For Valentine's Day, StfRon had called the Fish House weeks ahead to make reservations, only to be told that for parties of two they were not accepting reservations. We decided to take our chances anyway, but when we showed up we were told that the wait was two hours.
Considering the group of people leaning against the walls in the narrow hallway and the beginnings of a growling stomach, we decided to try someplace else.
Since we were so close, we decided to check in at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen Avenue in Peoria. We had not had dinner there in ages, although I did attend a lunchtime banquet there last year.
At the podium just inside the door we were told the wait would be about an hour and 15 minutes. The lobby and lounge area was not uncomfortably crowded, nor was it loud, so we decided to put our name on the list.
Within five or 10 minutes, we were able to find seats at a table in the lounge to continue our wait. The carpet in the room must help a lot with soundproofing, because I expected it to be a lot more noisy than it was. As we waited, we admired the rustic barn style beams throughout the lounge.
I'm not sure if we ended up waiting the entire hour and 15 before being seated. If we did, it was a pleasant wait before we were called and whisked back to one of the banquet rooms in the back of the restaurant. The atmosphere was fairly light and bright in the party room, and several people joked as they were brought in that they felt like they were at a wedding reception.
No worries, though. Our server was apologetic, although she didn't have any need to be; the huge prime rib was great quality, despite probably being cranked out in large quantities all night; my petite filet was great and served just as I had ordered it; my sweet potato was superbly done and about the size of a football; my French onion soup was good; the bread was doughy and delicious; our wine was quite decent and we had a fun time. StfRon ordered the au gratin potatoes, and they were fine, but he prefers the sweeter version some other restaurants serve.
I'm actually in the process of reading a novel right now set in 1949 where the main character just took his date to the Lariat Steakhouse for a date. The place certainly knows their steaks and has obviously been doing a lot of things right for a lot of years.
For an unplanned stop, our night out more than met our expectations. We won't stay away for so long this time!