Like sashimi or carpaccio, some reviews are better when they’re fresh and raw. Below are some of the wonderful things that have been said about us in the media. In addition, click here to see what some of our other guests have to say about us.
Awards and Media Reviews for Cameron's Steakhouse:
While some folks head out to the patio in boots and a parka in sleet and snow, most of us at least wait until the daffodils start poking their heads out of the ground to light up our grills. When that delightful spring day occurs, there is nothing more delicious than grilling a succulent steak to perfection. The key, however, is how to achieve perfection.
“The first step is choosing the cut of steak that meets your taste buds,” says Jeff Lindemeyer, executive chef at Cameron’s Steakhouse, who is truly an expert at choosing, preparing, and cooking excellent steaks. “It all depends on the marbling. You want the steak real nice and red, with lots of marbling, unless it’s a filet. Then you want it nice and round.”
Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market is he ideal place for home cooks to acquire premier cuts of meat. The butcher counter explains that a Delmonico, which comes from the prime rib, is a great steak to grill because it has a lot of marblization, so it’s juicy and tender. A rib eye is similar to a Delmonico, but with a bone. A New York strip steak is also very flavorful, with a little less fat. A filet, part of the tenderloin, is the leanest, with minimal marbling.
Lindemeyer suggests seasoning the steak well before grilling to maximize the flavor. “We roll our steaks in olive oil on each side, and sprinkle on steak dust, a combination of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder,” he says. “The oil gets it wet so the seasonings don’t burn.”
Lindemeyer says the key to cooking a great steak is to heat the grill or pan as high as it can get to sear the steak to lock in all the flavor and juices. After cooking, let it sit for five minutes to allow the juices to settle.
Simply Wine owner Ed Bosse suggests Nougan Cabernet, $15, to go with steak. “It’s a South Australian wine that’s got a grainy ripe plum quality to it that goes great with a juicy steak,” he says.
Joe Mlynarek of Hawthorne Home Appliance and Electronics notes that indoor cooktop grills, which are electric, not gas, offer a decent amount of power but will not be as high powered as an outdoor grill. Whether you choose gas or charcoal is a matter of taste and time.
A steak, glass of red wine, accompanied by a salad and fresh asparagus or corn. Is there anything simpler or more perfect?
With its tree-lined lanes and village green, the Bayshore Town Center typically implements warm and fuzzy tones, the color of suburbia. But one tenant, Cameron’s Steakhouse, is different from the rest. With many of its architectural surfaces colored a sleek jet black, windows framed in cool aluminum, Cameron’s is being billed as an American steakhouse for the 21st century.
What does a 21st-century steakhouse look like? The entry is as sleek as the exterior, with a high-tech reservation and seating system. Loud jazz music fills the interior, with thematic paintings to match. A large bar accompanied by tables is set in the center room; a separate dining area rimmed with booths offers tables in the center; and a side dining area – the best spot in the house – only offers booths. Private rooms are available for larger parties. Customers appear well heeled, and they should: Menu prices rank among the priciest in this area.
There are compensations, however. The modern bar area practically shouts, “Have a martini!” The menu lists a grape crush made with fresh-squeezed grapes and limes. The olives are stuffed by hand. Perhaps the one filled with prosciutto and bleu cheese? The wine list is extensive, though few bottles are less than $30 and the most inexpensive glass is $6.95. The champagne selection would make this a prime spot for a New Year’s Eve splurge.
Appetizers are mostly composed of seafood. The “Raw Bar” lists oysters, Maine lobster, lump crab and other maritime treats. Then there are escargot, calamari, and a wild mushroom sauté. The sole meat item is the dry aged carpaccio ($10.95), paper-thin slices of Kansas City strip topped with the usual arugula and the quirkier Yukon gold potato chips. While the chips are perfect and add a bit of substance, they seem out of place.
