Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

Restaurant: Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar
Cuisine: American/Steakhouse/Fine Dining/Pacific Northwest
Last visited: November 24, 09
Location: Vancouver, BC (Robson Street/West End/Downtown)
Address: 637 Hornby Street
Price Range: $50+

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3.5 (I only tried 3 things)
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 2.5
Overall: 3.5
Additional comments:

  • Fine dining in Vancouver
  • Traditional steakhouse, specializes in steaks
  • Chain fine-dining steakhouse restaurant
  • 40+ years
  • Make Caesar salad & dressing at your table
  • Extensive wine list
  • Vintage/classic/old/traditional decor
  • Cozy atmosphere
  • Open flame display grill
  • Romantic/Intimate dark lighting
  • Attracts ages 45+ & couples
  • Busy during dinner
  • Coat check service
  • Private rooms available
  • The best after mints (almost like Mentos)

**Recommendation: Cheese Toast for Two, The ONLY New York Strip

Hy’s Steakhouse is a fine dining steakhouse chain restaurant in Canada. It’s also part of Gotham’s Steakhouse, The Shore Club, and even… wait for it… The Keg! Yes, it is a secret – that I am telling. Nonetheless they are steak experts and do well in this category.

The atmosphere is cozy but a bit stuffy as well. The dark hardwood floors are old and creaking and it feels like walking into an old European library. When I say “classic” décor I mean “historic” or antique. From areas of carpeted floors to the series of portrait paintings and older demographic diners…it feels a bit “don’t talk too loud or you’ll disturb the others”. I actually prefer the atmosphere in Gotham’s or The Shore Club better…but maybe it’s because of my age. Who knows? In 30 years Hy’s could be my special quiet time dinner place.

By the way, thank you to my friend for letting me know that they have the best mints here out of Gotham’s and The Shore Club…and The Keg!

On the table:Cheese Toast for Two6/6

  • Cheese toast $5.95
  • Fine dining food? Or hangover food?! I will seriously pose that question. This is really good. Indulgent good, comfort food good, and straight to the soul…or heart good!
  • This is basically a grilled cheese sandwich without the extra slice of bread.
  • It was one slice of really really soft white bread completely covered with a thick layer of baked cheddar cheese and grilled until perfection. I think they could use another cheese, I’ve heard Gorgonzola but it doesn’t taste like it. My guess would be Gruyere or Brie but it has to be Gorgonzola because it’s the only other cheese on the menu. I doubt they would get another cheese just to use for the cheese toast. I could see the charcoal grill marks on the underside of the bread. I don’t know if they bake it and then grill it, or grill it and then broil it. But the cooking method is perfect.
  • Your teeth sink right into it and it’s the “taste so good, but so bad for you” feeling. It’s oily, greasy, rich, hearty, very cheesy and stringy. The recipe is so simple, but so delicious and heavenly. You seriously might go to heaven after it though…
  • They make it upon order and you’re getting it as close to “hot off the grill” as you can at a restaurant. It’s transferred right from the grill into this tin foil lined bread basket and covered with more tin foil to ensure it stays hot. Almost everyone h ad one on their table.

Filet Steak Neptune – 2.5/6

  • Butterflied filet mignon, topped with fresh asparagus and blue crabmeat, finished with hollandaise sauce $40.95
  • This is one of their house-specialties so that’s why I ordered it. My favourite cut of steak is filet mignon. I like the mignon at Gotham’s better, but I can’t really compare it because I didn’t try the traditional mignon here. I wish I went with that instead though.
  • The problem with this one is that I couldn’t tell it was a filet mignon. The main reason is because it was butterflied (meaning sliced width wise almost until all the way through and opened up) – by using this method it made the filet mignon taste like beef flank steak or maybe tenderloin. I actually had to ask the server if it was a filet mignon because it really didn’t taste like it. The lighting was difficult for photos, but I want to show the thinness of the mignon after it’s been butterflied.
  • Out of curiosity, and not because I’m a diva, I had to get the server to explain it…they butterfly it because it has blue crabmeat on top, so they wanted to balance the crab with the steak. They wanted the mignon to actually hold the crab meat.
  • I understand the explanation but I feel as though they sacrificed the filet mignon for the blue crabmeat. It was such a waste of the mignon because it didn’t end up tasting like one and it was overcooked because it was so thin. I ordered it medium rare and it came out medium to medium well. It was a bit rough and tough.
  • There was lots of crab though, with tender asparagus underneath. It came with a divine hollandaise sauce that was baked like the cheese toast was. The sauce was rich, thick, and creamy and had the perfect ratio of butter and egg yolks. That was the best part of this dish, and it almost made up for my steak…that’s where the 3/6 comes from.
  • I ordered it with pan-fried potatoes, but you have the option of rice, fries, a baked or double stuffed potato. They didn’t have mashed as an option which was unusual, unless our server just forgot to list it.
  • These potatoes came with lightly sautéed veggies in olive oil, some herbs, and maybe a little butter too. The veggies weren’t tender but still very crunchy and the onions were still spicy rather than caramelized. I think this is what they were aiming for though, so I can’t really ding them for that.
  • The pan-fried potatoes as a side was too simple for a restaurant like this – if I’m fine dining I want something I couldn’t do myself. The pan-fried potatoes I could do myself. I would have preferred thin round slices of Yukon Gold potatoes rather than the chunks I got. The thin slices would have matched the butterflied mignon & crab meat better too.
  • The presentation was also too simple for a restaurant like this. I expected more.

The “ONLY” New York Strip – 5/6

  • Our signature steak specially prepared with Hy’s steak sauce – “Only” available at Hy’s 14oz 36.95 18oz 40.95
  • This is popular because of the ONLY sauce. The ONLY sauce is actually a homemade steak sauce with a kick – it tastes like gourmet HP sauce. It’s just thicker and heavier on the Worcestershire sauce and probably has some Dijon mustard. It’s much more bold and thick than regular steak sauce, almost like a thicker barbeque sauce. It does taste really good though.
  • They use a thick layer to marinade the New York Strip before thy grill it. I think they let it rest and then layer on another layer and quickly put it under the broiler right before serving. Upon the cooking process the sauce thickens from a sauce into gravy.
  • It’s hard to see in the picture because of lighting, but I wanted to capture the layer of sauce on top
    • This was ordered medium-rare and it was served medium rare. Now this was an excellent steak. Tender, flavorful and moist because it had some fat to lock in all the juices. We ordered this one with fries – which is a good match because those fries are good with the ONLY sauce. The fries were fresh, thin, crispy and nicely salted.
    • Insider’s tip: There’s two ways you can order this but it’s not advertised. The first is the original way, how they used to do it – on a wooden plank (like the one in my pictures). The second is the new way – which is just on a plate. At least the presentation on the wooden plank is different. If it came on a round white dinner plate I would have been disappointed because I really expect some sort of presentation for fine dining. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for either.

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