Show Me the Money – Alpharetta’s most expensive steak

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I recently received a $100 gift card to one of Atlanta’s fine dining establishments. Reading the menu online made me realize that a hundred bucks wasn’t going to cut it. It got me thinking, where in Alpharetta would a sawbuck not be enough? Continuing on that line of thought lead me to want to find the most expensive single menu item in Alpharetta.

oak steakhouse logoThere aren’t a ton of “$$$$” priced places up here. As expected, most of them are steakhouses. If you want a prime slab of cow, you’re gonna pay for it. Cabernet, Ruth’s Chris, and Viande Rouge in Johns Creek all are candidates. Keep in mind, the steak joints are all al a carte, which is French for “You ain’t gettin’ nothin with that”. All sides are extra, so we’re just talking the price for one steak.

So, who’s steak will cause your wallet to cry for mercy? The most expensive menu item in Alpharetta isn’t in any of the above mentioned places. The distinction belongs to none other than Avalon’s Oak Steakhouse. Its “Master Purveyors of NYC 24oz. Dry Aged CAB® Prime Bone-In Ribeye” is far and away the most expensive steak I’ve ever seen at $85. You read that right. In fact, three of the five steaks offered are $50 and over. I’m sure the Millennials will be lining up to drop that kind of cash on dinner.

Ruth’s Chris and Cabernet barely touch the $50 mark and Vinny’s on Windward isn’t even in the discussion. Oak’s got them all beat. I’m sure the steak is good, but really, who’s going to fork over that much money? That’s a “I earned my PhD” or “I was just elected President” or “I really want to sleep with my date so I’ll try to impress her” kind of a meal. Would even an expense account justify that price? Maybe it’s one of those menu items like the Ol’ 96er or the 10 pound burrito where no one really orders it, but the restaurant has bragging rights. Well, go ahead and brag, Oak Steakhouse, you’ve got the most expensive menu item in Alpharetta.

28 Responses to “Show Me the Money – Alpharetta’s most expensive steak”

  1. Travis Allen April 10, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    For that price, the cow better come over and place the napkin in your lap.

  2. John April 10, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    I didn’t get that cut when I went there, but I will say that the Oak is the closest thing up here to a Bones or a Hal’s. Food, service, menu, price are all comparable. Nothing else is close.

  3. Lionel Thompson April 10, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Their reviews are no better or worse than any other steak place in the area, but it is nice to see the manager addressing concerns on Yelp individually. It shows, if nothing else, that they are trying.
    Still, I imagine, and I say this as someone who has been to Avalon a few times but not eaten there, I imagine the prices are ‘part of the experience’ to compensate for high rents. Like an expensive bottle of wine magically tastes better because it costs more, studies have shown this to be true.
    I guess call me a classless heathen, but I’ll still gladly schlep up to the counter for sliced meat at Ipanema anytime.

  4. Big Meat April 10, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    I recently ordered a bone-in ribeye at a local steak house. This was the first time I’ve ordered steak at a restaurant in a long time. The steak wasn’t bad but I’m accoustome to cooking it to my “perfection.” Plus the seasoning was a lil strong for me. Steak is one of those things your better DIY IMAO

  5. Caren Goode April 10, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Mike, I think a sawbuck is a ten dollar bill.
    A C-Note is a one hundred dollar bill

  6. Mnk April 10, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Alpharetta could use some more fine dining establishments that aren’t steak houses. I hate that I have to drive into Buckhead or Midtown any time I’d like to have a celebratory or special occasion dinner. Alpharetta doesn’t have restaurants that are at the same caliber as Bacchanalia, Aria, St. Cecilia, Canoe and many others. Hoping this will change as the city grows.

  7. Keith April 10, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    I don’t who has captured the theme or approach to this blog, but I miss the original objective newsy and behind the scenes entries. There now seems to be a bit of a envy based narrative that quite frankly borders on the sophomoric side of commentary. Please..if you want to share your opinion..then fine but don’t assume that your readers (ex-reader, in my case) will take “what you think” as fact. The world, including Alpharetta, is a segmented place and so is the constituency for Avalon.

  8. Keith April 10, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    I don’t who has captured the theme or approach to this blog, but I miss the original objective newsy and behind the scenes entries. There now seems to be a bit of a envy based narrative that quite frankly borders on the sophomoric side of commentary.

  9. Lovie April 10, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    To be fair, that’s a giant 1.5 lb steak intended for two people to share.

  10. Mark Toro April 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Lee,

    As always, we appreciate you featuring Avalon in your blog. I’m happy to report that Oak Steakhouse is among the Avalon restaurants that continue to set records for patronage and sales volume. Obviously, they’ve been warmly embraced by the residents of Alpharetta and beyond. And we seek to return that embrace each and every day, providing hospitality, service and selection not found anywhere in North Fulton.

    Thanks, again.
    Mark Toro
    Managing Partner
    North American Properties

  11. Greg April 10, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    24 ounces? Maybe it’s geared towards some of the professional athletes who live in Alpharetta.

  12. ATLTudor April 10, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    I agree with @Keith. In the not-so-distant past, I remember looking forward to reading RIA Foodie Friday to get the scoop on new restaurants coming to the area “before anyone else.”

    As happy 40-something residents and super-frequent diners of Alpharetta, my husband, friends and I are thrilled to have so many options popping up in our community. Here’s my message to Avalon-based and every other FABULOUS Alpharetta restaurant- you’ve nothing to worry about! Speaking on behalf of my circle; we will see you this weekend and many more to come! Cheers!

  13. ATLTudor April 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    @Big Meat, I should also add that I agree with you as well- There’s no better steak than one cooked on the home grill. Wouldn’t it be great to have a fresh meat market in the area? I would pay more for higher quality PLUS better selection (seafood plus meat plus cold cuts). Sadly, none of our local grocers offer both. Even WF has a very limited seafood section. Anyone remember the small seafood market on Old Milton east of 400?

  14. Andrea April 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    We ate at Oak last night. We were one of 3 tables at 7:30 on a Thursday night.
    We ordered a dozen oysters, before asking “market price.” whoops. Nearly $50 for a dozen oysters…ouch. The filet was way under-cooked and came back charred the 2nd time. And, if you’re going to have an “open kitchen” concept, perhaps have some “chefs” in the kitchen, not boys with flat-billed ball caps playing on their phones.
    Our server was very good. Very knowledgeable about the menu and friendly. The manager did take the steak off our check and was apologetic.
    Bottom line…It’s a cool place. Next time…a drink at the bar and 2 oysters. :-)

  15. Travis Allen April 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    Mark, you do realize that Lee didn’t write this post, right?

  16. Jen April 10, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    This blog was funny. It is nice to know about the most expensive menu item in town. I ate at oak a few weeks ago and order a smaller filet and it was delicious. The waiter did try to upsell the $85 steak which was entertaining too. I agree. I thing it is equivalent to a 10lb burrito.

  17. J April 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    Pretty weak post in my opinion. There are fine steakhouses all over the country that have steaks at this price or higher. Why does it matter that it is in Alpharetta? I think it is great we are getting more high end restaurants in our area.

  18. Julie April 10, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Much as I hate to say it, I kind of agree with Meany a few comments back…ole Keith, the “I’m not reading your blog anymore” Keith. I agree with Keith in the sense that it might actually seem a bit sophomoric to ask “who’s going to fork over that much money?” (to eat at Oakes). Fact is, lots of people will. The restaurant business is tricky, to be sure, but sometimes people pay more just because you ask more – not because it’s so called “worth it”. In any case, $100 + steaks trending right now in the ATL metro, so Oakes is in step with the times.

  19. Cool Papa Bell April 11, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Agree with the sentiments expressed about. I miss the days of actual reviews of local restaurants. Now the closest we get is any new cookie cutter burger chain or cake boutique.

