Food Porn: Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More

It’s not very often that we are able to eat at a restaurant like Russell’s. Normally we have to wait for a special occasion or schedule a visit during Restaurant Week.  Before our visit I had never eaten at Russell’s but I’ve always heard good things about their food, service and comical remarks about their choice of decorations. Russell Salvatore’s presence is clearly felt at Russell’s, his over the top design philosophy is in effect in the dining room and bar (though no where near what you see at Salvatore’s) and after checking out coats we were even seated to our table by the man himself.

The exterior of Russell’s is considerably more subtle then the outside of Salvatore’s, it actually looks pretty boring in comparison. That ends when you walk into the lobby and head over to the gorgeous bar with it’s hip lighting that changes colors and four 103″ Panasonic plasma televisions (pictured above). The seating arrangement for the restaurant is all over the place, instead of a large seating area there are several smaller dining rooms. Each room has it’s own unique design, our dining room was very dimly lit with some interesting choices of art on the walls. There were no large crystal chandeliers or crystal coated wall art, but we did see bedazzled Buffaloes.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Fine Dining, Steakhouse
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse
  • Location: Williamsville
  • Prices: Steaks $35+, Appetizers $10-15, Sides: $3-10

Both Alli and myself didn’t have to think long about what we were going to eat, I knew the minute the reservation was made that I’d be ordering their Bone In Ribeye.  Sure, they have a good selection of Lamb, Seafood Entrees and Pork (on par with most steakhouses) but I’ve been dying for a really good steak since our trip to Buffalo Chophouse in December 2009. We started our meal with a selection of their breads and one of their appetizer specials for the night, warm King Crab dip (pictured above). The dip was absolutely loaded with huge pieces of crab meat, a nice thick layer of bread crumbs, some serious cheese and a surprising amount of spice. The bowl was definitely big enough for a group of 4, but Alli and myself had no problem finishing it off ourselves. I continued on with another seafood based appetizer and ordered a bowl of Seafood Sherry Bisque (pictured in gallery). While the thick and creamy broth had just a subtle seafood flavor, what was most impressive was the large pieces of lobster, crab and shrimp. The broth had a really nice creamy texture without being too thick and thanks to the sherry, it was definitely on the sweeter side.

Our meal was very well planned and every dish came out at just the right time, from start to finish we probably sat at Russell’s for 2 hours. The appetizers came out in two waves, with plenty of time in between to properly digest. We never felt rushed and our server had timed the arrival of our meals at a wonderful pace. After finishing off the last of our appetizers we were able to enjoy our drinks and some conversation and then our steaks arrived and awoken our hunger.

Alli ordered herself one of the entree specials, a Strip steak (pictured above, top) that was smothered in blue cheese and served with a side of truffled mashed potatoes and vegetables. The steak was cooked to her order (medium rare) and looking at the cross section below you can see how well the steak was cooked throughout, which was impressive considering how thick it was. The blue cheese on top of the steak wasn’t necessarily piled on that thick, but was very strong and almost overwhelming. However, it did give the steak a little extra flavor. Two other diners at our table also ordered the strip steak (without blue cheese) and were a little disappointed in the flavor of the steak. Their steaks were also cooked properly and were incredibly tender and thickly cut but the flavor was just not there.

I ordered the 28oz Bone-In Ribeye (pictured above, bottom) and was very happy I did, this gigantic piece of meat was cooked wonderfully and was absolutely delicious. Normally, I order my steaks medium but for this meal I decided to trust Russell’s chefs and ordered the steak medium rare. The meat itself was tender, juicy but also well-marbled evenly throughout. Every bite of steak had a great flavor and literally melted in my mouth. I would order that steak again in a heart beat.

Our table had mixed feelings about the meal; while no one was disappointed, the strip-steak eaters commented that they have had better steaks elsewhere for roughly the same amount of money. That said, everyone was very pleased with our appetizers, service, and general atmosphere. Personally, my Ribeye was so amazing that I left incredibly satisfied. From top to bottom I really liked everything about the meal; the location has clearly had some serious cash invested in the design of the dining rooms and bar, the service was top notch and they paced our meal wonderfully. My father in law swears that Buffalo Chophouse is still his favorite steakhouse in Buffalo. In my opinion, the food is very similar, but what I’ve always enjoyed about Chophouse was the “classic feel” of the restaurant. Russell’s atmosphere is much more “modern” and if you want to go over the top with your meal Russell’s should be a consideration on your list of higher-end dining options. Just do yourself a favor and order the Bone-In Ribeye. (For those on a tight budget, they have a $39/person deal which includes an appetizer, side and entree from a limited menu.)

Russell's Steaks, Chops & More on Urbanspoon

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