very dissatisfied, so we ran out to the cab with out even bothering to tell them how bad it was. Normally I would but it was like the whole time they didn't really care, and or were just too proud of their food.
Wonderful Memorable Dining Experience – I went to Al's based on a 25 year old recommendation, and found the place to be delightful, classy, warm, and they had wonderful food. The waiters were so knowledgeable, and it was such fun to have them go over the 'menu' with the table, displaying all the types of meats and seafood they could serve many different ways! We had such a wonderful experience, and I will definitely go again soon. Five stars! I highly recommend it to everyone.
Great Anniversary – My parents recommended Al?s for our 10th wedding anniversary dinner, but after reading a recent review I was hesitant. Well parents are always right. We had a fantastic evening. Al?s is not modern & glitzy, but it?s not stuffy and boring either, more classy and elegant, perfect for an intimate, cozy dinner. The wood work and fine art add a touch of sophistication and the spacious seating actually let us have a conversation undistracted from other diners. No noise or hustle-bustle either from an exposed kitchen which is the current trend of many restaurants today. The evening started with a great cocktail that I could tell was made with fresh squeezed juices. Our waiter brought out wonderful dark pumpernickel bread with a homemade blue cheese spread. I really liked that you order your meal in stages; you don?t have to decide everything all at once. The dinner is paced to us, not the waiter or turning over the table. I ordered a house salad and my husband had the lobster bisque. The salad was good and the soup was heavenly. After the first course we couldn?t wait for the main event. My small filet with apricot sauce was perfectly cooked and the sauce was full bodied and flavorful. My husband?s filet, breaded and stuffed with cheese and proscuitto ham, was melt in your mouth incredible. We shared a twice baked potato and creamed spinach ? delicious and way too large for any one person. I can?t wait for the leftovers for tomorrow?s lunch. The service was attentive but not overdone. We finished the night with an after dinner drink and a complimentary anniversary dessert. The bill was expensive but not outrageous and certainly no more than many of the national chain steak houses in town. We peeked in the bar before leaving and what a surprise. The riverboat theme was incredible. We were told the wall mural was painted by former Muny Opera set designers. We will certainly be back to Al?s and we won?t be waiting until our next anniversary.
forgetaboutit! – I read the previous reviews and thought that Al's has to be the best of St Louis -- boy were we misdirected.
You walk in and the first thing you notice is the smell of old mildew. We were settled in to our table and given the menu with the steaks and whatnot on the table to show the cuts and indeed the waiters do not tell you what the prices are; figured we would just surprise us at the end, whatever. The menu is relayed by the waiters, who also do their share of tableside cooking. My steak arrived, juiceless and dry, even tho it was medium rare and I paired it with the lobster tail which was ok, with tasteless butter to dip it in. When we got the check it turned out to be $150 per person, without a bottle of wine. In my estimation, would have been overpriced at half that price. Time has passed Al's by, and so should you!
Queen for an evening – The doctor that I used to work for took us to this restaurant twice. The food was excellent, the waiter was super. I had filet mignon that was the best I have ever had in my entire life. The homemade onion rings were to die for. I dont like shrimp, but I will tell you that the shrimp I had at Al's was absolutely delish! We ended the meal with cherries jubilee. We all felt like we were royalty for an evening. I highly recommend Al's if you want a great steak, you will be taken care of by the waitstaff like you are a queen. A very enjoyable evening indeed!
A Little Bit Of Heaven! – This restaurant cannot be beat. Relaxing, elegant, fantastic service. Almost anything one would want, they will prepare. Plan on being pampered. Steaks, seafood, lamb are all outstanding. Their drinks are more than generous. It's just a wonderful place to relax and enjoy! Be sure and try the pasta as a side dish.
User review by jmccarthy50 – The food is good but way overpriced. I think Al's s has out-lived their once good reputation.
A mature, moneyed crowd enjoys unflappable service, delectable steaks and seafood at the city's oldest steak house. – The Scene
Hidden amongst the North landing's looming warehouses and burned-out shells, this steak-lovers' oasis recalls an old gentlemen's club, filled with older, well-dressed patrons, mahogany furnishings, gigantic armchairs and a shipwreck-themed bar straight out of a Bogart flick. The tuxedoed waitstaff is efficient and unobtrusive as it describes the menu from a tray of superior cuts of raw meat.
At Al's, ask and you shall receive. The kitchen prides itself on preparing nearly anything involving seafood, steak or veal. Appetizers include Cajun shrimp with a sublimely spicy sauce, and barbecued tenderloin wrapped in bacon. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon (dressed with cognac peppercorn sauce) and lamb Ettinger (a rack of lamb cut between the bones and coated with Italian bread crumbs and mustard sauce) are standouts. Desserts such as strawberry shortcake sustain the high standard right to the end of the meal.
Not Gone - Not Forgotten – The staff is a bit pretentious, the prices are a bit high (especially if you don't ask because you're not offered a printed menu) but the food is delicious and is beautifully served, and killer martinis...
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