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Last night while on business I ate at Mortons in Minneapolis Minnessota. The restaurant had THE WORST prices on wine I ever saw. Here are a few examples. 2005 Estancia cab that sells for 12.00 was on the list for 49.00 The 05 Mondavi reg napa cab a 25.00 wine was 95.00. An 03 BV GD Latour was 214.00 The only deal on the whole list was an 02 Shafer Hillside for 300.00 At those prices I dont know how they sell any wine. Its to bad because it is nice to have some good red wine with a steak and at those prices only a fool would buy it. I went with a couple of wine by the glass offerings.
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Originally posted by g-man:
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Originally posted by wine+art:
TERPS,

Mortons... very pedestrian beef imo along with high markup on wine.

I'm in this type of restaurant weekly, and hate to advise, but see far worse often. Frown


I like ruth chris' fwiw amongst the "chains"

The one in manhattan has a grahams 1970 for 200$ =)


Ruth's list pricing isn't much better than Morton's..but then again I bring my own to Ruth's.
Yep, prices at the big chains is pretty laughable. The selection always baffles me too. If they would just put a slightly more worldly theme to their wine list it would go a long way with the wine geek crowd. But the wine geek crowd is not their customer base, it’s 90% corporate charge cards that don’t know much about wine or good food.
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Originally posted by g-man:
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Originally posted by GlennK:
But the wine geek crowd is not their customer base, it’s 90% corporate charge cards that don’t know much about wine or good food.


How about if you're a wine geek & a corporate charge card crowd?
I’m in that crowd. When my clients want to go there, I just make the best of it. I was just saying the wine geek crowd, corporate or not, is probably a small % of their customer base.
The Mortons in West Palm Beach has actually had some fairly decent wine prices in the past.

The best deal is that they sell Beringer Private Reserve cabernet at the bar for $15 a glass. If you ask them, they'll bring a bottle of it to the table for $60. You can't even buy it retail for that price. I've gone several times when they've waived the corkage fee as well for our dinner party.

As far as the steaks, I'd rate them at about par. The local newspaper slammed our Mortons restaurant a couple of years ago, and they have improved mightily as a result of the bad press.
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Originally posted by Rothko:
The best deal is that they sell Beringer Private Reserve cabernet at the bar for $15 a glass. If you ask them, they'll bring a bottle of it to the table for $60.


I had a similar experience some months ago. A good strategy, if you're at Morton's and on your own dime, is to fine the best wine they offer by the glass and order a bottle. Apparently their policy is to charge the bottle out at 4x the "by the glass" price, which often translates to a pretty good deal.

Otherwise, their prices are pretty lousy.

PH
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Originally posted by mpls wine guy:
Terps, next time your in Mpls on business post for an offline. I could get a couple guys together and we could do it at Edina country club where I work. There is no corkage for me, free parking and you can get a nice steak, salad and dessert for a little under $50 with private room and riedel glasses. I do alot of offlines there.


Has the snack bar been busy this year for you?

I'm thinking you receive a lot alot of tips.
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Originally posted by wine+art:
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Originally posted by mneeley490:
Out of curiosity, I don't remember anyone mentioning Smith & Wollenskys. How are they?


They lasted less than a year in Dallas.


Actually, they lasted close to 4 years. Opened early 2003 and closed on 12/31/2006. Wish something new and good would take that space.
quote:
Originally posted by TERPS:
Last night while on business I ate at Mortons in Minneapolis Minnessota. The restaurant had THE WORST prices on wine I ever saw. Here are a few examples. 2005 Estancia cab that sells for 12.00 was on the list for 49.00 The 05 Mondavi reg napa cab a 25.00 wine was 95.00. An 03 BV GD Latour was 214.00 The only deal on the whole list was an 02 Shafer Hillside for 300.00 At those prices I dont know how they sell any wine. Its to bad because it is nice to have some good red wine with a steak and at those prices only a fool would buy it. I went with a couple of wine by the glass offerings.


You should have gone to Manny's Steak House. Great steak and as far as wine, the mark up price was not that bad but it is not cheap.
Flemings in Scottsdale, AZ sold a friend of mine a Shiraz for about $85. He liked it and checked at A.J.'s (not the cheapest place in the Valley), they had it retail for $17.00. So Flemings probably paid $12.00. How about a 6-7 times markup!