After the fresh loaf of baked bread arrives, consider a salad. The house salad ($6.95) is chopped leaf lettuce with crumbled herbed goat cheese and the scarce heart of palm, dressed with sherry vinaigrette. Showing a nice touch, the server split the order at no extra charge. Other salads include spinach, a Caesar and the now mandatory steakhouse wedge.
Quite naturally the entrees revolve around red meat. There are also a few seafood choices and roast chicken. Vegetarians will have to resort to salads or one of many side dishes. Fortunately, the prime steaks live up to the hype. The quality ranks with the very best locally. Filet Mignon Oscar ($33.95 to $39.93) is an 8 or 12 oz. charbroiled at 1,200 degrees. The Oscar touch is a luxuriant topping of lump crabmeat in a béarnaise sauce. Large and very tender spears of asparagus sit on the side. Bone-in ribeyes are currently as hot as the broiler. The gorgonzola ribeye ($36.95) is a 20 oz. slathered with thin slices of sautéed mushroom and onion with just enough gorgonzola cheese to announce its presence without overwhelming the beef. It’s a disciplined production.
While I find the music a tad too loud and the tables too crowded, Cameron’s is unlike other steakhouses with its unabashed urbanity, much in the style of Manhattan. Count on at least two hours for dinner. Than again, at these prices one should never be in a rush. The back bar cleverly adds a bit of magic to the experience; backlit bottles of vodka sparkle like diamonds, the gin bottles like emeralds in a giant jewel box.
Cameron Mitchell's restaurant group debuted in Birmingham with the opening of Mitchell's Fish Market in 2003. The company opened Cameron's Steakhouse on Sept. 18, next door to Mitchell's Fish Market on Willits.
With its Rat Pack-era theme, rich walnut woods and jazz-influenced art, the atmosphere at Cameron's Steakhouse breaks away from the distinctly nautical Mitchell's Fish Market. A piano bar, dark leather upholstery, white tablecloths and logo-engraved china mark Cameron's as sophisticated yet unpretentious.
Well, maybe a little pretentious if you consider the gold flake-garnished $100 Martini made with 150-year-old Grand Marnier as the principal ingredient!
Upon entering the 220-seat (165 non-smoking) Cameron's, diners are greeted by a hostess at a station in front of a water wall. They can't miss the giant wine display of some 300 different wine selections ranging from $30 to $1,000.
Owner and president Cameron Mitchell is the creative dynamo behind the restaurant group Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The company has grown from a single unit in 1993 to 25 units with nine different concepts in six states. Birmingham is the third Steakhouse restaurant in the company to open.
Mitchell knows the restaurant industry from the dishwasher to the president's desk, and knew since high school that he wanted to pursue a career in the restaurant business.
In 1979, he got his first opportunity as a dishwasher at a local Columbus, Ohio, steakhouse. A few years later, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and began to climb the corporate ladder of another Columbus restaurant group. As an entrepreneur in 1993, he left to form his own company, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.
After working as a line cook during high school, Cameron's Steakhouse Executive Chef Jeff Lindemeyer pursued his love for cooking as a full-time career and earned an associate's degree from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh. Part of his education included a four-month "externship" at Mitchell's Steakhouse at Crosswoods, Ohio.
He stayed on as a line cook after graduation and has been with the Cameron Mitchell group ever since. At Cameron's Steakhouse, Chef Jeff considers himself the broiler king. "The broiler station," he said, "centers on the reason why people come to a steakhouse. I like preparing steaks and being able to impress people with how good they look and taste."
And just what is that look? "A good char," answered General Manager Michael Mijia. "The steak will be served butter-brushed and look shiny, but it will not be swimming in butter."
Cameron's Steakhouse serves all U.S. prime beef. Only 2 percent of beef produced in the U.S. is prime. "When our servers ask," Mijia continued, "'How would you like your steak prepared?' and the diner answers, the server explains the choice by color and temperature so diners know what to expect."
