Monday, December 27, 2010

Pretty in Pink? Not Anymore, Murray's Steakhouse

Dear Friends,

Some things are best left in the past as in Murray's Steak House in downtown Minneapolis where elegant elderly, widowed ladies once ate their dainty lunches and sipped on complimentary cocktails amid a sea of yards and yards of pink damask drapery that adorned the mirrored walls.  Perhaps they felt young again under the forgiving warm glow of Murray's legendary pink dining room if only for that short lonely dining hour before going home to their empty houses to wait for their widowed cohorts to show up to while away the afternoon playing bridge in a hazy stupor.  Even the well-suited business men that made deals over their three martini lunch before floating back to the office to pinch their secretaries behinds looked vibrant and healthy like new-born piglets against the pink table cloths and napkins.  

Times have changed and nothing is forever and since Mrs. Murray passed, that grand dame who presided over the dining room for many, many years.  Nowadays the business men dress casually and drink wine instead of gin-gins on the rocks and the lonely old ladies with their moldy looking fox-head furs wrapped around their frail bodies don't come anymore once the complimentary cocktail was removed from the menu and the biggest change of all, that beautiful old dining room has been redecorated with every shade of brown imaginable.  BORING!  

Why did they do it?  We all have too many shades of brown in our life as it is.  The pink dining room was an integral part of the dining experience at Murray's alongside the famous Silver Butterknife Steak the size of a football that still graces the menu. Gone also are the veteran waitresses (yes, they were called that back then) that waddled around they tables and knew every trick in the book to get a bigger tip and replaced with albeit capable but boring servers as they are referred to today.  

Needless to say, I was very disappointed when I ate there recently for the first time in years.  The garlic toast wasn't as delectable or butter-drenched as I remembered and the creamy, rich Au gratin potato I use to dream about on a regular basis arrived dry and cut into huge chunks.  

I know it's blurry and looks sort of tasty.  So what am I complaining about molten cheese and potatoes?

As you can see the eighty dollar lobster tail I ordered was beautiful but sadly over-cooked. 

I happily devoured it anyway with lots of lovely salted butter

My friend's New York Strip was juicy and tender and cooked a perfect medium rare but lacked the taste a forty-four dollar piece of meat should have.  

The Ultimate Steak, New York Strip

The Caesar salad was made with putrid salad dressing (It's a matter of taste but hey, it's my blog) instead of mayonnaise.  At least the Parmesan crisp made up for the soggy greens and the lack of anchovies (I know the original recipe doesn't contain anchovies).   

Caesar  salad by today's standards, slammed together in the kitchen
It's hard to find an authentic table-side Caesar made from the original recipe

When I left I took one last look around the now too brown room and knew I wouldn't be back any time soon.  Pretty in pink? Not any more.   

Get your glow on and wear something pink today,


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