Needless to say he is never going back, I will never be back and I hope they go broke.
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Originally posted by duck833:
Flemings in Scottsdale, AZ sold a friend of mine a Shiraz for about $85. He liked it and checked at A.J.'s (not the cheapest place in the Valley), they had it retail for $17.00. So Flemings probably paid $12.00. How about a 6-7 times markup!

Needless to say he is never going back, I will never be back and I hope they go broke.


you make decisions about whether or not to goto a restaurant based on the mark up of wines and not the quality of the food?
We eat at Fleming's once a month or so. I really like their food: good appetizers, great steaks (I know there are much better out there, but I like theirs quite a bit) and some tasty side items. I used to order wines by the bottle, usually from their reserve list. Every now and then there'd be a great find on there and it was fun to splurge. Lately though, I've been ordering wines by the glass. The markup is high, but with over 100 wines be the glass, I can generally find something for under $15 that I'll really enjoy.

We were just there Saturday night and spent $75 on 6 different glasses of wine, of which I enjoyed 4 of them very much. Not bad when you consider that a bottle of wine at most places is $75.

Is there markup on some wines insane? Yes, but that doesn't mean you can't find some good drinkers at decent prices. I'll continue going back, especially for bone-in ribeyes and veal Smile
One final note, the service is always outstanding which is initially why we kept coming back.
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by duck833:
Flemings in Scottsdale, AZ sold a friend of mine a Shiraz for about $85. He liked it and checked at A.J.'s (not the cheapest place in the Valley), they had it retail for $17.00. So Flemings probably paid $12.00. How about a 6-7 times markup!

Needless to say he is never going back, I will never be back and I hope they go broke.


you make decisions about whether or not to goto a restaurant based on the mark up of wines and not the quality of the food?
I certainly would. Put it this way, if the food is good but so overpriced as to be ridiculous, would you go back? Why should it be different with the wine? Especially with wine often a bigger part of the final bill.
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Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Rothko:
The best deal is that they sell Beringer Private Reserve cabernet at the bar for $15 a glass. If you ask them, they'll bring a bottle of it to the table for $60.


I had a similar experience some months ago. A good strategy, if you're at Morton's and on your own dime, is to fine the best wine they offer by the glass and order a bottle. Apparently their policy is to charge the bottle out at 4x the "by the glass" price, which often translates to a pretty good deal.

Otherwise, their prices are pretty lousy.

PH


I remembered reading of PH's Mortons expieience previously...So, when I recently found a Mortons restaurant while in Greenwich, Conn. I scanned the by the glass list, but alas, no Beringers or equivilent values...

After reviewing the rest of the wine list; I recall lamenting that I did not still have my Manhattan wine shop purchase in the car...That is some absurdly inflated wine list.

I wound up w/Cornerstone cab (by the glass) to accompany my filet of beef.
Next time I'll try a different steakhouse...and perhaps not leave my wine back at the hotel.
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

you make decisions about whether or not to goto a restaurant based on the mark up of wines and not the quality of the food?
I certainly would. Put it this way, if the food is good but so overpriced as to be ridiculous, would you go back? Why should it be different with the wine? Especially with wine often a bigger part of the final bill.


Well to bring into picture, morton's, flemings, ruth chris food wise is all the same. about 40-50$ / cut of steak. While wine is a very nice compliment to the meal, I goto X steakhouse because of the steak, not the wine.

Would you not goto Peter Luger's because they have a subpar wine list?
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
Now you are changing the question. it is not a matter of a subpar wine list, rather if you leave feeling ripped off.


no I'm not

I simply said "you make decisions about whether or not to goto a restaurant based on the mark up of wines and not the quality of the food?"

Considering that none of the mentioned steakhouses charge 100-200$ for a good cut of meat and Peter Luger's does have a bad mark up of their subpar wine list, I'm implying that it's rather silly to judge a steakhouse by the mark up of it's wine.
The beauty of a free society is that we all get to make our own decisions. For me wine is an integral part of the dining experience, and if it’s priced so ridiculously high as to make the meal not worth it I’m not going to frequent that restaurant. The quality of the food is still only worth so much. If you don’t mind being gouged, effectively doubling the price of your dinner great. That’s your right; I just don’t understand it, as I know that even in NYC there are plenty of restaurants with wine lists which are not highway robbery.
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
For me wine is an integral part of the dining experience, and if it’s priced so ridiculously high as to make the meal not worth it I’m not going to frequent that restaurant.


