This past weekend, my husband and I went back to my hometown of Syracuse to visit my parents and celebrate my father’s birthday. We went to the Scotch N’ Sirloin restaurant in Syracuse for this special occasion. The Scotch N’ Sirloin has been owned and operated by Tom Tiffany since 1967. One dining experience at this steak house is all it takes to understand why this restaurant is still thriving 43 years after its doors first opened.
The atmosphere at Scotch N’ Sirloin reminds me of a cross between a beer hall I’ve been to in Prague and a ski lodge. Heavy wooden doors greet the customer at the entrance while basic wooden tables are laden with simple table cloths and wooden chairs. The walls look like they should be adorned with big deer or elk heads. Instead, they are very bare with a few antiques or paintings hanging here and there. The most enticing part of this restaurant is its lounge area. You are welcomed by the warm touch and the soft glow of an open wood-burning fireplace. It instantly makes you feel like you’ve just come in off the slopes and are ready for a nice cocktail in front of the open fire. My father even remarked that him and my mother used to come here when they were in high school after a long day of skiing. While I could have sat there in front of the fire sipping on my buttery Chardonnay all night, we proceeded to the dining room for the main attraction.
What I love most about this restaurant is the fact that for one price, you can get a juicy piece of steak, a starchy side, and a wonderful trip to a salad bar that is adorned with homemade breads and salad dressings. At most other mainstream steak houses, you have to pay separately if you want a baked potato, mashed potatoes, side salad, etc… Everything is individually priced. Frankly, I find this quite annoying. I love it when I go to a great restaurant that gives me warm bread or a crisp side salad as part of my meal price. For this reason, Scotch N’ Sirloin has passed my I’m-hungry-and-want-a-one-priced-meal-with-all-the-trimmings test. After grinning ear to ear over this, I proceeded to order my meal.
I ordered the petite 6 ounce teriyaki top sirloin steak cooked medium. (Everyone says that the best way to eat meat is when it’s cooked rare or medium rare. Eeek! I do not like the redness of the meat as well as the gummy feel that is indicative of a rare or medium rare cut. I’ll take my pink meat thank you very much.) For my side, I ordered the sweet potato fries along with a glass of Argentinian Malbec.
My sirloin was succulent and ever so pretty in pink. The teriyaki that Scotch N’ Sirloin marinades the top sirloin in is a homemade conglomeration of sweetness that is exquisitely off-set by the saltiness of the seasoned meat. My cut tasted like it had been marinating in its bath of teriyaki for two weeks. Nothing lacking in flavor there. The rest of my family also agreed that their meat was cooked perfectly to their own satisfaction. My brother-in-law was ever too happy to get fried onions on top of his ribeye. He facetiously commented, with a full mouth, that the onions were overwhelming his palette (wink wink). I was beyond content with my sweet potato french fries. They were the perfect balance: Not too crispy, but not too soggy either. The natural sugars from the sweet potato meshed well with the subtleness of the added salt… No ketchup needed here!
All in all, the Scotch N’ Sirloin is one of those truly unique restaurants that inspires its diners to want to come back on a regular basis whether it be to quench a hankering for a 10 ounce top sirloin steak or to weather the snow, while warming up next to an open fire sipping a glass of red wine that hints of blackberry and tobacco.