Tucked away at Reston Town Center is the long-established restaurant Morton’s the Steakhouse. I’ve eaten a few times at a different Morton’s location many years ago, and I thought the food was extraordinary. For some reason, though, I’d never given the Reston location much thought. Instead I always dismissed it as a place for upscale business dinners.
When we were recently invited to visit Morton’s and learn more about the restaurant, I was excited to rediscover the place. I knew the food would be delicious, but what else had I been missing all this time?
Morton’s has been located on Market Street at Reston Town Center for 14 years. It was remodeled a few years ago with a modern, upscale feel, including blown glass chandeliers and sleek touches of chrome and wood. The goal of the renovations was to create a modern feel to a classic steakhouse.
The restaurant also has a cozy, quiet patio and an indoor bar for happy hours and drinks. Happy hour is from 4:30-6:30pm on weekdays, and according to the staff, it’s known for being a place where Reston’s movers and shakers gather.
We enjoyed our first course on the patio, which was an Ahi Tuna Tower served with wonton crisps. The tower consisted of sushi-grade tuna, mango salsa, avocado, and pico de gallo, topped with sesame seeds and sitting on a bed of crushed wonton crisps. The combination was refreshingly balanced, both sweet and spicy, and creamy and crunchy.
We moved indoors and had the House Chopped Salad, with a mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce and blue cheese, bacon, egg, cucumber, and dijon vinaigrette. It was a relatively understated element of our grand meal, but it was so good that I didn’t want to share it.
Next came the pièce de résistance of our meal, the Tomahawk Ribeye. This showstopper of a steak is 32oz on the bone. The staff recommended this ribeye as their finest and most flavorful steak on the menu, which is high praise in a restaurant that specializes in premium steaks. It is offered at only six Morton’s locations, and Reston is one of the lucky few who have it on the menu.
The praise was deserved. The steak had a rich flavor and a tenderness that melted in the mouth. It was delicious. The Tomahawk was one of the best steaks we’d ever had, if not the best. It’s a luxury, though — with a price tag of nearly $100, this steak is certainly a special occasion meal. But it’s worth the price. This could be the finest steak in Reston.
Even though Morton’s specializes in steak, people who prefer seafood will also enjoy the menu. Our server recommended the Miso Marinated Seabass, which is an 8oz cut served in a miso broth with wilted bok choy. Compared to the decadent richness of the ribeye steak, this seabass was delightfully delicate. It was still very flavorful, though, especially that delicious miso broth.
Side dishes are served a la carte at Morton’s. We had the grilled asparagus and horseradish mashed potatoes (which was eaten too quickly for me to take a photo). Both side dishes were excellent and offered simple but tasty accompaniment to the extraordinary main courses.
I hadn’t saved enough room for dessert, but that didn’t stop me from eating the Morton’s Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake anyway. It was a molten lava cake with a creamy chocolate center, served with vanilla ice cream and garnished with raspberries. A meal is only as good as its last bite, and this dessert was divine.
A dinner is also only as good as the company you keep. While we were at the restaurant, we saw several of the business dinners that we had expected, but there were also many couples enjoying romantic nights out. I’d definitely go to Morton’s to be pampered on an anniversary or other special occasion. Not only is the food exceptional, but the setting is cozy and romantic and the service is top-notch. Our server was very knowledgeable about the food and restaurant, and he was so likable that he felt like a friend by the end of the evening.
That quality of service is one of the stated goals of Morton’s. They have high qualification standards for the staff, both in the dining room and the kitchen. They also choose only the highest quality products, and strive to make consistently excellent meals. “Quality and consistency are always our number one priorities any time of day,” said Chef Edgar Nolosca. He wants their regular customers to know that their steaks will be dependably excellent every time. “We offer the finest products at any time, place, or cost.”
Something that I really loved about Morton’s was the lifelong devotion of the management to their company. Chef Nolosca grew up helping his mother and aunts in their kitchens, and he has always had a passion for the culinary arts. When he was ready to start working at a restaurant in his youth, he chose the highly respected Morton’s and started working there as a dishwasher. Over the years he has earned his way up through hard work and belief in the company mission, and now he has been with Morton’s for almost 30 years, with 14 years as the Chef at the Reston location. Maura Delaney’s story is similar — she began as a server at Morton’s many years ago, and now she has been the General Manager at the Reston location since it opened 14 years ago.
I can understand why they take such pride in their work and their company. Morton’s offers something great — consistently high-quality meals with excellent customer service. You can’t go wrong with the classics.
Morton’s the Steakhouse is located at 11956 Market Street in Reston Town Center. It’s open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and it opens at 5pm for weekend dinner.
Disclaimer: This meal was provided by Morton’s the Steakhouse. All opinions are our own.
Photography by Charlotte Geary
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