Downtown Grill sits quietly in a hidden alley in downtown Macon as it has for over a decade. Inside is a classic steakhouse, with two-inch thick steaks, leather banquets and lighting just low enough to make everyone look good.
Much of the decor has been updated. Gone are the homemade shields and cheap-looking booths. Now there are glamorous tufted seats, a private party back room, and a meeting room for large groups upstairs. You still have to pass through a stuffy smoking area, which temporarily dampens the experience, but once you are seated in the dining room everything is a pleasure.
We began with the crab cake appetizer and a cheese board. The crab cakes for $9.95 are well-priced, with plenty of lump crab and a spicy remoulade. The cheese board, with slices of toasted bread and local honey, could benefit from a little palate-cleansing fruit but had a good variety of cheeses for $14.95. Other appetizers include sea scallops with fettuccini, mussels in white wine and fried artichoke hearts.
The regular menu hasn't changed in years, but there are always lots of daily specials. From the menu, we chose the filet mignon for $35.95 and the ribeye for $27.95. Both were generous cuts of tender aged beef, cooked properly to order, served with two sides. If you're a beef lover and willing to pay for quality, this is your place.
To balance these decadent menu regulars, we selected the fish special for $30.95. While this seems a bit high for trout, the kitchen graciously split it — and our sides — for us before it was brought to the table, creating two decently priced meals. The trout was baked in a slightly smoky, slightly spicy andouille coating and was a pleasant balance to the spinach side and cheese grit soufflé.
We were too full for dessert, but I know from past experience that the owner enjoys creating inventive desserts, often with local ingredients. Cigar aficionados should check out their cigar lockers, where you can store your own and come enjoy them with a lovely glass of something in their manly bar. This is one secret location that is worth finding.
Address: 562 Mulberry Street Lane
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-until
Payment: Credit card, cash
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 84
Price range: $14.95-$27.95
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.