Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Review no. 2 (BIG restaurant review)

Dinner time! I saved all day. A bagel for breakfast and peanut M&M's for lunch. I was hitting the town for dinner.

When in Omaha, EAT MEAT! What kind? COW!

I don't remember how, but I found a place called Brother Sebastion's. The reviews were all positive, except one lady that said she got food poisoning two years ago.

The restaurant is actually in a very strange location. It's also in the end of a sort of low budget almost run down strip mall off a side street. It's definately not a location you would stumble upon. You have to know it's there to find it. It's not really even viewable from the main street.

The overall theme is a Monastary or a Mission. Very low keyed pseudo spanish style design on the outside with music you would expect to hear if you were in a monastary. On the inside, it's a cozy, segmented intimate design. Once you get into the restaurant foyer, there is a bar to the left and the hostess table to your right. Behind that is a glass enclosed wine room. Filled with cubes of wine from floor to ceiling. It's very dark inside, especially if you have come in from a bright day. It only take 10 or so minutes and your eyes will adjust, but at first it's almost a detriment.

I asked if I was dressed appropriately and the hostesses joked to each other (and myself) if they should let me in. They did and I thanked them for it. :)

The reason I asked is because the web site says "smart casual". I was dressed in tan colored jeans and a button down collared shirt. As I walked through, others were dressed from blue jeans to suits. (I didn't wear my hat though).

They walked me around the the wine room down a hallway. On either side you could see the outlines of doorways that were rooms. These rooms were the dining areas. One door to the right was a smallish room that had the salad bar. One room on the left had intimate booths with black leather buttoned bench seats that would fit four to a table. Each booth was seperate from the others by walls of red brick from the tops of the booth to the exposed wood beams in the ceiling. The only lights are the very low main lights, an over head stylish period light and a table top candle. The smller rooms only had six boths to a room. Like I said, very intimate. In a few of the rooms were gas fireplaces with very large flumes. This added physical warmth as well as ambiance. But it also made the booths even that much more intimate. So much that one could get a little risque with a significant other and possibly not be seen.......

Even though I didn't get a tour of the place. I could see another area that had a table for 6 to 8 and possibly 10 diners. In that same room was at least one table for two and possibly two tables for two along the wall. The walls were like I said, adorned with red brick in some of the areas. The medium sized area had the ends of stacked wine barrels so it looked like a winery barrel room. It was, very cool indeed.

Most of the wait staff wears maroon robes similar to what a monk might wear. (No hoods or rope belts, I am sure OSHA had to have their say in the uniform).

Another area across from the room I was in was larger and could possibly seat 20+ people in a few large tables. I didn't get a good look at it, but it sounded like a large crowd was already there. Another room had one wall as one of the other wine rooms. It too was stocked with wines floor to ceiling in cubes.

Now to the menu. It wasn't so full that you couldn't make a choice. Typical fare of red meat, fish, chicken and some pasta. They did have a lunch and a dinner menu. Of course I decided on a steak before I even looked at the menu. That's why I was there in the first place. My choice was a Stuffed New York Strip. They stuff it with crab and shrimp and side with hollandaise and asparagus. When I asked the waitress about her favorite (which was a Filet Oscar) it had hollandaise and asparagus. I mentioned I didn't like asparagus and wasn't sure what hollandaise was (REALLY!). I choose the NY Strip medium well. It took about 30 minutes for my meal to come. But before I get to that point, let's talk about the wine list. It was quite wonderful. Many many choices and at the time of my visit there were 155 wines in their list. I selected a German Beerenauslese from the Rhine region. It's a very sweet wine, normally sold in a half bottle and always twice as expensive. But if you like sweet wines, these are tough to not drink. The nice thing about the German wines, is they have enough acidity so they don't taste like cough syrup. This was one of them. I only had a glass ( I was the only driver) so it was an expensive "glass" of wine. I implored the waitress to try it since I was going to leave it. She should share it with others too so they can try something different.

After my foood arrived, I tried to open my baked potato, but it was incredibly hot. Right out of the oven. If they microwave them, you couldn't notice it. The texture was of a potato that had been cooked completely in the oven. I like that.

The NY Strip was a bit over cooked. Not by the chef, but by my order. I should have choosen medium, but in every other restaurant that means bloody. I like my meat barely pink and HOT. He he, insert joke here--->

This was just gray, with a slight hint of pink. Unfortunately it was over cooked, I really couldn't taste the stuffing. Again, it was my decision for the order. I am sure it would have been wonderful had I selected the right cooking option.

My steak did come with a hollandaise and broccoli on the side as well as sour cream and whipped butter for the potato. The pre dinner bread wasn't anything special. It was warm but very little flavor. The butter offered was also in the little foil packets and they were cold. Kind of a let down to have to tear into those stupid little things while your bread cools off. I would have preferred the whipped butter. It melts better.

After dinner I had a few options. Normally I order cheese cake. This time I had a strawberry shortcake. It arrived in a to go box (something I requested). It was a very nice sized serving that was VERY cold. The cake was layered with cream in the middle, whipped topping on the sides and the right amount of strawberries.

Something I learned a few years ago, I put to the test again. I had a bite of the strawberry shortcake then a final sip of the Beerenauslese ( remember, it's a sweet wine). Unfortunately, the BA was very thin when tasted after the sweet strawberries. Alone, it's fine.

But honestly, there is only one wine that has been able to stand up to a test like that and it was the Chateau St. Michelle 2001 Eroica, Single Berry Select. That, my friends is the best wine "I" have ever had. Many don't like it because of the sweetness. But it can stand up to a dessert or stand by itself.

All in all, the ambiance, the staff, the food are all time and money well spent. I wish I was there with someone else, but it was still a worthwhile visit. If you are ever in Omaha Nebraska, I would wholeheartedly suggest a visit to Brother Sebastion's. Without the wine, the dinner was about $45.00. Slightly spendy, but still a nice place for dinner.

Just don't stay at a Holiday Inn, if you want the Internet to work (well).

No comments: