Bovine Intervention

We need another upscale steak house. Not. So many of these fancy meat markets have opened up in the Valley over the past year, I've got to wonder about the potential of a cow shortage.

Not only are there so many beef-oriented restaurants around suddenly, but the portions they serve keep getting bigger and bigger. I love a good steak as much as anyone, yet wonder how I'll survive such a massive supper as at the new Drinkwater's City Hall Steakhouse on the southwest corner of Camelback and Goldwater in Scottsdale. A cut of prime rib is a staggering 28 to 34 ounces. An entree of lamb chops is an entire rack, cut into three double chops. Swordfish and ahi fillets weigh in at a hefty 12 ounces, and for chicken lovers, there's a whole roasted bird tipping the scales at 22 ounces. Here's the perfect haunt for diners on the protein-heavy Atkins diet.

Not that I'm really complaining. Leftovers are a beautiful thing, if we can stop ourselves from cleaning our plates at one sitting. And City Hall's is tasty stuff, with meats butchered in-house from USDA Prime corn-fed beef, then wet-aged for 21 to 28 days.

I also love the extras -- appetizers of beluga caviar, steak sashimi, escargot-stuffed mushrooms and baked garlic oysters. A lobster cocktail is a fashionable lead-in to dinner, for those able to stomach a $21 price tag.

The eatery comes from the Mastro Group (Mastro's Steakhouse) and Mark Drinkwater, son of late mayor Herb Drinkwater. Yes, Mark is capitalizing on his heritage (City Hall, get it?), decorating the restaurant with a commemorative Scottsdale theme.

One Scottsdale theme certainly rings true -- coming here requires money, and lots of it. Add up a traditional meal: shrimp cocktail ($12), beefsteak tomato and sweet onion salad ($6), prime rib ($34), and a side of twice-baked potato ($7). That's $59, not including drinks, dessert, tax or tip.

Oceana, Don't You Cry for Me: I've been sad this summer, missing my fresh seafood fix, but Oceana has finally reopened. It's under new ownership and is sporting an improved contemporary look, but the emphasis remains on exciting fish with Asian, Latin and European overtones. The place is at Pinnacle Peak and Pima; stop in for wood oven-fired green shell mussels in green curry, or Alaskan halibut with horseradish potatoes and bacon-leek butter sauce.

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Carey Sweet
Contact: Carey Sweet