Shula's 347 - You're Gonna Lurve This!

Well, the town has been all abuzz about the opening of the Hotel Duval and it's various attractions - Level8, Shula's 347, Le Roc Cafe, etc. And I've been super anxious to give the town's newest steakhouse a try. I'll be honest, I think Tallahassee was in need of a good, upscale steakhouse. I've tried Marie Livingston's and didn't think it was anything better than my mom could make. I've tried Ted's (even the bison!), but the experience was butchered (no pun intended) because my steak was overcooked and the service was lousy. In fact, my favorite steak in town isn't served at a steakhouse at all. It's the Peppercorn Crusted Filet at Urbane - crunchy on the outside, melty on the inside and served with a blue cheese fritter - it's absolutely divine! So, hoping Shula's would take the cake, I invited hubby and a friend to accompany me for a lovely evening out.

From the moment you drive up to the Hotel Duval, the exquisite experience begins. A valet promptly greets you, opens your door and whisks your car safely away. Be sure to let them know you're dining at Shula's, as they'll mark your ticket with an S and then you can get it validated by your server, so the parking is complimentary.

We decided to go a little early and have some drinks up at Level8, the rooftop bar. So swanky and trendy, it seems like it would be better fitted for a New York high rise, rather than a Tallahassee boutique hotel. But the view is gorgeous, especially around sunset and there's ample seating outside so you can enjoy the fresh air. What's even better is that if you don't finish your drinks in time for your dinner reservations, you can take them down to Shula's with you!

So down to Shula's we went. We were ushered promptly to our table, informed of the specials and left alone to peruse the menus. Although, none of us had to look very long, because we all decided to order the 8oz Filet. Hubby got his with the smashed potatoes and asparagus, and my friend and I both got the steak fries and asparagus.

But before our steaks arrived, hubby and I decided to split the Wedge salad - an iceberg wedge with blue cheese crumbles, bacon, tomatoes and blue cheese dressing (we had them hold the red onions). It actually came out looking like a wedge, but hubby was so hungry, he immediately cut and mixed it up before I could reach into my purse for the camera. At any rate, the salad was delicious. The dressing was rich and creamy and the bacon was crisp and savory. It was a rather large portion, and for it's $10 price, I'd suggest you split it.

Our steaks arrived and our server asked us to do something I'd never been asked to do at a steakhouse before. She asked us to cut into our steaks immediately and verify that they were cooked to our satisfaction. She even had a small light that she used to help illuminate our plates in the dim lighting to ensure they were cooked correctly. After we had all done so, she asked us to enjoy our meal and enjoy we did. Now, if you LOVE a good steak, you will LURVE these. That's right, LURVE (that's like 10 levels up from love, if you didn't know). They are so buttery and melt-in-your-mouthy that you will just groan with pleasure. The steak fries were golden and crispy and nicely seasoned, but I had a taste of hubby's smashed potatoes and thought they were yummy as well. They were sprinkled with parmesan cheese and had real chunks of potato with the skin and all! The only thing we thought was a bit odd was the taste of the asparagus. It had a sort of tangy taste, almost as if they had been marinated in balsamic vinegar. Although, after the unusualness wore off, it did add a nice little zip to the plate.

It was a deliciously scrumptious meal from start to finish. And the service and attention to detail were perfection. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very chic and romantic, dressed in shades of black and grey, but there were also a few strategically placed TV's showing some games for all the sportsmen and women in the crowd. I would say that besides a few places like Urbane and Cypress, Shula's is one of the only real fancy places in town.

After dinner, we wandered over to ALoft and checked out their W XYZ bar for comparison. I'd describe the inside of the ALoft more as shabby chic, almost as if Target had created a line of hotels. It's not as upscale as Hotel Duval, but then it's a W lite hotel, so I'd expect that. But where you feel as though you're in a whole other city up at the Level8 bar, in the W XYZ you still know you're in a hotel lobby bar.

I ordered a Watermelon Martini, which was far too sweet for even my taste, and my friend ordered a Razzle Dazzle (I think that's the name) - it was some sort of fruity concoction made with real blueberries. After I downed my martini, I ordered one of those next and it was much less sweet, but much more potent. The weird thing about this joint was that it seemed they really couldn't figure out what kind of music they wanted to play. One second they were playing a heavy metal song, and the next it was techno, and after that it was pop, and then classic rock and so on and so on. Maybe that's because they call the area next to the bar the re:mix lounge, but it was still a little unnerving. It was like the place couldn't settle into a groove.

The one thing we did think was pretty fun about the W XYZ bar was the array of games that they have out on each of the tables. We grabbed a Yahtzee game and proceeded to play 2 fun filled rounds. Funny enough, the more we had to drink, the better we rolled the dice! YAHTZEE!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A+
Taste - A+
Presentation - B
Service - A+
Price - $$$

Restaurant Info:
Shula's 347
415 North Monroe St
Tallahassee FL 32301

Shula's 347 Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


letsgonoles22 November 10, 2009 at 6:08 AM  

Level 8 has been charging a cover and trying to shut out certain people with a dress code. Their reputation is suffering.

Tally Foodie November 10, 2009 at 6:47 AM  

Oh no! I didn't know about the cover. We went at 6pm on Oct 31st and no one charged us to get in. I wonder if the cover applies only after a certain time of night. About the dress code thing - I will say that there were a bunch of people there who were in jeans, t-shirts and ball caps who looked like they had just come from the game and it really didn't seem like appropriate attire for the joint. It really kind of de-classed the place.

downtown guy November 10, 2009 at 8:21 AM  

I live right next door, and their patrons have been throwing trash on my yard, hassling my guests, and actually parking their cars across my driveway exit. I'm starting to have to call the cops on them when they do that. Pain in the butt.

Tally Foodie November 10, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

Well, that's not very nice. I'm so sorry to hear that. Especially about a place that seems like such a fine establishment. :(

downtown guy November 10, 2009 at 8:46 AM  

Well, it's their patrons, not the Duval itself, that are causing me problems. They seem to mostly be of a class that has a strong sense of entitlement. I mean, who parks across the end of a driveway?

Tally Foodie November 10, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

How rude! Now you're going to have to be one of those people that have to put the Tow Away Zone signs in their front yard. Ugh.

downtown guy November 10, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

Actually, I asked a policeman about that. He says that I should just call TPD when I notice someone parked across my driveway, and they will come take care of it. No signs needed.

Chris November 14, 2009 at 7:22 AM  

Thanks for this! I was pretty excited when I saw the pictures of Level8. How where the drink prices? What is/are your favorite place(s) in Tallahassee to grab a drink?

Tally Foodie November 14, 2009 at 12:28 PM  

Chris - The drink prices at Level8 were about $7-$9 each (at least for the mixed drinks that we ordered). My favorite places to grab drinks in town are at Chez Pierre and The Winery at The Red Bar. I love the huge outdoor deck at Chez and the prices are pretty reasonable. The Winery also has a cool outdoor area and you can order Tapas from the restaurant next door. They're both really chill places with cool vibes. Where are your favorite watering holes?

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!