I am just going to cut to the chase and start by saying that my dining experience last night at Malio's Prime Steakhouse was one of the worst I have ever had. And that is a crying shame, because we had dined many times over the years at Malio's on Dale Mabry before they shut down, and we enjoyed every visit.
Malio's Prime is located around back in the Beer Can Building on the Hillsborough River. Once you get to the restaurant the river view is grand. Getting from the parking lot to Malio's was a slight challenge.
One in our party suggested that if you were an attorney and could find your way in and out of Malio's you wouldn't have to prove your sobriety in any other manner. Just sayin'!
Our party of six had reservations so we were seated in a timely manner, presented with menus, and our water glasses filled. The purpose of this visit was an additional celebration of the birth of my bride, the Belle of Ballast Point.
Our daughter and son-in-law wanted to treat their Mom, so we requested one check for the three of them, a separate check for our sister and her friend, and a third check just for me. I didn't feel that someone else should pay my bill since it wasn't my birthday. We will remedy that in September.
The reason for mentioning this billing plan will be revealed in a bit.
While we were waiting for our drink orders to be filled, the table was presented with a bread basket with the cutest little rock hard butter pats wrapped in foil.
Are you freakin' kidding me? A presumably high-end restaurant serving foil wrapped butter? For the prices we were being charged, I expected better butter. Oh, well!
Moving on to appetizers, my bride chose the beef carpaccio and I, being a glutton for punishment, chose a half dozen Blue Point oysters on the half shell.
The carpaccio with little toasts, shaved cheese, and micro-greens was good, not spectacular, but not bad. Again, for the price I would have expected more than just good.
The oysters were salty and delicious, but rather poorly presented. Several were mangled and several had not been cut loose from the bottom shell. Even though I do not usually dip my oysters in any accompanying sauces, I was surprised to see nothing more than a plebeian cocktail sauce in place of an expected mignonette.
For her entree, my bride had the most darling little $28.95 filet that she said was not particularly juicy and required steak sauce (a bottle of A-1 was brought to the table) to perk up the flavor.
No, she didn't cut into the steak. That was how it was presented.
The Malio's 20 ounce bone-in rib eye seemed to be calling me by name, so that was my entree.
That steak was cooked as requested. When I took knife to meat I encountered the toughest, most devoid of flavor rib eye I have ever had. Even that fatty edge of the rib eye was tough and dry. Cutting into the center was no better. I left over half of that $46.57 steak untouched. No one seemed to care.
I picked up the tab for the two appetizers my bride and I ordered, three glasses of Prosecco, a bottle of tasty Terrazas Malbec, my steak, and a couple of after dinner coffees. My total...I repeat, MY total for the evening came to $225.48 and included a mandatory $35.51 service charge. I have no idea how much the other five in our party were charged.
I don't mind laying out big bucks for superior food and drink. There was nothing superior about the food at Malio's. There was nothing to justify that $225.48. Malio's redefined "suckatude" and elevated it to an entirely new level.