It has been two years since I last reviewed Hal’s and was anxious to return. I had heard there were new menu items and I wanted to try them.
As we entered I spied Hal and his attractive wife sitting in the bar area. I always feel comfortable in a restaurant when the proprietor is on premises watching that everything is running smoothly. The restaurant was literally packed. After a very short wait we were seated at a table by a window in the front of the restaurant. I enjoyed watching the steady stream of luxury cars dropping off their passengers, hungry for the same meal we were about to enjoy.
Our waiter, Ryan, a former Morton’s server was knowledgeable, attentive and personable. After he explained the menu to us, which included beef, lamb, poultry and seafood selections, I couldn't resist starting with the new appetizers I had not had. So few restaurants offer bread on the table these days; but Hal’s serves delicious garlic French bread to nibble on while sipping their huge cocktails and perusing the menu. The server also explained an extensive wine list to us.
My first starter was Lobster Le Beau, a variation on their popular flash fried Oysters Le Beau. A lobster tail is breaded and fried and covered in a light garlic butter sauce and layered with succulent lump Gulf crab meat. Rich in taste, I literally savored every bite. I couldn't have been happier: hog heaven comes to mind. My next dish was grilled oysters. Hal’s rendition is reminiscent of the original charbroiled oyster invented at Drago’s Restaurant in New Orleans. When it comes to oysters, Hal’s offers fried, raw and grilled: so whichever you pick you won’t be disappointed.
Hal’s is a steakhouse and my companion and I were more than ready to enjoy what we had come there for. I ordered a 14 ounce Filet, cooked medium rare and it was perfect. I had decided to order what Hal’s had become famous for and the Filet was simply perfection. My partner had a bone-in Rib-eye and ordered it rolled in peppercorns as well as covered in an au- poivre sauce. No overkill here, it was just delicious.
We couldn't decide on which of the numerous sides offered. First choice was creamed spinach, a favorite of mine. The server touted the mac and cheese which I questioned. He said that the truffle oil took it to another level. He was right. How can you eat a steak without a potato as a side? Hal’s offers among other preparations, Brabant potatoes which are cubed, fried, tender yet crispy. They are prepared either plain, in a garlic butter sauce or covered in Blue cheese. I chose plain and asked for a side of ketchup and they were just the way I like them.
Time for dessert and sadly we had to pass. How does the saying go…the eyes are bigger than the tummy? At this point the tummy was bulging. The waiter rattled off the numerous choices and explained they were all made in house. We decided to remember them for our next visit which hopefully will be real soon.
To sum up a visit to Hal’s the word would have to be impressive.
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