With a gift card obtaining a remaining balance and a beautiful wife on a fabulous Friday evening, we headed off downtown to the Byward Market to enjoy some steak at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar (75 York Street, Ottawa).
We arrived at 5 P.M. and opened the first set of double doors to enter. The second was held open by one of the female employees with black dress and smile on her face. She welcomed us to The Keg and we moved to the Maitre D' stand where we were welcomed again and asked to follow yet another lady in a black dress. Upstairs to the second floor we went and were showed a table. Hmmm....my wife, for whatever reason wished to sit in a booth further back. No problem with the lady in the little black dress, we were sat and politely handed menus.
We perused the menus and two minutes later Emily, our waitress, showed up dressed in white collared shirt, black tie and a smile on her face.
Emily inquired if we had been to The Keg before? Apparently, Emily is not a reader of my blog because I've been to The Keg before, just not recently. She asked if we wanted a quick tour of the menu. With Emily barely containing her excitement, "No" was not an option. Thus, before I could say the "s" in "yes", Emily was on her way explaining every little detail.
After Emily was done, we placed our order:
The Order: 1 Medium Rare Top Sirloin Dinner with Caesar Salad, vegetables, sauteed mushrooms and 1 Baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits. 1 Medium Rare Teriyaki Classic Top Sirloin dinner with Wedge Salad, vegetables, sauteed mushrooms and rice.
Two minutes later, freshly baked bread and butter were there. A little more on this later.
Five minutes later our salads were in front of us and Emily was inquiring if we would like some ground pepper on them. She ground a little pepper onto my wife's wedge salad and disappeared.
The Caesar salad was excellent. Not too much creamy dressing, but not skimping on it either. The cheese bits along with the bacon bits added more flavour to present a solid Caesar salad offering.
The Wedge salad was also delicious. My wife worked he way through the lettuce wedge and added toppings.
Fifteen minutes after ordering the main dishes arrived.
The Top Sirloin was grilled to perfection. Nice colour on the outside yet a little pink and juicy on the inside. Bite after bite.
The baked potato came out nice looking as well split in half doused in sour cream and chives. Under the sour cream a little melted butter. The potato itself was not overcooked and slightly moist from the melted butter. Mix in a little of the sour cream and you have a baked potato almost as good as what Mom would make at home.
The vegetables appear to be boiled and average. Nothing special but nothing terrible about this either. The sauteed mushrooms, yes, nothing special and nothing terrible either.
The Teriyaki Sirloin, also excellent. My wife let me have a few bites to test out the difference between the regular grilled Top Sirloin and the Teriyaki Sirloin. The only different, gratefully, is the teriyaki taste. Same grilling perfection but just a Teriyaki rub added and allowed to infiltrate while grilling.
During our meal, both before, during and after, there was baked bread and butter. The first loaf brought out two minutes after ordering was excellent. The outside crust slightly crispy but the inside still slightly moist and warm like it was right out of the oven. The second loaf, brought just before the steak dishes hit the table, a little troublesome. The outside crust was rock hard but the inside was only satisfactory. So the bread loafs seem a little hit and miss.
Emily cleared our plates after we were finished, disappeared and then did a sneak attack with the dessert menu. She flies by, quietly slides the dessert menu onto the table and keeps going. Three minutes later she returns to inquire if we would like dessert, coffee or tea. We politely decline and ask for the bill.
Emily returns with a smile and the bill. We drop the gift card and have her deduct it from the total and pay the rest in cash. She offers change but we decline. Emily responds with a big thank you like she won the lottery as we leave.
An observation while leaving through the front door. There were four ladies at the front looking to seat customers plus two additional ladies in black dresses more than willing to open the door for customers to come ago. Not sure why this is required, is it because customers will not attend if they have to open the doors themselves?
Overall, The Keg lives up to the steakhouse expectations in terms of food and quality service. Quick seating after arriving, warm welcome and service by our waitress along with quality steaks. Sure the prices are higher than other restaurants but with food well prepared and excellent service it is worth it.
Downtown Toronto is getting a huge new brewpub
35 minutes ago