Cafe Reviews

Steak 44 in Phoenix Wins With Seafood and Falls Short on Steak

Deliverance came at the end of dinner at Steak 44, by way of a memorable and tasty dessert. Nearly everything else up until then, during my initial visit, had been a disappointment.

Located in the former Cork 'n' Cleaver site at 44th Street and Camelback Road, Steak 44 is the latest addition to the Mastro family dynasty of restaurants, a more casual sibling to Dominick's Steakhouse, opened in 2011 in the Scottsdale Quarter. The ambiance is clubby and stylish, with polished dark wood, tables topped with crisp, white linen, and some nice top-shelf touches like properly chilled salad forks and a warm towel at the end of the meal. Top­flight service involves a staff of servers and a headwaiter with a more-­than-­passing knowledge of his wine list. The overall effect is of a tony bar with above­-average dining rooms grafted on. I lucked out on my second visit and was seated at a wide-windowed booth far from the kitchen.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela