Very few places are still in business after one decade, much less NINE, but Musso & Frank’s is one of the rare legends that lives on, weathering wars and trends with equal aplomb. Once you step inside, you may suddenly feel more sophisticated or worldly, but it is the old school service which has elevated your attitude. The red jackets and formal greetings are anachronisms which remind us that decorum should never die.
My friend has been coming here for decades, with “the old guys” who inhabit the booths like godfathers. The fact that I was deemed worthy to enter this sacred space with an old timer flattered me. The food was was like a time machine; it brought me back to the 60’s and like an episode of “Mad Men“, I enjoyed every minute.
My friend started off with the house salad with blue cheese dressing. You may opt for additions to your salad, but like a true old man, my friend had only the greens.
I chose the sand dabs ($23), which I never see on menus anymore. They were perfect, just as Julia Child swooned over in her first trip to France, I swooned over these delicate filets done “comme il faut” (as it should be) with capers, butter and lemon. If anyone you know does not like fish, make them taste this and convert them!
Since this is old world style dining, every entree is served separately, so I ordered braised spinach ($8) with my fish and the side was as lovely and perfectly done as my main course.
Most people who come here order the steak ($33) and they cook it exactly as ordered, meaning, rare is bloody and well is brown. Of course the old timer ordered rare, and of course it was done as ordered. Nearly every table ordered steak, so if you can’t decide what to get, I suggest you go with the odds and order the steak.
The steak fries ($5) were wonderfully crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
As a child, I always like jello ($3.50), but I haven’t seen it on a menu since I was a child, so I had to order it here. Served with fruit, I felt as if I was 5 years old and finished every bite!
I was not the only one to finish my dessert, my friend ordered the sundae ($6.25) and ate every spoonful!
On another night I came and had the special duck a l’orange with a friend who ordered the lobster thermidor. Both dishes were so rich and decadent that the pictures came out fuzzy; I guess even cameras get thrown off balance when transported to another era!