My First Time Eating Steak At Council Oak Steakhouse – Total Bummer

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My first time actually eating at Council Oak Steakhouse was a bit of downer. Read this post to learn why.

Tampa Did Dining Better – My First Time Eating Filet Mignon at Council Oak Steakhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio

Okay, admittedly, I need to start this post by sharing that I had eaten at the BAR of Council Oak Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida many times. I have had burgers. I’ve had lobster bisque. I’ve even had a steak sandwich.

I’ve also had many a cocktail that rocked my world at their bar. The one thing I never did at the Tampa, Florida location? Eat an actual steak inside the Council Oak Steakhouse dining room.

Well, I thought I would change that, but my big mistake was that I didn’t do it at the Tampa location…

Nope! Since we moved to Richmond, KY three years ago, the closest Council Oak Steakhouse to me is now in Cincinnati, Ohio at their Hard Rock Casino location.

Sadly, I can’t help but feel like this is why I didn’t have the gourmet dining experience I expected even though I sure paid the gourmet dining price!

The Star of the Night – The Bread

My favorite thing I ate at the Cincinnati Council Oak was their bread and butter. Was that foreshadowing of what was to come? Unfortunately, this got me even more excited about the meal and I could not wait to order what I was there for!

The bread and butter we were given when we sat down was hard to describe, but damn delicious. It has flakes of salt in the butter and it spreads so nicely on the bread that we actually asked for extra not once, but twice. We even took some home. It was seriously the best thing we ate that night.

Time to Order the Main Event – The Steak

Now here’s the thing – the entire time I lived in Tampa and during every visit to Hard Rock people boasted about the steaks at Council Oak. It was on my bucket list for a very long time to sit in their dining room and enjoy a filet with a glass of red wine and a baked potato.

Long story short – by the time it came time for us to finally do this, the pandemic hit and then suddenly I was moving to Kentucky and my time to cross this off my bucket list had passed. I was sad about it, but figured any Council Oak would do just fine. Wouldn’t it? Surely the caliber of food would be matched nationwide – right?

Well, I don’t know why, but the steak I received in Ohio was mediocre at best. Though it was cooked to the temperature I prefer, something about it just felt off. The meat’s exterior felt tough – not normal for a filet mignon. In fact, I was doubting whether or not the correct cut of meat was on my plate.

I looked to my left though, and my husband’s was similar shaped, and though it was cooked to the correct temperature, he too felt it was tough and didn’t taste quite right.

I’m not sure what the cause was, but it just was not the gourmet experience I had been hoping for.

Frustrated, I moved on to the loaded baked potato I ordered as my side. Sadly, this was disappointing too. A cold potato with rock hard bacon bits and a literal cup of shredded cheese was not what I was expecting for $14! Again, I looked to my husband to gauge his feeling and he too felt that this was not gourmet – it was just not good.

Normally, when we order steak and baked potato at fancy places, we practically lick the plates clean. In this case, we actually boxed up the meat and brought it home to our dogs. Devastating to say the very least!

Summing Up My Time Eating Steak At Council Oak Steakhouse

Well, I wish I could go back in time and have eaten at the Council Oak Steakhouse in Tampa! Considering how many amazing meals I enjoyed at their bar, I can only surmise that they would at least know how to do filet mignon right.

Maybe it was an off day. Maybe the chef had a rough time. Hell, maybe he was new.

But, for a nearly $200 bill at the end of it all, I was left feeling like we had been raked over the coals. Though we walked away winners at the machines, we felt like we lost BIG at the Council Oak Steakhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I personally can NOT recommend going to their steakhouse. I would love to go back to Tampa’s at some point. It’s firmly back on my Florida bucket list. I can only hope that if I ever do get the chance to eat a filet at Hard Rock Tampa, it will be as good as my other dining experiences there have been.

In the meantime – Other than Malone’s in Lexington (which was FANTASTIC by the way!) does anyone have a good recommendation for where to get a really good filet within 25 miles of Richmond, Kentucky?