Final Cut Steakhouse Review
Man, it’s hard to find a good dining experience in Southeastern Indiana. Highway 50, going thru Lawrenceburg and Aurora, is littered with fast food restaurants. Frisch’s, McDonald’s (two!), Burger King (again, two!), Subway (uhhh…two!), White Castle…you get the point. A lot of bad tasting, bad for you fast food. Years ago, when Argosy Casino came in, there were a couple of OK restaurants along with a pretty good buffet. Still, nothing great to that offers you a nice meal out with a date or a place to celebrate. Eventually, Sakura (Japanese Hibachi Grill) opened up and is pretty good. When the plans came out to upgrade Argosy into what is now Hollywood Casino, they included plans for a high-end steakhouse.
Final Cut Steakhouse (http://http://www.hollywoodindiana.com/FinalCut) is that high-end steakhouse. Finally, a place locally for residents and visiting gamblers to enjoy a “fancy” meal was available. I was able to go a couple of years ago on opening night because I was on the Chamber of Commerce board, which was a treat. It was a bit nuts and they were obviously figuring some things out. On July 4th, my wife and I went again.
Full disclosure, we were comped this meal (other than alcohol and tip), but I will not let that affect my review. We walked in, and it was not very crowded. I wasn’t sure what to expect on July 4th, but figured it would be a bit more crowded with gamblers and locals. Our waitress was friendly when she greeted us, and we sat down to a food menu as well as a wine menu presented on an iPad. It was actually a bit cumbersome navigating the digital wine list, as with a standard large wine list you can see more choices in one page rather than going back and forth on the iPad. Once we chose our bottle of wine (a decent Chianti) we looked at the appetizers. There were some good choices…baked brie, calamari, tuna tartare, a shrimp cocktail, and the final cut signature crab cake. I went with the crab cake (jumbo lump, no breading, citrus aioli, and roasted pineapple relish). My wife ordered the wedge salad (wedge of lettuce with crisp bacon, maytag blue cheese, red onion, tomato, and house made ranch). Both dishes were good. The wedge was crisp and fresh tasting. The crab cake was nice…not the best I’ve had but was tasty and went very well with the pineapple relish.
Of course the real reason you go to a steakhouse is…the steak. We each chose the 12 oz Filet Mignon, cooked medium for me and medium-rare for my wife. As our sides, my wife chose broccolini and I ordered the cast iron cornbread. Before I get to the steaks, the sides were just OK. The broccolini was standard, which was expected. Unfortunately, so was the corn bread. I was thinking it was going to be some really good stuff…I love corn bread. While it was certainly “pretty good,” it didn’t stand out at all and tasted like a good package of it that I could buy from Kroger. At a restaurant like this I expected more actual pieces of corn baked into high-quality bread.
Fortunately, the filets were really good. Cooked exactly how we asked for them, and seared with nice seasoning on top. The steaks were both very tender and melted in your mouth. I’m happy to say I got to eat my wife’s leftovers for lunch the next day. Any lunch that includes about 4 ounces of filet is pretty awesome. I really don’t have any complaints. The cuts didn’t seem quite as high-quality as Morton’s or Jeff Ruby’s, but the price of Final Cut is quite a bit less than those establishments.
My biggest complaint of the restaurant is something that probably won’t ever be fixed…ambiance. The actual restaurant was nice…lots of dark wood, comfortable seating, and a pretty slick bar area (H Bar) make up the surroundings. However, outside of the restaurant (where you have to go to use the restroom, by the way…weird) it is pretty limited. The casino itself is pretty nice. However, there is literally nowhere else to go after you eat if you don’t want to gamble. There is literally no other development along the river in Downtown Lawrenceburg where you could walk out of the casino and find entertainment (and spend more money locally). No bars or other restaurants worth hitting up. Not many shops or anything at all. That’s the issue here…if you go out to Morton’s, Jeff Ruby’s, or even the Horseshoe Casino in Downtown Cincinnati, you have dozens and dozens of bars, restaurants, and sporting events to walk to. You can take your date out to a great dinner and then go take a walk thru the city. That’s impossible here and in my opinion, is part of what you pay so much for…an overall experience. Final Cut is missing that part of what is my idea of an experience. That said if you are going to Hollywood to gamble and don’t care about that or if you just like to go out to eat and then go home, this is great. Great food, good service, and reasonably priced.