Category Archives: Steakhouse

Y.O. Ranch Offers a True Taste of Texas

Some people say you haven’t done Dallas if you haven’t been to The Perot, or a Cowboys/Mavs/Stars game … others would say that you have to visit Reunion Tower, the Dallas Zoo, or Pioneer Plaza to genuinely do Dallas right. While all of those experiences are uniquely Dallas, I would argue that you haven’t really done Dallas right until you’ve eaten at Y.O. Ranch.

Currently the oldest steakhouse in the city following the unfortunate closing of The Palm (we know Wally and Bruce will be back in even more legendary fashion before we know it), Y.O. is quintessential Texas. It’s chef-owned with a menu offering some of the best meats and game Texas has to offer with a Hill Country twang and a bar offering creative takes on classics.

The restaurant has all the romantic charms of ranch life; think antler chandeliers, brick arches, supple leather seats, a hostess stand wrapped in cow hide … it’s basically Texas in a restaurant. Soak in the ambiance as classic country plays and head to one of their two bars to try the new set of cleverly crafted cocktails.

I started with the cocktail of the month, a riff on an Old Fashioned, the El Jefe; a bold Anejo tequila-based drink with orange zest, agave nectar, and a dash of cinnamon. The Anejo is complemented well by the cinnamon and orange zest for a taste that has that familiar tequila zing, but the richness of a whiskey based drink. It starts to transform into something slightly sweeter that actually leans towards an Old Fashioned as the melted ice, orange oils, and cinnamon dovetail with the tequila at the bottom of the glass. Next up was a Black Manhattan. It’s an interesting new take a on the classic—rye whiskey, vermouth, and black walnut bitters. Smooth, sultry, and draped in rye; it’s a solid way to start and end an evening. Thus, I opted for another drink since the night was just beginning. The last spirit I imbibed before diving into dinner was the Dirty Marshall, arefreshing cocktail bristling with citrus from the lime garnished grapefruit beverage made with Herman Marshalls’ excellent rye whiskey mixed with mint simple syrup, The Dirty Marshall is an exceptional summertime sidekick.

After enjoying my spirited visit to the bar, I decided it was time to take the plunge into Y.O.’s renowned cuisine. The meal started with the Wild Game Mixed Grill, a wild boar sausage link, venison with mozzarella and jalapeño-wrapped in bacon, and chicken fried quail breast all resting on a bed of wild rice made me wonder why they led with a winner. The boar was spicy, juicy, and cooked just right. The bacon-wrapped venison hid cheesy, peppered, elk under its salty crunch; and it was delicious and exciting like the nostalgia of finding the hidden toy inside a box of Cracker Jacks. Finally, the chicken fried quail was an surprise with its eager crunch blanketing a moist and flavorful breast. All of this masterfully made game framed by precisely prepared wild rice was a superb way to start the meal.

The Tomato Burrata Salad (fresh buffalo burrata, beefsteak tomatoes, and fresh basil drizzled with EVOO and balsamic reduction) was a refreshing palate cleanser to prepare for the Chilean Sea Bass. Caramelized and crusted for the perfect crunch and served with a sweet miso glaze, it is buttery, flaky and flavorful. Done a la carte, the Maple Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon were astonishing. Lightly roasted and wilted on the outside with a savory, earthy crunch on the inside; these are hands down the best Brussel sprouts I’ve ever had, and I usually hate the little green monsters. Not to be outdone, their Buffalo Filet Au Poive, YO’s signature dish, is served crusted with black pepper and crowned with a green peppercorn cognac cream, this is a truly memorable dish. Lean, rich, and flavorful, I enjoyed every bite.

Resting in a nearly comatose state, I didn’t think it could get better … until they brought out their Lemon Brittle topped with Prickly Pear Sorbet and fresh berries. Beautiful, tart and bitingly sweet, I could only handle a few bites before a brain freeze/sugar high kicked in.

My time at YO was a revelation. After a meal that made dining a borderline religious experience, it’s easy to see why US News and World Report were such big fans. The new dinner menu is fantastic and the specialty cocktails are well balanced and creative takes on classics.

While there are many ways to experience a city, I’d like to offer a close-minded word of advice: Don’t come to Dallas if you aren’t planning to go to Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse. Otherwise, you won’t be authentically visiting the southwest, you won’t be genuinely visiting Texas, and you definitely won’t be legitimately visiting Dallas; you’ll just be simply be wasting your time.


YO RANCH STEAKHOUSE

yoranchsteakhouse.com
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702 Ross Ave (West End)
(214) 744-3287

The Grill On the Alley- New Menu Offerings, New Look

I love a classic steakhouse, as any decent Texan (or honorary Texan, thankyouverymuch) should. That said, feasting on a 22oz ribeye … in a suit a tie … with the smokiest, oldest scotch on the menu … in a dimly lit cave of masculinity isn’t for everyone. The Grill on the Alley at Galleria Dallas realizes this; enter their decision to introduce some fresh, new menu items that extend beyond the requisite Porterhouse and baked potato. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that … it’s a thing of beauty, really.) Also in the works: a new, more contemporary look and feel. (The first thing to go will be the white table cloths.)

New seafood starters with a decidedly exotic flair have been added to the lineup. The Crab & Hamachi Roll (avocado, mango, tobiko, lime, $17) and Ahi Tuna Poke (onion shoyu, tobiko, avocado, wonton, $18) are fresh, light and delicious. Looking for something a bit more indulgent? (OK, absurdly more indulgent.) Check out the  Nueske’s Slab Bacon ($15) with a maple bourbon glaze. Holy meat candy, Batman.