  20. Phyllis McLay April 11, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    My company dropped huge bucks for our holiday party in December. I forgot a gift bag under the table and the next day it couldn’t be found. So watch out

  21. Derek April 11, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    I always enjoy Mike Christensen’s reviews on this blog. One does not have to agree or take them so seriously, but they are always entertaining and well written. Don’t change a thing. As for the envy-based narrative mentioned by Keith, I see it more in the comments than in the posts.

  22. S Lee Guy April 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    I appreciate Mike writing this week while I was away with my family on spring break. I also appreciate the comments and criticisms, especially critical ones. If anything it means that you’re holding us to high standards. For that I’m thankful.

  23. Parker April 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    @Lee,
    I just got back from SB as well, now back on the road this week to earn some legal tender.
    Regarding the comments about the direction of your blog – it’s yours, do whatever you like. I appreciate the effort that you have put in over the years and enjoy the insight that you provide when I agree with you and when I don’t.

    Like any business, Meat Palaces are trying for repeat customers like business expense account types and special occasions. The steak is only a part of the deal, along with atmosphere, attitude, wine list, etc. They’re not selling steak, they’re selling an experience.

    It’s like the Victoria’s Secret business model: the clothing is mediocre quality, but what they’re really selling is an idea of image.

  24. Jen April 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    I think Avalon restaurants do need to worry a little. I can afford the $80+ steaks and happen to like oakpart but the rest..meh. Collette served me undercooked potatoes (hard as a rock) and my friend’s chicken was pink. Antico is cool, but we waited on a take out order at the counter and a waiter chaotically ran my pizza around the restaurant trying to find me for 20 min and the pizza was cold by the . I never left the counter area. Why would I sit down at a table for take out?? The servie is stranger at antico than the old figo. I don’t mind if these restaurants pcharge more, but execution, quality and and service needs to be flawless for there prices. I’ve never had food under cooked at Waffle House…lol. Be ware or what you pay for.

  25. Laurie April 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    We love the Oak! They have the best Oysters Rockefeller and they have different cuts of meat that aren’t $100.
    They have the BEST chartcutterie/cheese board that is a meal all by itself for $22….that and a glass of wine at the bar…a whole meal for the hubby and I. Love The Oak, El Felix, Antico, Bocado Burger and Goldbergs! So happy that Avalon is here and we don’t have to drive for for great service, good food and a safe place to walk.

  26. Andrea P April 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Last time I was at Pampas they offered an Australian beer-fed hand-massaged steak for $95+. (And it wasn’t even a very large cut.) 24 oz for $85 sounds like a deal compared to that! :)

  27. Paul R April 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    I am close to the Chef who assisted The Oak with their recipes and menu descriptions. I have also dined with friends and experienced the appetizers, steaks, cocktails, and service. Ordering an aged steak at any upscale steakhouse such as Viande Rouge, Little Alley, Pampas, Bones, STK, or Hal’s, one will always experience the same menu prices. The Oak’s abnormally priced menu is geared to appeal to a certain clientele and palette. It is all part of the “snob-appeal” that is a major part of their marketing. The Oak is NOT for everyone. However, there is a reason why their check average exceeds $110 and their weekly sales exceed $85,000. Their is an excellent array of choices at Avalon. One only needs to experience the 909-120 minute wait for dinner on weekends to realize that Avalon has an appeal that is proven to be a success. As summer approaches with its warmer weather, the traffic will be worse, the parking even more limited, and the prices will begin to rise. The newness and novelty will begin to wear off and the locals will be dispersed to local favorites like Made, Pure, Aqua Blue, Stoney River, Vinny’s, Cabernet, Salt, Pampas, Little Alley, and so on. One visit to The Oak is all you really need to witness how some like to waste their money and to rub elbows with those who want to be seen rubbing elbows with others with a lot of disposable income who also want to be seen. Kevin Krapp, General Manager of The Oak, runs a tight ship. He is truly a professional at his craft. His warm personality belongs somewhere where it is appreciated more.

  28. Paul R April 16, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    With the margins on those menu items, one would think they could pay their cooks more than $10-$11 an hour. They have replaced their kitchen staff twice since opening.

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