Indianapolis’ steak houses are modest in quantity, but among the few is one I believe many people are missing out on – Shula’s Steak House at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Ave.
St. Elmo’s may have its lauded shrimp cocktail and many sing praises about Ruth’s Chris prime rib, but Shula’s combines eloquent service, an amenable atmosphere and succulent steaks to create the perfect restaurant and dining experience.
My guest and I arrived on a Monday evening. The host greeted us by name and promptly checked to see if our table was ready. While waiting in the small seating area, I got a brief history lesson about the restaurant’s namesake, Don Shula. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1951 and finished his playing career in 1959 with the Washington Redskins.
Shula parlayed his football expertise into a coaching career with the Baltimore Colts and the Miami Dolphins. The restaurant is almost like a shrine to Don’s days in Miami.
The host sat us at a table draped in a white tablecloth that overlooked the Indiana Statehouse. The flatware and dinner plates were placed perfectly.
My guest and I decided on the mojito martini and a pomegranite martini. For dinner, we went with the three-course “Devour Downtown” menu that’s being offered until Feb. 5.
We ordered the vine ripened beefsteak tomato salad with gorgonzola cheese as our salad. For dinner, I had the 6 oz. Shula cut filet mignon with béarnaise sauce and my guest had the 10 oz. grilled chicken breast seasoned with garlic and rosemary with a cognac peppercorn sauce.
For dessert, we ordered the cheesecake with fresh berries and the classic crème brulee.
The lettuce was fresh and their house vinaigrette that dressed the salad was the perfect start to a perfect meal.
My steak was cooked exactly as I ordered, medium well, and the filet was juicy, succulent and had a velvety, almost buttery texture. My companion’s chicken was some of the best chicken I had ever tasted. It was definitely a choice chicken, but didn’t have that grassy, gamey taste many of the quality chickens have.
Both meals came with mashed potatoes and broccolini.
The cheesecake and crème brulee was the perfect ending to our wonderful evening.
What made Shula’s so memorable was not only our multiple servers, but that each course was brought to the table with precise timing. We never had to wait too long for the next course, however, we were never rushed and were allowed time for good conversation and digestion.
The cherry on top of this experience was the genuine care, respect and kindness shown by the staff. Shula’s is causal enough to comfortably enjoy yourself but elegant enough for a dinner date or even a business lunch.
Since we chose from the special “Devour Downtown” menu, our meals were $30 a piece. With drinks, tax and tip, the bill came close to $100. Shula’s standard menu includes typical high-end steakhouse prices.
In just one evening, the highly underrated Shula’s Steak House at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel has become my favorite steakhouse in the city. Don’t sleep on Shula’s!
For more information or to make a reservation, call (317) 231-3900 or visit www.donshula.com.
For more information on Devour Downtown, visit devourdowntown.org.