Jacobs & Co Steakhouse February 28, 2014

Jacobs & Co Steakhouse

For Valentine’s Day this year the BF and I decided to forgo gifts and instead splurge on a meal. He still got me macarons and I found him ravioli pans, but we kept ourselves in check. This was good because dinner at Jacobs & Co Steakhouse more than fit the definition of a splurge meal, or two. Located on Brant St, Jacobs & Co serves up various cuts of steak from all over the world ranging from farms across North America to authentic Japanese Wagyu. There are reasonably priced options, we chose to go for broke.

Atmosphere: While dinner wasn’t a black tie event the dress code in the restaurant did include a jacket and dress for most diners. We were seated in a secluded room with tables only for two so the noise level was hushed and the lighting dim, perfect for an intimate dinner. The outside dining area was more lively with larger groups and more open space. I appreciate that Jacobs offers both settings to chose from. The decor was elegant, featuring contemporary lines with traditional textures like rich leathers and dark woods. Dinner at Jacobs is a perfect excuse to get dressed up and try out a new dress or pair of shoes.

Service: Complimentary coat check is offered before the friendly hostess guides you to your table. Our server was friendly and stuck up a conversation with the BF with regards to his camera. After a small bit of dialogue he apologized for interrupting our dinner, which was sweet and unnecessary. The wine book at Jacobs was a little overwhelming for us so we asked our server to recommend something based on our price range and taste preferences. He took it away and returned with a bottle of Malbec from Argentina that the BF and I both liked. I felt well taken care of the entire dinner, without the servers feeling overbearing and loved the table side preparation of the caesar salad (I never knew so many ingredients went into the dressing).

Food: I need to preface this with the disclaimer that our eyes were far larger than our stomachs and my dress was uncomfortably tight as we left. It was a great meal, the best steaks I’ve had in Toronto but I’m still on the fence about whether or not the price tag was justified. I do believe it’s worth the cost by the excellent service and whole dining experience, but based on the food alone, I’m unsure.

Once we had placed our order with the helpful guidance of our knowledgeable server, he dropped off two popovers with a garlic chive butter. The bread was perfectly hollow and had buttery, flakey layers. I had to keep reminding myself about the ounces of steak to come so as not to fill up on carbs, a difficult task.

For sides we ordered the Jacobs Caesar Salad and the daily special of hash browns fried in duck fat topped with a soft boiled egg. It was fun to watch the preparation and care that went into the dish on top of it tasting great. I liked that the dressing was tangy and not too creamy. We ordered one portion size and it was a good amount split for two people. Before the hot dishes arrived, our server delivered a plate of salts and sauces to accompany the steak. Of these, my favourite was the chimichurri. We didn’t get through much of the hash browns, they were good. I would’ve liked the egg to be a bit more runny.

The BF had his heart set on the 36 oz bone-in ribeye, 26 oz without the bone, also named the “Swinging Steak” on the menu. So I ordered something smaller, the 10 oz Californian Cut Striploin from Snake River Farms Wagyu. Between the two US Wagyu farms we were told the Snake River had a gamier taste, while the Oakleigh was more buttery. Since the BF was getting a super marbled, fatty ribeye, I chose the Snake River in contrast. His ribeye was ordered medium and my striploin was medium rare. Both steaks came out at the right shade of pink and I added 2 oz of foie gras to mine. As I’ve mentioned before, this was the best steak I’ve had in Toronto. The steaks were well cooked with a beautiful caramelized crust and tender, flavourful middle. My personal preference leans towards fattier steaks so I liked the ribeye more but both were mouth watering. The BF likened the meal to steakhouse he had visited in Houston.

I was enticed by other tables and ordered the 12 layer chocolate cake for dessert. We didn’t need it and it was a dense cake. Beautiful presentation but I was hoping for a more airy texture. There was a mix up in the kitchen and the hash browns we had asked to be packed up were sent home with another table. Our server was so apologetic and he offered to have the dish re-made for us. He also sent us home with extra complimentary muffins.

Overall, Jacobs delivered an excellent experience with welcoming service in a polished environment and great food. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had, in the top 10, but it was the one with the highest price tag.

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