AP Stumps

★★★★☆

About AP Stumps

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  • Steakhouse Restaurants

Food

Food
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El Rancho Steakhouse

3848 Monterey Hwy San Jose, CA

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Maceio

72 S 1st St San Jose, CA

4.0 2
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Absolutely fantastic! The steak was wonderfully cooked and melted in your mouth. The service was amazing. The decor was lovely and romantic. It was a perfect evening!

4
★★★★☆

Absolutely fantastic! The steak was wonderfully cooked and melted in your mouth. The service was amazing. The decor was lovely and romantic. It was a perfect evening!

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The establishment can feel either romantic or aristocratic in atmosphere and design. Dimly lit sconces and ceiling lights throughout the restaurant set an intimate mood, where either sweet-nothings OR savvy business deals can be exchanged under the cover of dark. The booths are spacious settings of plush high-backs and draped white tablecloths; oddly, I felt like the booths were so big, they kept (two) friends too far apart, yet feel too empty when dates/couples are cozy'd up close. The majority of the dining room's decor, in crafted fine wood and hues of sienna and mahogany, safely achieves a typical "classy" feel without any real standout style or character or panache. Blah.

Where the scenery only elicits a token "hmph, fancy" response, the service absolutely shines! Our server, Leslie(sp?), was amazingly courteous and attentive. She was thoroughly knowledgeable and well-expressed in regards to the menu and what she personally liked; her delectable description of the swordfish ALMOST drew me away from the 14 oz. New York I'd set my mind to. (I almost suspect that the vague menu descriptions are by design, so that the very personal touch of someone describing the dishes to you cements your decisions and whets your appetite.) In any regard, she was perfectly attentive from beginning to end, through every course. The service staff here run a well-oiled machine; water and drinks rarely left unfilled, courses served perfectly in time as the previous ends, dishes cleared quickly and silverware changed.

Alas. The food itself. -sigh- Sort of a mixed bag. I was fond of the appetizers, salads, and dessert, but sadly, found the entree unexceptional.

+ Dinner began with a warm sourdough, the moist crumb delicately tart on the tongue, the crust crispy and chewy.
+ For the salad course, I opted for the A.P. Stump's Heirloom Beet salad; a nice avant-garde offering in taste and aesthetics, if a tad underwhelming in portion.
+ Our appetizer; a teasing plate of calamari and shrimp, garnished with jalapenos, served with a tasty miso chili aioli.
+ For dessert, though the molten chocolate cake seems to be their flagship item, we opted for the cinnamon-sugar doughnut with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate (yes, a "beignet" anywhere else). It's well crafted, IMO, and perfectly suited for sharing (if just a taste is all you need).

- The entree. For a "chop house" with glowing editorials and reviews, I was broadly unimpressed. The 14oz. New York I had was indeed a great CUT and GRAIN. And it was cooked (uncooked?) just the way I like it; cool and rare inside, encased in a caramelized sear. But aside from its cut and texture, the flavor was bland. As was the cream of spinach; bland, despite having bits of smoked bacon in it, bland. The mashed potatoes, whipped with a touch of butter, was good, but by no means did I come here for mashed potatoes.

4
★★★★☆

The establishment can feel either romantic or aristocratic in atmosphere and design. Dimly lit sconces and ceiling lights throughout the restaurant set an intimate mood, where either sweet-nothings OR savvy business deals can be exchanged under the cover of dark. The booths are spacious settings of plush high-backs and draped white tablecloths; oddly, I felt like the booths were so big, they kept (two) friends too far apart, yet feel too empty when dates/couples are cozy'd up close. The majority of the dining room's decor, in crafted fine wood and hues of sienna and mahogany, safely achieves a typical "classy" feel without any real standout style or character or panache. Blah.

Where the scenery only elicits a token "hmph, fancy" response, the service absolutely shines! Our server, Leslie(sp?), was amazingly courteous and attentive. She was thoroughly knowledgeable and well-expressed in regards to the menu and what she personally liked; her delectable description of the swordfish ALMOST drew me away from the 14 oz. New York I'd set my mind to. (I almost suspect that the vague menu descriptions are by design, so that the very personal touch of someone describing the dishes to you cements your decisions and whets your appetite.) In any regard, she was perfectly attentive from beginning to end, through every course. The service staff here run a well-oiled machine; water and drinks rarely left unfilled, courses served perfectly in time as the previous ends, dishes cleared quickly and silverware changed.

Alas. The food itself. -sigh- Sort of a mixed bag. I was fond of the appetizers, salads, and dessert, but sadly, found the entree unexceptional.

+ Dinner began with a warm sourdough, the moist crumb delicately tart on the tongue, the crust crispy and chewy.
+ For the salad course, I opted for the A.P. Stump's Heirloom Beet salad; a nice avant-garde offering in taste and aesthetics, if a tad underwhelming in portion.
+ Our appetizer; a teasing plate of calamari and shrimp, garnished with jalapenos, served with a tasty miso chili aioli.
+ For dessert, though the molten chocolate cake seems to be their flagship item, we opted for the cinnamon-sugar doughnut with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate (yes, a "beignet" anywhere else). It's well crafted, IMO, and perfectly suited for sharing (if just a taste is all you need).

- The entree. For a "chop house" with glowing editorials and reviews, I was broadly unimpressed. The 14oz. New York I had was indeed a great CUT and GRAIN. And it was cooked (uncooked?) just the way I like it; cool and rare inside, encased in a caramelized sear. But aside from its cut and texture, the flavor was bland. As was the cream of spinach; bland, despite having bits of smoked bacon in it, bland. The mashed potatoes, whipped with a touch of butter, was good, but by no means did I come here for mashed potatoes.

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