We Trust Union Trust!

Nicole, Luke, and I decided to go to Union Trust Steakhouse during Restaurant Week in January. We were all enticed by their menu. We must have thought at one point that if we did not go, we would have missed out.

Turns out that thought was entirely correct. We would have missed out.

To start off, we were enchanted by the interior of the restaurant. Luke asked the waitress about the history of the building—apparently it was a bank and jewelry store before Union Trust moved in. The ceilings were majestically high and decorated. The levels were tiered so that all guests can see the outside. The restaurant was designed so that everyone could see the ceiling—which we thoroughly enjoyed. All in all, it was a modern restaurant with plenty of memories past.

Upon entering the building (and obsessing over the shellfish display), we knew that good things were coming our way.

Again, our instincts proved correct. We received cheese biscuits and pretzels instead of the usual bread. Everything was warm and tasted incredibly fresh; we can only assume that they made everything fresh. We were impressed before we even ordered. (Granted, Luke thought they didn’t hold a candle to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, but he still thought Union Trust’s version was tasty.)

For the first course, Luke and I ordered their Shrimp Cocktail while Nicole had the Wedge Salad. For the shrimp cocktail, I only received three shrimp. Of course, these were the most oxymoronically gargantuan shrimp I had ever encountered, so I was more than satisfied. Another thing that stood out was the refrigerated plates. I loved that small detail, since it just made the presentation that much more coherent. I also liked their cocktail sauce——not too tomato-y and with plenty of zing from lemon and horseradish. Luke, however, thought that the lemon completely overpowered the sauce, stating that “it was like dipping shrimp in lemon juice.”

Nicole really enjoyed her salad. The first thing that she noted was the warm bacon. We inferred that because the bacon actually was warm, Union Trust pays attention to the details. Cold bacon could mean that the bacon was scooped out from a tub. Warm bacon meant that either the bacon was kept warm or was made just for her order. The salad itself was also nice; being served a sizable 1/4 head of lettuce was satisfying portion-wise and she enjoyed the freedom in cutting pieces of lettuce to her liking.

Then the entrees came out. Luke ordered the Coq Au Vin, while Nicole and I got the Filet Mignon (medium-rare, of course). For side dishes, roasted brussel sprouts and roasted root vegetables (turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots) were served to be shared by the table. Luke raved that his chicken literally fell off the bone. It was succulent and moist and decently seasoned. I actually saw him dive into the chicken. It LITERALLY melted off the bone once his fork touched the meat. To be honest, I was slightly jealous of his chicken…

BUT NO FEAR, for our filet mignon rivaled his coq au vin. The filet itself was deceptively large. It looked rather small (while served on a fairly large plate), but Nicole and I could barely finish the meat. The steak had a lot of flavor and was perfectly cooked. Grill marks for the exterior, and a pinkish slightly rare interior made for a perfect steak. Nicole and I enjoyed that we could cut through the meat like a hot knife through butter.

The side dishes were also amazing. I especially enjoyed the brussel sprouts. It was cooked, but not to mush——there was just enough bite to make them nicely textured. Nicole agreed with this sentiment, while Luke commented that he prefers his brussel sprouts cooked longer. There were no complaints about the root vegetables either. Usually, I get very heavy and oily roasted root veggies, but not from Union Trust. Ironically, the earthy root vegetables had a sense of airiness to them. They were refreshing to eat, and not cloying in any way. Again, to emphasize the sheer amount of food that we received, Nicole had to take back the filet to finish it.

For dessert, Luke and Nicole ordered the Chocolate Crème Brulee. I had the orange cheesecake. Neither Luke nor Nicole was impressed with the crème brulee: “it was simply chocolate pudding.” The top was not particularly crunchy, and the “pudding” was not anything spectacular. On the other hand, I loved their cheesecake. Maybe I’m just partial to cheesecake, but it was light and fluffy rather than dense. The candied orange slice cleansed any feeling of heaviness with its sour, sweet, and bitter hues. The crust on the cheesecake was also very well made—not soggy in the slightest.

Before we departed, satisfied and satiated, we made a quick stop to the bathrooms. In general, I believe a restaurant’s quality can be judged from the quality of the bathrooms. Luke was particularly impressed! He finally found the elusive Dyson Hand Dryer! He could hardly contain his excitement when we came back from the bathroom. A perfect ending for a wonderful meal. Yes, we find him slightly weird sometimes 😀

Luke: ★★★1/2
Ed: ★★★★
Nicole: ★★★★

Union Trust ★★★★
717 Chestnut Street
Union Trust on Urbanspoon