OUT OF THE ORDINARY
Certainly, serving prime beef sets Cameron's apart but there's more. Like all great steakhouses, Cameron's serves seafood but with a different twist called, "Create Your Own Shellfish Platter." It may include Maine lobster, Alaskan king crab legs, jumbo lump crabmeat and jumbo (eight to the pound) shrimp cocktail. If you order "the works," it's $40.
Go all out and have it with a glass of Dom Perignon Champagne ($35) or a glass of Cakebread Chardonnay ($30). With that steak, a glass of Joseph Phelps Insignia will only set you back $30.
Mijia defined Cameron's Steakhouse service. "Great people delivering genuine hospitality. When I hire waitstaff, I hire personality then train them to serve well."
Where: 115 Willits St., Birmingham (248) 723-1700
Open: Dinner only, 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday
Food style: Contemporary yet classic steakhouse featuring prime and dry-aged steaks
Cost: Main courses $20-$45
Smoking: In bar area only
Contact Eleanor Heald at email@example.com.
Friday, October 8, 2004
It could be a contender. In fact, I think it’s definitely on its way.
Despite the number of upscale steakhouses scattered throughout the area, Cameron’s Steakhouse, newly opened on the ground floor of the luxurious Willits condos in Birmingham, and elbow-to-elbow with its sibling, Mitchell’s Fish Market, has all the earmarks of success.
Despite its Columbus, Ohio, origins, it has an ambiance that more than one diner has called “New Yorky.” Soft lights, plush linens, parquet floors, dark leather upholstery, artfully placed mirrors and curtains that divide the space into a series of rooms give the restaurant an intimate feeling that disguises its capacity.
The U-shaped bar with its glossy walnut surface — just to the right of the entrance where splashing curtains of water cascade down glass panels — is already becoming a popular gathering place. And it almost goes without saying that the wine list is superior, ranging from an impressive list of reds from the great vineyards of Bordeaux to some 40 cabernets from California and a dozen true champagnes.
Artwork in a jazz theme and background music emphasizing the lush Frank Sinatra/Tony Bennett styles add to the feeling. It is a complete departure from the much more casual Mitchell’s next door.
In the early going, Cameron’s is already drawing an audience of movers and shakers, and a number of proprietors of other restaurants have stopped by to see what’s up.
Cameron’s offers a classic, a la carte steakhouse menu of prime cuts of meat, served either relatively unadorned or in such variations as filet mignon Oscar with toppings of lump crabmeat and bearnaise sauce, and ribeye with gorgonzola and sautéed mushrooms and onions.
I’ve always believed a really good steak didn’t need much enhancement, but the cognac sauce on the New York strip au poivre the other evening was almost enough to convert me. It was rich, but not overly so, and it gave the tender, medium-rare meat a little extra appeal.
An especially harmonious appetizer to precede a luxurious cut of red meat is a sauté of wild mushrooms — portobellos, shiitake and button — atop rounds of sourdough bread and garnished with watercress.
There’s something unmistakably elegant about watercress, and it is a recurring garnish on the big white plates.
Despite its seafood sibling next door, Cameron’s offers several seafood appetizers, including oysters, chilled lobster and king crab legs, and also allows diners to create their own shellfish platter. One table did just that the other night, resulting in a showstopping presentation that had neighboring diners eyeing the icy mound piled high with seafood that was delivered to the couple. (It also has a showstopping price: upwards of $40.)
This is luxury dining, with a well-trained staff in white stewards’ jackets serving to white-linen-covered tables, and service includes many nice touches. The lobster bisque, for instance, is poured into the soup plates at the table from a little pitcher.
All of the accompaniments, from seven potato treatments ranging from garlic mashed to Lyonnaise (all $5.95), and vegetables including creamed spinach, cauliflower with cheddar and asparagus with béarnaise (all $6.50), are meant for sharing and in most cases are enough for three.
Breads are made-in-house, as are the classic (and classically rich) desserts of New York cheesecake, crème brulee and chocolate confections such as lava cake and turtle cake, which, like the side dishes, ought to be shared.
Cameron’s Steakhouse is one of the stable of restaurants run by Ohio entrepreneur Cameron Mitchell.