Okay fine, wine is not the reason why i goto a restaurant to eat. Notice the EAT, not drink.

quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
The quality of the food is still only worth so much.


You goto a restaurant to eat the food, not drink the wine. The chef does not make the wine, he makes the food. If you worry about the mark up of the wine, you could goto the restaurant and get take out and drink whatever wine you want. you could also bring your own bottle and also have the meal. Or you could just get a glass, or you could just not drink at all. Previous posters have offered many good suggestions.

quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
That’s your right; I just don’t understand it,


If you've never had an experience where the quality of the food and the skill of the skill chef just prepares something that is so spot on, then you'll never understand it. And apparently just because places like Le Bernadin's wine list is unreasonably priced, they can't possibly give you a great dining experience.
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
For me wine is an integral part of the dining experience, and if it’s priced so ridiculously high as to make the meal not worth it I’m not going to frequent that restaurant.


Okay fine, wine is not the reason why i goto a restaurant to eat. Notice the EAT, not drink.
But what is a meal without wine?
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
The quality of the food is still only worth so much.


You goto a restaurant to eat the food, not drink the wine. The chef does not make the wine, he makes the food. If you worry about the mark up of the wine, you could goto the restaurant and get take out and drink whatever wine you want. you could also bring your own bottle and also have the meal. Or you could just get a glass, or you could just not drink at all. Previous posters have offered many good suggestions.
There are many places where BYOB is not allowed by law, so that's out. As I stated before, for me wine is an important part of the dinner. To go out to eat and not order a bottle is unthinkable. But that's just me, for others I'm sure it is not as important.
quote:
Originally posted by VT2IT:
That’s your right; I just don’t understand it,


If you've never had an experience where the quality of the food and the skill of the skill chef just prepares something that is so spot on, then you'll never understand it. And apparently just because places like Le Bernadin's wine list is unreasonably priced, they can't possibly give you a great dining experience.
I've been to Le Bernadin and it was wonderful. Part of what made it so was that while not cheap by any means it was well worth it. As for their wine list I found it quite reasonable. They weren't "giving it away" but for the level of restaurant the prices were more then fair. There is a price for everything, and a price where it's just no longer worth it. It's clear that we will never agree on this but like I said we each make our own choices, what is right for me my not be for you. C'est la vie.
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Originally posted by mneeley490:
I agree with the sentiments about Mortons. If I have to have wine, I BYOB and face the corkage. Otherwise, I've often said, I can have several of their best cocktails for the price of their worst wine.

I'm not sure why you'd want to. I guess there's a method of matching cocktails to beef--but I'm into wine with my dinner.
I have always been a huge fan of Ruth's Chris in Houston for their intimate/quite atmosphere. Makes for a great dinner to actually talk to one another instead of shouting like most places.. Took a customer to Vic and Anthony's before an Astros game last month. The wait staff and sommelier were both excellent! Steak was great too! But toward the end of dinner, it really started getting loud. We were seated at 5pm and left by 7pm to catch first pitch-just a block away from the ballpark. Have to agree with you guys Morton's in Houston is loudest place ever with poor quality steaks too.
quote:
Originally posted by CalypsoRed:
I have always been a huge fan of Ruth's Chris in Houston for their intimate/quite atmosphere. Makes for a great dinner to actually talk to one another instead of shouting like most places.. Took a customer to Vic and Anthony's before an Astros game last month. The wait staff and sommelier were both excellent! Steak was great too! But toward the end of dinner, it really started getting loud. We were seated at 5pm and left by 7pm to catch first pitch-just a block away from the ballpark. Have to agree with you guys Morton's in Houston is loudest place ever with poor quality steaks too.


I'm in Houston every month, but have never been to the R/C in Houston.
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
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Originally posted by Florida Wino:
My top ones with bad lists and / or overpriced:
1] Capital Grill
2] 3 Forks
3] Mortons
4] Ruth Chris
5] Flemings

Why can't these chains get it right?
Most people that dine at those places are on expense accounts and don’t know or don’t care about the high mark ups.


I am not on an expense account, and would most assuredly like to partake a good meal, with nice wine, as part of our normal live entertainment budget.

The top four of these are all here in a snow bird area of Florida, yet there are those like use that live here all year. A passable dinner for 2 runs over $ 200. Yuck

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