521 Adams Street / Santa Rosa / 707-546-5100
Category: American Steakhouse
Mon-Thu 11:30am – 9pm / Fri 11:30am – 10pm L-D
Sat 5pm – 10pm / Sun 5pm – 9pm D only
Happy Hour – Mon-Sat 3pm – 6pm
Full Bar / Entertainment / Raw Bar
**** Last reviewed: 11/12/11 $$$-$$$$In the tradition of Alfred’s and Harris’ restaurants, two of my favorite haunts for steak and chops in The City by the Bay, Stark’s Steakhouse in Old Railroad Square in Santa Rosa carries on that classic tradition of serving booze and red meat. And, as a card-carrying carnivore, I never pass up sitting at the bar first to enjoy a real cocktail before I tear into my steak. Stark’s makes this ritual easy and very pleasant. The bartenders are friendly and professional – mixologists extraordinaire.
After I’ve quaffed my Basil Hayden Manhattan (stirred, not shaken), it’s time for the main event. The Beef. Moving into the dining room we are shown to a table by the hostess. Following on her heels, a server appears to check on drinks and hors ‘d ouvres. As veterans of Stark’s for the past 3+ years, we know that a fresh, warm, butter-oozing-over-the-top, house made mini-loaf of bread - served in its own cast-iron skillet with melted butter and garlic on the bottom is on its way to our table so we decline any extras and concentrate on which cut of steak and sides we will share. The bread arrives and all conversation stops as we cut thick slices from the loaf and dip into all that butter. YUM.
For years the only steak I ever ate was a New York. That was until I discovered Rib Eyes. Now, I settle for a 5-6 oz. Filet Mignon, as the previous two are generally always 16-oz. and Rib Eyes have the most fat. Stark’s Filet is a full 10-oz. (leftovers?). Authentic steakhouses carry two to three grades of beef for you to choose from: USDA Choice, USDA Prime and Dry-Aged. Fact: Less than 2% of beef is good enough to meet USDA’s stringent qualifications to be branded as Prime. Every bite of USDA Prime Beef ensures flavor, juiciness and tenderness. In short, “Just Delicious”. Any questions?
I used to request my steak be cooked rare. Now, medium rare works just fine. Anyone who orders a good steak well done, you better be pregnant (according to my daughter, who is), or the restaurant just ran out of chicken! You are missing the real taste of beef if it’s cooked any other way. Ask a chef. They hate to serve over-cooked steak.
We order ours: the Filet Mignon, with a topper of Roasted Bone Marrow and a Peppercorn Dipping Sauce for me; American Kobe Flat Iron Steak for hubby. Truffled French Fries and Creamed Spinach are the side shares we choose. Okay. The steaks arrive and they are everything I have described above. Exactly the way Prime beef is supposed to be and with the addition of the Roasted Bone Marrow (I know, strange but soooooooooooo fab) and dipping sauce and sides, Stark’s is worth every penny and you better bring several bags full or, use your credit card and hope you don’t go over your limit but heck, you don’t eat here like this every night or, even once a month. Splurge a little.
Desserts? OMG, who’s got room? They’ve got you covered if you dare. Get Thee to Stark’s Steakhouse and enjoy a classic American meal. BTW, they do have a complete menu with other choices like chicken, fish, pasta and even a vegetarian dish or two. Tell me how those work out. For me, it’s “Where’s the Beef?”