Sunday, 19 May 2013

Charcoal Steak House

2980 King Street East
Kitchener, ON


Photo property of  the Sign Depot.

In her opinion:
My nephew recently celebrated his First Communion and the luncheon that followed was at the Charcoal Steak House. We are huge fans of the Charcoal Group and visit their restaurants quite often both for celebrations or everyday dining. So it wasn't too surprising that my brother and sister-in-law choose one of their restaurants to hold my nephews' First Communion luncheon.

When we arrived, we were shown to a private room set up for the 16 guests invited to celebrate my nephews' special day. The room was cozy and perfectly decorated. The service was exceptional. There were 3 servers assigned to our table. They made sure that drink orders were taken care of and water glasses constantly filled.

The menu consisted of three appetizer choices - daily soup, Caesar salad or spinach salad.  I picked the daily soup which was a carrot ginger soup.

This soup was thick...not baby food consistency thick but thick enough. The flavour of the carrot was the star of the soup with a little complimentary flavour note provided by the ginger. It was served with a couple of toasted pieces of focaccia bread. All in all a very good soup for a Spring day.

We also had a choice of three mains to pick from - the sirloin steak, brie stuffed chicken or trout with quinoa.  I opted for the sirloin steak which was served with mash potato and roasted veggies (beets and carrots) and green beans.

I had asked for my steak to be cooked medium and it arrived cooked to perfection. It was well seasoned. The mash potatoes were fluffy and flavourful; as were the carrots and green beans. But for me, the star on the plate besides the meat and potatoes were the roasted beets. I am a sucker for a good roasted beet and these were no exception. Sweet and succulent. Really really good main.

For dessert we were served the First Communion cake which was sliced and served by the Charcoal but not made by the Charcoal. It was made by Lina's Speciality Cakes

I was impressed that the Charcoal allowed an outside vendor's product to be served. This illustrates how easy they are to work with for those special occasions. 

Overall, I thought that the food and service was excellent. As it always is afterall. The Charcoal Steak House is an institution in Kitchener-Waterloo and it is easy to see why.

In his opinion:
It may seem strange that with all my visits to the Charcoal Steak House through the years, I seldom remember having actual steak, the dish they are known and famous for in our region. I know I have had it at some point, but the menu always seems to evoke a different tasty delight in every visit.

This time we were there for a first communion event , admittedly different than a romantic dinner a deux! Would the service, food and overall experience be of the same caliber as we are used to in the dining room? Good questions that were about to be answered.

We had a private room waiting for the event attendees and we were led to it by a wonderful hostess that ensured everyone was following her, from the front all the way to the room. Tables were nicely set-up as expected with the same feel and ambiance as if you were in the main dining room.

I glimpsed at the menu that was specifically prepared for this event, including a picture of the "boy of the day" himself, which was a nice touch by the way. All the options, seemed great and appetizing not making my job of choosing easy. I opted for the spinach salad to start and the brie stuffed chicken for my entree.

The salad was fresh with fresh spinach, a light vinaigrette dressing and apples sliced thinly throughout. It was delicious and I particularly liked the lightness and not overpowering taste of the vinaigrette. The staff were always there for any needs and were efficient but not rushing in their control of the finished plates.

The brie stuffed chicken was perfectly done. The skin was packed with flavour and just crispy enough to offset the moist tender meat beneath it. It was a delight at every bite and I kept wishing it wouldn't end. It was served with lightly roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.

The Good: Great atmosphere whether you are in the dining room or a private room. The food and service were good, delivering on their promises. The staff were very attentive and made the group feel special.
The Bad: The drawback of being there for an event with a set menu is that it excludes you from the rest of the menu, which is a shame.
The Verdict:The great reputation of Charcoal Steak House is present even in a small gathering as this one. Staff was great, the food was impeccable and made for a great event. Highly recommended for small events.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

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