By Don Radebaugh
In 1859, the Oliver House opened as Toledo’s premier hotel. More than 150 years later, the Oliver House still offers some of the best dining experiences in northwest Ohio.
The well-preserved architecture, overlooking the “Middlegrounds” in downtown Toledo, is home to four restaurants, including Rockwell’s. The food, the ambiance and old-world charm create the perfect atmosphere for fine dining.
The menu offers a variety of options, but Rockwell’s is known for steaks, specifically, the way they’re prepared and delivered. You’ll pay a little more, but the product is worth the investment.
Topcuts, unique methods
“All our meat is USDA prime, the highest grade we can get,” said Oliver House General Manager Neal Kovacik. “Our meat is in the top two percent of all meat graded in the United States. We use only center cuts.”
“We have a different way of preparing them. All our steaks are wet-aged for 21 days. Then they go in a 1600-degree broiler.”
And when the steak finally arrives at your table, it continues to sizzle before you, but don’t touch the plate…it’s beyond hot, while the tender meat continues to cure.
“Our plates are 300 degrees when the steak goes on it. We let the meat rest for a few minutes on a plate of clarified butter as it continues to tenderize. We’re careful not to over-season the meat.”
The quality of the cut is so top-notch, minimal seasoning is needed. The eight-ounce Tri Tip Sirloin is one of the best steaks I’ve ever tasted, anywhere.
“Part of the key is to undercook it slightly, because it’s still cooking as it comes to the customer. It’s still sizzling on the way out of the kitchen.”
Rockwell’s welcomes special occasions and private dinners. The wait staff is incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and courteous. Rockwell’s has an exceptional team of people with common goals that Kovacik stands by. “Part of our success is to take care of the customer, offer the highest quality in food and provide a great downtown experience,” he added.
A variety of choices
For the heartier appetites, there are 14-ounce Kansas City Strips and New York Strips. If you need more …I know I could do it… an 18-ounce Bone In Ribeye is another choice.
Rockwell’s also offers variety in additional entrees, including Surf and Turf, Pan Roasted Chicken, Garlic Butter Poached Shrimp (amazing) or Scottish Salmon, among others. The sides that go with the main dish are also off the charts. Some of the choices include Asparagus with Hollandaise, Baked Potato, Sautéed Cremini Mushrooms, Curried Roasted Cauliflower or Fresh Broccoli. One side dish will easily serve two.
Beyond the Cheddar Beer Soup, the appetizer choices include Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Cakes, Tuna Napoleon, Moroccan Olives, a charcuterie board or the Black Mission Fig Baked Brie. It’s all so good.
The Oliver House is located at 27 Broadway in downtown Toledo, with the entrance to Rockwell’s located on the Ottawa Street side. Open Monday through Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. 419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com/rockwells-steakhouse-lounge
Espresso Stout Steak Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 8 drops tabasco sauce
- 3/4 cup Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout
- 3 tablespoons ground espresso
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients and stir with a wisk, simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, pour through a fine mesh strainer to filter out the espresso.