Steakhouse tries and doesn’t succeed

Grilled swordfish topped with corn relish and a side of green beans is served.  This delicious fish left a lasting impression.

Grilled swordfish topped with corn relish and a side of green beans is served. This delicious fish left a lasting impression.

Brianna Glase, Reporter

Carsins’ Steak and Seafood Grill has all the right ingredients for a great dining experience: a relaxing atmosphere, beautiful photographs decorating the walls, and excellent service.  Unfortunately, the ingredients in the entrees aren’t as satisfying.

My family and I walked into the restaurant on a Sunday night and were seated immediately. Right away I was pleased with the ambiance.  Hardwood floors and tables, terracotta colored walls, nature photography, jazz music, and plenty of elbow room gave the dining area a soothing atmosphere.

Service was decent, nothing spectacular.  Our waitress was attentive and made sure to keep our glasses filled and our patience from running out.  After taking our order, she brought dinner rolls and house salads that were appealing.  Our appetizer of crab toast was overflowing with delicious crab meat and was the perfect size to share between the four of us.

Just a half an hour after taking our order, our waitress returned bringing our anticipated meals.  Our dining experience took a slight turn for the worse.

My first bite of New York strip steak was fatty and chewy, and it didn’t get much better.  It arrived it looking promisingly juicy and  had just the right amount of pink when I cut into it.  To my dismay, it was not as good as one would expect a signature steakhouse sirloin to be.  It wasn’t very tender and the flavor itself was under par.

The grilled swordfish, on the other hand, was very tender and not at all fishy.  Every type of fish that they served was fresh, not frozen, and I could tell, tasting the swordfish.  It was adorned with a corn relish that unfortunately detracted from the fish.  It was tough, and its combination of spices was confusing to the palate.

The other fish at our table, the grilled salmon, was disappointingly dark and fishy on the bottom.  The sweet and spicy Caribbean jerk sauce on top was delicious and made the whole dish almost enjoyable.  The side of a baked potato, cooked to perfection, also helped one to forget the floundering flavor of the fish.

The gigantic wedge salad was more than enough for one person, though it might have tasted better if not for the overpowering mounds of smoky bacon on it.  The perfect portion of Maryland crab soup with it had tons of crab and vegetables floating in it.

The desserts – carrot cake and chocolate lava cake – were the highlight of the meal.  The cream cheese icing on the carrot cake made the flavor of the moist cake stand out even more.  The scrumptious lava cake, drowning in chocolate sauce, literally melted in your mouth.

Overall, my dining experience at Carsins’ was pleasant, though the food – the most important part – could have been better.  The prices were high for a steakhouse, around $20 and higher, and our less than ideal meal wasn’t quite worth it.

Brianna Glase is a reporter for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com