Michael Dominick's Lincoln Avenue

Written by Gwen Ashley Walters Category: Food Reviews Issue: February 2012
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The Mastro family’s newest luxury steakhouse lives up to its grandiose name with prime beef cuts, hot veal chops and a lavish atmosphere.

Even if you don’t have a million bucks, you’ll feel like it at Michael Dominick’s Lincoln Avenue Prime Steakhouse at the Scottsdale Quarter. From the moment you pull into the valet and pass through the revolving door to the minute you waddle out with a shiny black sack of leftovers, this fine dining destination from the Mastro family of Mastro’s City Hall and Ocean Club fame (Michael Dominick is their imaginary friend, maybe?) is a living-large fantasy come true. It’s part old Mastro’s, part new Scottsdale glitterati.

Beyond the marbled reception area with embossed leather walls – and three hostesses – a velvet curtain opens to approximately 10,000 square feet divided into four luxurious levels: the main level, a sunken bar, a mezzanine level and a partially-enclosed rooftop dining room with a 15-foot-by-25-foot reflection pool as its centerpiece. 

The bar area provides a perfect place to graze on appetizers, like delectable, herby crab cake ($14.95) or fried meatballs ($9.95) – five plump, juicy orbs paired with marinara sauce. We cleaned our palates with an iceberg wedge salad ($7.95) – typical steakhouse fare, with crumbled salty bacon, diced tomatoes and a blue cheese dressing that could have used a touch more vinegar.

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On the mezzanine level, maroon-jacketed waiters take your order and fuss over you while white-jacketed waiters deliver and remove dishes like a choreographed dance. The quietest and most romantic spot is the rooftop, with a $70,000 retractable glass roof for sky gazing even in inclement weather.

For starters, order the light, refreshing burrata and roasted peppers ($13.95) to share. Scampi-style shrimp Dominick ($17.95) is skimpy with just three jumbo shrimp, but it’s divinely garlicky. 

Dominick’s prime-grade beef is butchered in-house, aged for 28 to 31 days, cut to order, rubbed with a secret special spice mixture, broiled at 1,800 degrees and finished with clarified butter. I sank my teeth into three incarnations: the not-so-petite, oh-so-tender 9-ounce filet mignon ($37.95); the exquisite, well-marbled, pleasantly chewy 20-ounce bone-in rib-eye ($46.95); and perhaps the best veal chop (14-ounce, $45.95) I’ve ever put in my mouth.

Seafood is prepared one of two ways: braised in lemon and white wine or spiedini-style, covered in buttered breadcrumbs and broiled. The pinkish Arctic Char ($29.95) is exceptionally mild and moist.
House specialties include veal parmesan or piccata, both $39.95, and fettucini Alfredo ($21.95). There is also fillet of sole Francese ($37.95), egg battered, fried and served with a lemon butter sauce.

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From left: shrimp Dominick • burrata and roasted peppers

Most of the sides serve four to six diners. I wasn’t crazy about the criminally-rich lobster Alfredo gnocchi ($24.95); several lobster claw pieces were overcooked and some of the thread-spool size gnocchi were undercooked and gummy. I was crazy about the equally rich Dominick’s au gratin potatoes ($9.95), smothered in smoked gouda and sharp provolone. Steakhouse tater tots ($8.95) are crunchy outside and chive-flecked inside. Skip the stem-infested sautéed baby spinach ($9.95) with a vault of garlic and instead dive into the luscious creamed spinach spiedini ($8.95), covered in buttered breadcrumbs.

Desserts are not as memorable as the rest of the menu. Warm banana caramel cake ($8.95) is reminiscent of the old Mastro’s warm butter cake but falls short. And paying $8.95 for three tennis ball-size scoops of lemoncello sorbeto served with a side of whipped cream is ridiculous.

The Valley is hardly a steak wasteland, but what sets Dominick’s apart is the compound effect of its many delights and courtesies. Sometimes it’s worth spending a hundred bucks to feel like a million.

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Michael Dominick’s Lincoln Avenue Prime Steakhouse
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Address: 15169 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Phone: 480-272-7271
Website: dominickssteakhouse.com
Hours: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; bar open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Highlights: Burrata and roasted peppers ($13.95), fried meatballs ($9.95), bone-in veal chop ($45.95), bone-in rib-eye, 20 oz. ($46.95), steakhouse tater tots ($8.95), Dominick’s au gratin potatoes ($9.95).

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