Business dinners romantic evenings or a spot to impress your father-in-law "" Hy’s fits the bill. This is as good as it gets in steakhouses. With its soft-light environment plush banquettes and filet mignon coupled with an extensive wine list Hy’s is sure to please steak lovers of all kinds. I was only a teeny bit hesitant to take on the assignment of dining at such a reputable establishment as Hy’s but alas duty calls.

Since I didn’t have a list of potential Saturday night dates I obliged a colleague to whom we shall refer as The Date. It’s a good thing I’m not part of the low fat vegetarian population otherwise I would have missed an opportunity to enjoy the succulent charcoal-broiled steaks that are Hy’s raison d’être. Still there are ample alternatives for the non-steak lover such as the baked shellfish thermidor and Hy’s stuffed chicken. But we went the carnivorous route.

The Date and I started with the baked oysters Rockefeller [$12.95] and escargot a la Hy’s [$12.95] "" both of which were flavorful and delectable to the last bite. I was never a big fan of raw oysters but this was an exception. It was cooked just enough that the flavor of the oysters wasn’t overpowering but will still please those who look forward to the taste of the ocean served on a half shell. The buttery cheesy escargot dish was my favorite so creamy and just bursting with flavor in each bite. The server kept us supplied with garlic bread but we didn’t want to fill up on the starters as the best was yet to come.

Next up came my Hy’s special house salad [$5.95] which was placed on a dinner plate. I only ate about a third of the dish because as The Date put it "I don’t want to fill up on shrubbery." He opted for the daily homemade soup [$4.95] which on that Saturday night was a hearty vegetable soup. I was a bit jealous of the table next to us who ordered the Caesar salad prepared tableside as my salad was brought already prepared. So I looked over to see the server preparing an authentic Caesar down to the raw egg whites. I’ll remember to order that next time.

Then came the climax "" the main course. I think The Date had to hold himself back from salivating when the server laid the filet mignon and lobster [market price] in front of him. Described as "the best of land and sea " the meal was a definite pleaser complete with a side of veggies and buttery dipping sauce. He also ordered a side of the sautéed spinach [$6.95] which was a tad salty for my taste but may please other palates. I had the tournedos Rossini [$29.95] "" two small filet mignons en croute and topped with pate de fois gras and mushrooms also a pleaser. The meat was so tender; the knife went through it as if it were butter. As good as it was I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing because I had to save room for the popular flambé desserts that people told me I "have to" try. Why resist?

At the risk of needing to be rolled out of the restaurant from overindulging I ordered the banana split flambé [$11.00] which is enough for two and a couple of cappuccinos [$3.50] as the denouement to our meal. Our server caramelized the bananas and topped it off with a hint of Napoleon brandy right before our eyes. What a finale. I think there’s a certain quality to having food prepared in front of you "" so personal.

With its flawless tableside service of Caesar salad and flambé desserts this restaurant boasts a refined stylish atmosphere enveloping diners in its grandeur. So look no further for that perfect meal tailor-made in romance novels and women’s diaries; it’s right here at Hy’s. MBJ