We always go out for Christmas Eve dinner. We've gone to every fine dining restaurant on the north side in the past, but I've never been to J. Alexanders, although my husband has for work dinners. I had heard it was upscale and very nice. It was on par with other steakhouses in its immediate vicinity. The best thing about this visit was that our waiter, Bob, was excellent. He was knowledgeable, had recommendations, and was always attentive, picking up dishes almost immediately when we finished with them. This was, of course, an extremely busy night, so that was way above our expectations. He was very pleasant as well and even chatted a bit, just enough, when he had time. We had reservations and arrived about 8 minutes early and were immediately taken to a booth. I loved the booth situation. They are comfortable and are designed to seem separate unto themselves. You don't get the feeling there is a wall with someone immediately behind you. Very nice. The ambiance was bustling, as expected, but the noise level was absurd. As far as food, we liked the caeser salads very much and my husband was crazy for the roasted chicken. My preferred way of eating steak is with maitre d' butter, so I was pleased with that, but my steak had a lot of fat and gristle. It wasn't the greatest steak, I have to say. I was told the mac n cheese is awesome. It was good, but wish I had ordered the mashed potatoes as a substitution. The mac was pretty heavy. We shared a chocolate cake for dessert. It was just okay. The best chocolate cake, to me, can be found at Local Roots. This one was pedestrian and the vanilla ice cream that came with it wasn't a quality one, and had ice crystals throughout besides. It is sad that I liked almost everything about this restaurant except for the food, which I found just mediocre. Not bad, just nothing to write home about. There are other restaurants I would choose before it, but would have no problem returning if they were unavailable.
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