Steak 38 has been on my list to check out since it reopened under its original ownership back in 2011. The restaurant is noted for classic table side service and a vintage steakhouse menu. I was particularly excited because one of my favorite dishes, Steak Diane, was a welcome find on the menu.
Finding the restaurant, attached to a motel advertising weekly rates, in Cherry Hill on Route 38 highway was a challenge – mostly because if you don’t know the entrance is coming up you zoom past it with 60 mph vehicles zooming around you.
Once we parked I was greeted first, in the lobby, with a photo of two of my favorite people ever – Former Philadelphia Mayor Frank L. Rizzo and the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra – at Steak 38 or a former incarnation of its owner some time in the 1970’s. This is a good sign for me.
We had a reservation and were seated immediately (though the restaurant did fill up during the prime dinner hours). Our waiter quickly appeared and took drink orders and offered to answer any questions about the menu.
A basket of house bread was accompanied by complimentary roasted pepper which were excellent. We also ordered the house made garlic bread which was four slices of tasty and crispy toasted bread.
Our meal started with a few of us getting cream of crab soup, which was devoured and reported to be excellent, and two of us opted for the table side caesar salad preparation for which Steak 38 is famous.
Much has already been written about this salad service so I can’t add anything, but I will say it was flavorful but not overpowering and zesty and fresh. It was very, very good.
Raw bar selections included two kinds of oysters, clam and cocktail shrimp. They were chilled to perfection, ocean fresh and served with cracker and horseradish basket that was all superb. In fact they offered both blue point and Long Island salt oysters and they were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Our entrees arrived shortly after they cleared our soup and salads.
Two 8 oz. filets were perfectly cooked served with twice baked potatoes 3/4 of us found dry and didn’t particularly care for. The filets also came with fried onion strings which the ladies did not enjoy but one of the men at the table tried and liked them.
Two of us, myself included, ordered the Steak Diane. I have loved this dish since it used to occupy a spot on Morton’s menu (it hasn’t for many years). But no Diane sauce has ever lived up to Morton’s and Steak 38’s take was very good, but it wasn’t Morton’s. Judging it on its own the steaks were perfectly prepared: two 4 oz. filets, medium rare, covered in a mushroom-worcesteshire-cognac-cream sauce that didn’t overpower the meat.
A plate of seasoned string beans was also served as a side and they were crisp and hot and tasty.
After coffee service a wide range of desserts was described. We opted for the table side prepared bananas foster. I have had this dish a handful of time prepared table side and Steak 38’s version was the best I’ve had.
Service was very attentive and the meal moved along at a speedy but not rushed pace. I would happily navigate the speeding cars of Route 38 to visit again. After all if it was good enough for Sinatra and Rizzo, it’s good enough for me.
515 Route 38 E.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002