Boca Raton’s Abe & Louie’s where the steak’s prime, but a rare prime rib is rare

Abe & Louie’s on Glades Road

A swanky steakhouse with the right stuff, and no stuffiness, offering terrific steaks and then some.

Looking for a swanky, sophisticated steakhouse? Look no further than Abe & Louie’s, the Boca Raton outpost of a well-known Boston Back Bay eatery.

It’s all dark wood and brass inside

Located in a Spanish-style building in a Glades Road shopping Center, you pull right up to the door, hand your car keys to the valet and step through the door into a classic Old World men’s club. There’s dark wood and mirrors at every turn, gold leaf frames surround paintings on the walls, brass accents abound and pristine white linen tablecloths are on every table top.

Abe & Louie’s has been around for quite a while. It was established in Boston by restaurateur Charles F. Sarkis’ Back Bay Restaurant Group It was later acquired by the Tavistock Restaurant Collection, which has dozens of eateries in Boston, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Arizona Nevada and California as well as the Abe & Louie’s in Boca Raton, which opened in 2006.

We had come here for a special occasion, our wedding anniversary. Eateries such as this tend to be out of our budget, but we snagged a $50 discount — the price of an entree — by signing up for the restaurant’s mailing list on its website.  That made our experience all the more palatable.

Seated quickly (we visited during off season), we were soon greeted by our waiter, Benjamin, attired in the typical steakhouse uniform —dark slacks, white shirt, tie and tan jacket — and his associate (alas, I forget his name).  Barely seated, a basket of breads was placed before us—and later refilled. It included crisp wafers with cheese, raisin pumpernickel and sourdough rye. Hard to resist.

We got to chatting with Benjamin, learning that he was from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where my grandparents lived a generation ago. Goes to show that despite the upscale atmosphere, there’s no stuffiness at Abe & Louie’s.

We started with the Abe & Louis salad ($14), but as my wife is wont to do, she substituted blue cheese dressing for the listed Champagne vinaigrette. The dressing atop the huge salad was chock-a-block full of cheese chunks and big enough to share. Though I am not much of a salad eater, I nibbled. I found it boring. The vinaigrette would have perked up the greens, I thought, but then, I didn’t order it.

Bread selection

Abe & Louis Salad

My wife had been salivating for one of the house specialities, a slow-roasted, true prime rib ($50). Before we placed our order, however, she asked Benjamin if the prime rib was rare. He disappeared into the kitchen, and returned with bad news.  The prime rib available that evening was either medium to well-done. The only alternatives were to return another day (not do-able) or substitute. My disappointed spouse settled for an 8-ounce filet mignon ($45), cooked perfectly and tender in the mouth.

Strip steak and baked potato

For me, OMG, the prime, aged bone-in New York strip ($55) was the best steak ever. Crusty on the outside, it was juicy, sweet and fibrous. Better than steaks I’ve had elsewhere, though many, no doubt, will debate the point. We also shared a gigantic baked potato. It was cooked just right, but what more can you say about a spud. To be sure, seafood lovers won’t be disappointed. The entree selections included swordfish, Maine lobsters and scallops presented in various styles We did not try them, but word of mouth has been good.

Abe & Louie’s has an interesting wine list, including a number of private label bottles. I would have been happy to give one a try, but we had brought our own special wine —from the year we were married and purchased at auction — a 1979 Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese, Not exactly the kind of wine you’d sip with red meat, but riesling is a favorite for the virtual teetotaler sitting across the table from me. The corkage, a bit steep at $25, however was worth it. A bucket of ice to chill the wine was placed aside our table and when it was ready, Benjamin was prepared to deal with an old bottle. A good thing, because the cork crumbled as he turned the corkscrew. Not unusual and not a problem. He expertly strained the wine into a decanter, poured me a taste and then properly filled our cups.  For a wine that’s spent almost 38 years in the bottle it was terrific, tasting of honey and ripe nectarines.

We really were too stuffed for dessert. Benjamin, however, brought us a gratis slice of the restaurant’s seven-layer Colossal Chocolate Cake. It was quite rich.

All told, It was a worthwhile splurge. And we’ll have to do it again, just to try the prime rib. Maybe same time, next year.

Abe & Louie’s

2200 W. Glades Road, Boca Raton



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