St. Elmo's Worth It?
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Posted by fethbone

For the last few years my friends and I have gone to GenCon, I organize and host a dinner for us on Thursday night at a nicer downtown (aka- easy walking distance from the Convention Center) restaurant. Thinking about doing St. Elmo's this year, and was wondering if people think it's worth it or if it's just another expensive steak place. I've been to the upstairs lounge for drinks and shrimp cocktail numerous times, but never had dinner in the dining room. I usually prefer to try places that aren't national chains (Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Oceanaire, etc.), but if you think any of these are significantly better than St. Elmos, shoot.

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Posted by austicke

IMHO, it is just another expensive steak place, but it is still worth it. How's that for a non-answer?

I don't think you'll see a huge food quality difference compared to Morton's or Ruth's Chris, but St. Elmo does have nice local provenance.

_____________________________________
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group

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Posted by a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn?

It's a really _nice_ expensive steak place; the sort of place you'd go to for an occasion.
Fancy dining room, excellent food, & very professional waiters, but you're paying a premium for the environment.

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Posted by rgresch

Last year I made a reservation for myself and 10 friends at Fogo de Chão. Between the buffet and all the different meats that come around it was worth it.

I don't know if I would say that it is better than St. Elmo's but it's certainly an alternative.

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Posted by rogersba

As fancy as St. Elmo's is, they don't fuss over dress. Because of their location, you'll often find people in Colts or Pacers gear. When I've been there during Gen Con, everyone's been welcome, t-shirts and cosplay included.

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Posted by fethbone rgresch

rgresch wrote:
Last year I made a reservation for myself and 10 friends at Fogo de Chão. Between the buffet and all the different meats that come around it was worth it.
I don't know if I would say that it is better than St. Elmo's but it's certainly an alternative.
We went to Fogo de Chao a couple years ago and the feedback I got was that people did not like it as much as Texas de Brazil (another Brazilian steakhouse chain we've gone to as a group), so we haven't been back. :/ 

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Posted by fethbone austicke

austicke wrote:
IMHO, it is just another expensive steak place, but it is still worth it. How's that for a non-answer?
I don't think you'll see a huge food quality difference compared to Morton's or Ruth's Chris, but St. Elmo does have nice local provenance.
_____________________________________
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group
I get what you're saying- it's a bucket-list kind of place for Indy. Do you know if they broil or grill their steak?

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Posted by rodoubleb

I think St. Elmo's is totally worth it if you are a steak lover.   I absolutely crave a shrimp cocktail and a Signature most of the time I am not in Indy.  

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Posted by grtbrt

St. Elmo's is generally considered a better establishment and value  than Ruth Chris' (a nationwide chain )-The wait staff is definitely a plus . If you can get to the Northside of Indy Peterson's is a good place as is Sullivan's ,downtown Capitol Grille  is pleasant .
With the walking distance as a parameter I would pick between St.Elmo's (not Harry & Izzy's -that is a lesser restaurant owned by St.Elmo's ) and The Capitol Grille .
 

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Posted by aldctjoc fethbone

fethbone wrote:... Do you know if they broil or grill their steak?

Looks like it's grilled.

That's taken from this video, dated 2012, on St. Elmo's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKLJiVjHqDc. 

That said, it was only a quick view - like not even a full second on that vid - plus it is 6 years old. It's the best evidence that can be gleaned from the internet.

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Posted by aldctjoc

Added to above: There are more shots of the kitchen that show the grill from other angles, around 1:10 into the video. I don't feel like screenshoting it; you can go look for yourself. Right now, it's making me hungry. :D

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Posted by bakermouse10133

Local chiming in here. While the steak at St Elmos is fantastic, the rest of the menu leaves A LOT to be desired. We went there on an anniversary dinner and were extremely disappointed in the side dishes. The atmosphere was cool, but if I am dropping $200 plus on dinner for 2 people I want the whole experience to be outstanding and mushy green beans doesn't cut it. 

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Posted by fethbone bakermouse10133

bakermouse10133 wrote:
Local chiming in here. While the steak at St Elmos is fantastic, the rest of the menu leaves A LOT to be desired. We went there on an anniversary dinner and were extremely disappointed in the side dishes. The atmosphere was cool, but if I am dropping $200 plus on dinner for 2 people I want the whole experience to be outstanding and mushy green beans doesn't cut it. 
That's disappointing to hear. One time the non-shrimp-eater in our party ordered the ahi tuna appetizer and said the rice was "the worst rice I've ever had", but I was hoping it was just a one-off occurrence.