It is obviously the flagship of the bunch, and it is going to do very well in affluent Birmingham, where people are willing to spend money as long as the value is commensurate with the price.
And Cameron’s delivers sophisticated ambiance, good service and well-prepared American fare with just the right helping of panache.
October 15, 2004
Is there a wedge salad? Sure.
French onion soup and a creamed spinach side? Absolutely.
How about a New York strip, the obligatory giant Porterhouse, and filet mignons and lobster tails? Check, check and double-check.
Cameron's Steakhouse in downtown Birmingham won't win any prizes for menu originality, but probably to its credit, it didn't set out to reinvent the genre, either. With a few minor variations, it offers essentially the same lineup you'll find at the nationally known, high-end chains steak lovers have been supporting for years. It has the numerous sizes and cuts of big, aged, prime steaks seared at a gazillion degrees; the wide array of appetizers, soups, salads and sides that steak eaters have come to expect; an extensive wine list dominated by reds, and plenty of super-rich desserts including, of course, cheesecake.
It's an almost infallible formula, and Cameron's executes it with style.
But what distinguishes this newcomer is its urbane attitude. Its look is still decidedly rich, but it's more contemporary than many of the older national chains. No football pictures or golfing prints hang here. No piles of giant potatoes serve as decorations. No glass cases display cuts of aging meat. At Cameron's, the décor is all about elegance, comfort ... even sensuousness.
The zen begins in the foyer, where waterfalls cascade down three tall panels of clear glass and gurgle into a bed of dark, round, polished stones. And it continues around the corner into the cocktail lounge, where the back wall of the utterly gorgeous bar glows with color and soft, warm light, illuminating not only the bar itself but a dozen or so high tops draped in the same kind of heavy white linens that cover the dining tables.
The dining room, skillfully subdivided into smaller, more intimate spaces, is darker but equally inviting.
Darkest-toned walnut woodwork, richly grained wood floors and almost-black finishes on the chairs and bar stools make a masculine, traditional statement. But it's moderated by a few well-chosen, retro-influenced design elements, especially the brushed chrome rectangles mounted on champagne-colored soffits near the ceiling, and the drum-shaped, honey-colored lamp shades that turn the chandeliers' light warm and golden. Intriguing, highly stylized paintings of jazz musicians add staccato notes of color and energy to the walls.
Tables are dressed to impress with heavy white linens, substantial-feeling flatware and a forest of good stemware that gleams in the light of a votive candle.
Be careful, though, or you could embarrass yourself by toppling those tall glasses as you open your oversized menu card to see the wine list inside. At 18 1/2 inches tall and 13 inches wide - before it's opened - the menu is nearly as large as this newspaper page.
After the klutz test, start with something chilled from the seafood raw bar or one of Cameron's eight appetizers. Choosing the wild mushroom sauté brings a generally pleasant but predictable plate of portobello, shiitake and button mushrooms in a dark, wine-flavored sauce served over a thick slice of toasted sourdough. But if you're feeling a bit adventurous, order the beautifully presented beef tenderloin carpaccio -- lots of chilled, amazingly thin slices of raw, peppered beef laid over a wide platter and artfully painted with a web of white, horseradish-flavored sauce and served with crisp potato chips. A dish that can be a turnoff in the wrong hands is a winner here. The smoked salmon appetizer proves to be a similar presentation with different garnishes, including fried capers, red onion and salmon mousse, great for sharing at the table.
Fans of lobster bisque shouldn't miss the unbelievably smooth texture and luscious flavor of Cameron's version, though the French onion soup gets points for not being too salty. If light and fresh is what your palate craves, choose the Chop House Salad of mixed greens with tomatoes, piquant hearts of palm and a just-right sherry vinaigrette, one of five offered here. Soup and salads are $6-$7; appetizers range up to $13, or more for some raw bar items.
But you're here, for heaven's sake, to eat steak - to grasp a sharply serrated knife and glide it through a dark, well-seared exterior and into the rosy center of a succulent piece of beef.
