Old Stone Steakhouse in Belmont, NC
Well, heck. I’d heard so many good things about this quaint little steakhouse in Belmont, and I wanted to love it. I did. But I didn’t.
First, let me commend the owners on the beauty of the restaurant. They did great things with the small space, making it homey yet rustic. I will say that the restaurant is very loud. I had a hard time hearing my dinner companions. Another caveat for this restaurant is their excellent wait staff. Our waitress was attentive and kind and never let us get too thirsty. The kitchen also is efficient. We had a large party of 10 and we were served quickly, as if we were a table of just 2.
The only bad thing I can say about this little gem is the food was not the best. And unfortunately, the food is the most important part of a dining experience. We began with a variety of appetizers at our table, but I only tasted the Spinach Artichoke Dip with Pita Points. It was really good, not anything extraordinary, but very good. My next course was a wedge salad, and it was just ok. I did like that the dressing was homemade, but the canned potato sticks on top were just pedestrian. Next time I’d get the Caesar salad, I snagged a bite of my husband’s and it was good. Plus, it had black olives! Who does that?
My entree was a petite filet stuffed with lobster, lump crab meat and tomato basil. It came out with a half lobster tail protruding from the center of this succulent filet with some crab meat jammed in the center hole the lobster created and drizzled on the plate. The lobster was a bit under-cooked and not very fresh. The crab meat that was supposed to be “lump” was certainly not jumbo lump. Even more horrible was the fact that it was mixed in with this very strongly flavored chopped raw tomatoes with basil. This delicate crab meat was completely overwhelmed by these aggressive flavors and just did not work. Perhaps the worst offense was in digging the crab meat from the center of my filet and seeing it pink because it was drenched in the bloody juice from my steak. The steak itself was fine, but I’d order it alone next time. It was a grave disappointment. My other dinner companions complained that there steaks were not tender; they had ordered the Cowboy Ribeye. I got macaroni and cheese for my side dish, which was described as a deluxe side, and therefore came with an added cost. The cheese tasted like a processed American cheese with some sort of Mexican flair, perhaps Rotel tomatoes? Skip this.
Dessert was fine enough. Most of the offerings were uninspired, nothing on the menu grabbed my attention. I opted for the chocolate cake, hoping for a moist cake, but was vaguely disappointed. It was serviceable, but nothing I’d get again. My husband got the chocolate creme brulee and it was reminiscent of chocolate pudding with a hard sugar crust.
If you are craving steak, I can think of 10 better restaurants to try for the same money. Skip this place.