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Posted by fethbone grtbrt

grtbrt wrote:
St. Elmo's is generally considered a better establishment and value  than Ruth Chris' (a nationwide chain )-The wait staff is definitely a plus . If you can get to the Northside of Indy Peterson's is a good place as is Sullivan's ,downtown Capitol Grille  is pleasant .
With the walking distance as a parameter I would pick between St.Elmo's (not Harry & Izzy's -that is a lesser restaurant owned by St.Elmo's ) and The Capitol Grille .
Yeah, Noblesville/Carmel is too far away unfortunately- people are not going to want to be that far away from the action even for a few hours, and we'd have to take cabs since, TBH, if we haven't started tying one on already, we will have by the time dinner's done. I've heard good things about Capital Grille, but since it's also a chain, it was initially a secondary choice. Looks like it's ever so slightly cheaper than St. Elmo's.

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Posted by aldctjoc bakermouse10133

bakermouse10133 wrote:Local chiming in here. While the steak at St Elmos is fantastic, the rest of the menu leaves A LOT to be desired. We went there on an anniversary dinner and were extremely disappointed in the side dishes. The atmosphere was cool, but if I am dropping $200 plus on dinner for 2 people I want the whole experience to be outstanding and mushy green beans doesn't cut it. 

I’ll never defend that practice because I agree: I will expect a meal if I’m out for a full dinner, and there should not be outright bad parts to it. That said, it’s not unheard of for a steakhouse to genuinely stink at everything else. The Chop House in Chicago was exactly that way. I was told that you only go for the steak, and that didn’t sink in until I got a very lame salad, wonder bread, and very pathetic fries. But yeah, the steak was ridiculously good. Good enough that I’d actually be willing to go back, as long as I’d get a chance to “pre-eat” someplace else. I wouldn’t recommend it for “dinner” per se, but I would encourage a carnephile to go.

Maybe that’s the deal with St. Elmo’s?

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Posted by fethbone aldctjoc

aldctjoc wrote:
bakermouse10133 wrote:Local chiming in here. While the steak at St Elmos is fantastic, the rest of the menu leaves A LOT to be desired. We went there on an anniversary dinner and were extremely disappointed in the side dishes. The atmosphere was cool, but if I am dropping $200 plus on dinner for 2 people I want the whole experience to be outstanding and mushy green beans doesn't cut it. 

I’ll never defend that practice because I agree: I will expect a meal if I’m out for a full dinner, and there should not be outright bad parts to it. That said, it’s not unheard of for a steakhouse to genuinely stink at everything else. The Chop House in Chicago was exactly that way. I was told that you only go for the steak, and that didn’t sink in until I got a very lame salad, wonder bread, and very pathetic fries. But yeah, the steak was ridiculously good. Good enough that I’d actually be willing to go back, as long as I’d get a chance to “pre-eat” someplace else. I wouldn’t recommend it for “dinner” per se, but I would encourage a carnephile to go.Maybe that’s the deal with St. Elmo’s?
Once you hit a certain price point, there is a certain higher expectation all around. I don't go to to Kuma's Corner (burgers) for a salad or a Mexican restaurant for a hamburger, but when you're expecting to pay $60-80+ per person, well, you want to feel like you at least mostly got what you paid for no matter what you order. Judging by the menu, I could probably be safe just eating my shrimp cocktail and a steak and being satisfied, as it looks like all the steaks except for the filet start at 12oz minimum. I will say that the service in the lounge has always been great, so if it's as good or better in the dining room, I'll be happy on that front. 

Also, thank you for vid answering the grilled vs. broiled question. Never been to Chicago Chop House, I'll keep what you said in mind though. The "cool" Chicago steak place that all my friends seem to like is Bavette's. 

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Posted by raidkillsbugsded

I'm totally on board with the idea of just getting the cocktail and the meat...

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Posted by faxboy66

Two thumbs-up here.  Worth it.  I used to travel a lot, and I always tried to go local just like you are; who needs to eat at another freakin' Chili's when there are great local places?  You can get Morton's or Ruth's Chris anywhere, you're only going to get St. Elmo in Indianapolis.  It is not cheap, but it is good.  The sides have always been good for me and my crew, and the meat coma lets us sleep Wednesday night before the con officially opens.

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Posted by bushmaster

I went to St. Elmo on the invite of a fellow gamer.  I did not know the type of restaurant it is so I was very surprised by the prices. 

But the service was excellent, the food was excellent, and I had a very enjoyable meal.  I did spend more on that one dinner than for any other single activity at GenCon.  A True Dungeon ticket approaches what my dinner cost.

I will not go back, but it is because I wish to spend my money in other ways. 
 

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Posted by genconkeeper

St. Elmo's is one of the top Steak restaurants in the nation. You go into St. Elmo's for BEEF, and shrimp cocktail. You have to go to Chicago of NYC to get a hunk of steak approaching ST. Elmo's quality and level of service. And yes you have to spend a few kopecks for service.
 

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