It had been some time since I had visited Walter’s Steakhouse on Union Street in Wilmington. It tells us something about the fickle nature of diners in northern Delaware, jumping to the next great place that often falls sort of the hype.
A number of steakhouses have come and gone since the Constantinou family started serving the red meat half-century ago. But Walter’s soldiers on, offering honest cuts of beef at a fair price. It’s quite an accomplishment and shame on those of us who jump from place to place without paying a visit from time to time.
The occasion was a birthday and while it can be dangerous to rate a restaurant on the basis of one visit, it is clear that Walter’s is a solidly run operation that was quite capable of handling the Saturday night crowd without breaking a sweat. The atmosphere is warm and while the decor is hardly spectacular, it is not outdated,
The meal got off to a strong start with a raw bar offering of fresh oysters as good as any I have sampled in the area.
But you come to Walter’s for the steaks (prime rib too) and the establishment does not disappoint. All steaks were cooked to order. Some might be disappointed that the steaks were not covered with seasoning. Don’t put me in that category.
While I enjoy a steak with a spicy kick, the danger is that the slab of meat becomes overly salty. Walter’s errs on the side of caution, but that’s just fine, particularly for a Delmonico that has plenty of flavor in the first place. Besides, the lack of stong spices worked well with the béarnaise sauce on the side..
Desserts are not an afterthought at Walter’s and the bananas foster, while it won’t make one forget about the offerings in New Orleans, was a fine final note to the meal.
As we walked out the door , another party was saying good-bye after a birthday celebration. Walter’s is a good special occasion restaurant, but it deserves a couple of additional visits per year. We need to support our battle-tested local destination restaurants.