Have at it with an 18-ounce Bone-In Kansas City Strip -- really a New York strip, our waiter explained, but cooked on the bone for added flavor. The meaty, caramelized flavors stood out, and the kitchen had prepared it medium-rare as ordered. If your appetite is lighter, the 8-ounce filet mignon is the obvious choice, and ours delivered fine flavor.
Especially dainty eaters might consider the Twin Bacon-Wrapped Filets, which are cut more thinly but still weigh, I'd estimate, about 4 ounces each. At $22.95, they're $4 less than the regular 8-ounce single filet, and one could be saved for lunch the next day. Order the temperature carefully; the ones I tasted were slightly more done than I would have liked.
I wish I had been able to taste the 22-ounce Long-Bone Ribeye from the Prime Cuts section of the menu, where 10 steak and chop choices come just as you wish -- unadorned or with your choice of several sauces. Instead, inspired by our waiter's enthusiastic description, I took a chance on the dolled-up Gorgonzola Ribeye, topped with Gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms and onions, listed in the Steak Specialties section. I should have followed my instincts and gone the purist route, because the toppings masked some of the flavor even after I scraped them off.
Maybe the real problem was the generous drizzling of Espagnole sauce, which the kitchen automatically added to it, as well as to some other dishes. It's a dark sauce reduction blended with a hint of tomato, I think, and some other flavors I can't put my finger on. Given the choice, I'd skip it or at least have it on the side.
Do try the rosemary port wine sauce if you order the 12-ounce veal chop, however. Our waiter suggested it, too, and it added a much bolder, more exciting flavor to the inherently mild veal. Likewise, the tarragon-kissed bearnaise sauce was an unexpectedly delicious complement to the nicely grilled Atlantic Salmon filet.
The waitstaff is fond of describing the signature Cameron's Mashed potatoes as "creamy and dreamy." Indeed, with their intense potato flavor and light, silken texture, they shouldn't be missed. The Half and Half potatoes, which we thought the waiter described as a combination of fried onion rings and cottage fries, were a letdown. The onions were the thin, deep-fried strands sometimes called straw, and the cottage fries seemed to be baked potato slices that were floured and deep-fried to create a crisp, battered coating. The hash browns, served on a bed of sauteed onions, are a better onion-and-potato dish.
Not that you'll probably have any room for dessert here, but if you order it anyway, try the cheesecake or the chocolate volcano cake. And expect a white-coated server to arrive at your table with freshly whipped cream and ask if you'd like some added to your plate.
Our servers were personable, attentive, well-trained in managing the glassware, silverware and other implements between courses, and -- other than the bum steer on the Gorgonzola Ribeye -- their comments on the food were mostly well-informed.
Cameron's is owned by the Columbus, Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants group, which also owns Mitchell's Fish Market next door. This is the company's first steakhouse outside its hometown, and it opened barely a month ago, so we can expect some fine tuning to occur.
In the meantime, though, there's little reason to hang back. Steak's up!
As next-door neighbor to Mitchell’s Fish Market, Cameron’s Steakhouse joins the plush Birmingham neighborhood with this exquisite establishment. The ambiance is spectacular and the piano bar adds to the sophisticated setting. Real D readers voted it tops for its fine choices of prime and dry-aged steaks, complimented by a 200-bottle wine list.
The Perfect Steak
Review By: Birmingham Magazine, Spring 2007
21st – Century Steaks: Have a Martini at Cameron’s
Review By: Jeff Beutner, Shepherd Express
Cameron's Steakhouse, sophisticated, yet overall unpretentious
Review By: Eleanor Heald, Birmingham Eccentric
New Cameron's Steakhouse serves fine food in a stylish manner
Review By: Molly Abraham, The Detroit News
New Steakhouse has Contemporary Decor
Review By: Sylvia Rector, Detroit Free Press
Best Steakhouse: Cameron’s Steakhouse
Review By: Real Detroit Weekly