We had dinner for two. Two pounds of stone crab, a total of six claws, one bottle of white wine, one shared lobster dinner. The cost in 2008: $142 not including tip. Although I cannot make a direct one for one cost comparison, my most recent experience-comparison: we had surf and turf with a 30 ounce porterhouse, onion soup appetizer, chocolate mousse dessert and wine, of course, at Morton's for fifty dollars more. The quality of food and value, no doubt about it: Morton's. At Outback, two lobster dinners with wine is roughly half the cost of the Fish House. The quality-food value comparison: Outback is better value, perhaps not quite but close in quality.
The details of my experience:
I did not get a napkin. I asked for a napkin and received one paper towel which appeared to be the same ones used in the restroom.
The stone crab was market price, I'd say on the high end of the current market price. I do not have a problem with that. However, at that price I expect the claws to be well-scored on serving. They were not. They required much work. They were decent. They were relatively fresh. I have had fresher and definitely better. I have also had much worse. I also needed more than one paper towel with the claws. I had to ask for more.
The rolls were Walmart's. The rolls were served cold with margerin. Outback's bread is better. Morton's, excellent and served with butter.
The lobster was lame, and served with margerin. In fact, I tried to return the lobster. They refused to make a substitute. They refused to take it off the bill when I returned it.
In my life I have not made many returns. When I have I have never been denied even a substitute. This was a first.
My advice: pay the extra fifty dollars for a napkin, much better service and much better food at Morton's or comparable, say Capitol Grill, Ruth Chris, … or save a few bucks and go to Outback. If you aren't satisfied with your meal, you can probably get a substitute. In any case, you will get a napkin and better bread.
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