Stepping Out: Mike Shannon’s
620 Market St. St Louis, MO 63102
620 Market St., St. Louis, MO 63102
I know that college students’ budgets don’t often allow for $50 steaks, but if your parents happen to be in town and you can rope them into taking you out for dinner, Mike Shannon’s is definitely worth a try. In fact, during my last visit to Mike Shannon’s, I went through the daunting task of introducing my boyfriend to my father. This had the potential to be a nerve-wracking situation, but thanks to some deliciously hearty steaks, the conversation flowed as smoothly as béarnaise sauce.
The interior looks like a typical steak house with a few modern touches like floor-to-ceiling glass windows and flat screen TVs showing various baseball games. (For those of you who don’t know, Mike Shannon’s is named for the famous Cardinals player Mike Shannon). As such, Cardinals T-shirts and autographed photos of players adorn the walls. The restaurant’s atmosphere is an interesting cross between a baseball fan’s hangout spot and a chic, sophisticated eatery. This actually provided the perfect setting for the big father-boyfriend introduction, as it was a slightly formal but relaxed environment that took the pressure off of my father and boyfriend. My father’s love of baseball didn’t hurt either.
The wait staff was knowledgeable and polite but certainly not overbearing. After we debated over appetizers for quite some time, our waiter thankfully stepped in with a couple suggestions, which we gladly took. We ordered the jumbo lump crab cakes with a delicious basil remoulade and a spicy aioli that gave the mild crab a nice kick. We also tried the traditional Caesar salad, which was good but definitely nothing special. And finally, we had the “Tuna Two Ways,” which is a combination of Italian and Asian tartare and was perhaps the most interesting and delicious of all the appetizers.
But of course, you don’t go to a steakhouse for the appetizers, so let’s move on to the meat of the matter: the steaks. My boyfriend and I both ordered the tenderloin filet—I got the 8-ounce portion while my boyfriend ordered the 12-ounce one. My father protested our choices, saying that the filet cut never has enough flavor for him, and he proceeded to order the dry-aged rib eye.
The béarnaise sauce served with the tenderloin filets was excellent; it had just enough eggs and butter to give it a perfect consistency, but not too much that it covered the delicate flavor of the shallots and white wine. The rib eye, as my father said, indeed had more flavor. This is because it is marbled with fat, due to the location of the cut near the cow’s upper rib cage. It was probably the most delicious (not to mention largest) steak on the menu.
To accompany the beef, we ordered several side dishes including the best creamed spinach I’ve ever had, thick, buttery mashed potatoes and fresh blanched asparagus with parmesean cheese. The side dishes were larger than we had expected, but each added great depth to the flavors of the steaks.
Unfortunately, we did not have room for dessert, as we managed to consume almost all of our steaks and sides. We still left feeling more than satisfied and said farewell to our friendly waiter, the baseball players smiling down at us from their frames on the wall and all the uneaten crème brulee and apple pie.
All in all, it was a very successful evening—Mike Shannon’s left a good impression on us. And, it even allowed my boyfriend to leave a good impression on my dad (not an easily accomplished feat!).