Other lovely options that have been added to the lineup include a beautiful Sea Scallop entree served pan-seared with a smoked carrot puree ($36) and a bone-in Pork Tomahawk Chop ($35) with apple compound butter … and at 14oz this bad boy chop is well-suited for sharing. (Or, not. Being selfish is cool, too.) If The Grill’s new offerings have you wondering, “Where’s the beef?”, fear not. A 14oz Prime New York Strip ($49) has been added to the menu, too. All praise the god of red meat.

You won’t want to miss out on The Grill’s side dishes, with offerings like Roasted Vegetables (sweet potatoes and brussels sprout leaves are the star performers, $11) and Lobster Mash Potatoes ($25).

And by all means, save room for dessert. Stacked 6 layers high, The Grill’s Coconut Cake is glorious, if also a bit intimidating.

The Grill On the Alley offers Happy Hour Sunday through Friday, 4-7pm, and Sunday from 11am-7pm, with special prices on cocktails, beer, wine, and bites. See details here.

The Grill On the Alley- Galleria Dallas
3270 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240
(214)459-1601

GM / Executive Chef: Robert Hall

Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am-10pm
Sun: 11am-9pm

SĒR at the Hotel Anatole

During a recent staycation at the Hilton Anatole, I was delighted to try their steakhouse, SĒR Steak + Spirits, on the 27th floor.  This is one button I enjoyed pushing entirely too much.  But I pushed it … and I pushed it good.  My girl Tiffany joined me for dinner and we were absolutely blown away by each and every one of the courses presented by Executive Chef Kevin Spencer and every drink by Colin Silva.

The drinks kept us on our toes (and put us on our asses) thanks to the unique flavor profiles and the unexpected extras.  This is one of the places I’d suggest handing the reigns to the bar team; they’ll make you something intriguing and unique.  The scotch cocktail we were treated to (below) was delightfully smoky thanks to the peatiness of the spirit, but was still surprisingly light.  The preparation for the cocktails was involved and completely worth the short wait.

 

SĒR’s kitchen offers reimagined versions of some basic options and quite a few all-new dishes.  The perfect example is their Steak Tar Tar that closely resembles a deviled egg but brings so much more to the table.  Be ready for a rich mouthful here.

Steak Tar Tar
Steak Tar Tar

The Caesar Salad was such a stand-out that I ended up visiting a second time in just one weekend to have it again.  It’s perhaps the coolest salad … ever.  This thing is a slab of leafy greens with “deconstructed croutons”, flowers, and even Pop Rock-like crystals that keep your mouth more than entertained.  The best part of this salad was the dressing.  Through some sciencey process, Chef Kevin creates egg yolk-like pods of dressing so you control your dressing to lettuce ratio.  I like being in control.

Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad

The entrees were just as enticing.  The seafood was fresh (the fish was light and flaky) and the steak was as tender as it could be.  The Texas Caviar accompanying the steak we were served gave it a delightful, spicy snap.

Dessert was just as unique as the preceding dishes.  One dessert (not yet on the menu) boasted grapes prepared three different ways accompanying ice cream and a buttery crumble.  The Millionaire Pie was also a delight with the perfect balance between the tartness of the raspberry sorbet and the creaminess of the vanilla ice cream.

SĒR Steak + Spirits
sersteak.com
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2201 North Stemmons Freeway (Design District)
(214)761-7479

 

Pappas Bros. Spring 2016 Cocktails

Being from Arlington, my family ventured over to Fort Worth often.  But visiting Dallas was a trek.  It felt like we packed a lunch and asked our neighbor to feed the dog when we came over here.  One of the first meals I recall having in Dallas was a perfectly cooked steak at Pappas Bros. with a side of their famous scalloped potatoes.  While I felt quite pretentious telling people my favorite restaurant was Pappas Bros., I’ve never been much of a liar.

For this reason, when I heard that they were releasing their new seasonal cocktail menu, I jumped at the chance to meet a buddy for dinner and try all of the new offerings.  And kids … they’re damn good.

COFFEE OLD FASHIONED (Cognac, coffee simple syrup, bitters)
How do you make an Old Fashioned better?  Well … you shouldn’t really f**k with them … but if you do, change as little as possible.  Their coffee simple syrup added just a bit of intrigue to the standard cocktail, which they have always done quite well here. 

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SWEDISH CHAMPAGNE ELIXIR (Absolut Elyx, Grower Champagne, vanilla liqueur, pineapple, lemon, strawberry, Angelica, cinnamon)
Guys … this cocktail is somethin’ else.  If you read my first #DrinkingWithSusie, you’ll know the significance of the badass copper pineapple from Absolut Elyx, but the delicious potion inside is a different story.  It was like dessert in a cup.  I think (read: I know) it’s meant to be shared as it holds about three standard cocktails, but I killed this all on my own.

FINE & DANDELION (reposado tequila, apricot brandy, lime, cinnamon, Burdock Dandelion Soda)
Being one who doesn’t love tequila, I have to admit that this cocktail is quite well done.  The soda itself is incredibly flavorful, lending a touch of ginger spice to the cocktail while the apricot brandy brings in a hint of sweetness.

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NEW YORK SOUR (bourbon, lemon, cabernet)
I have to say that my favorite thing about a New York Sour is the perfect simplicity of it.  They did this classic drink very well … and it looks sexy as hell.

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PEAR COBBLER (Manzanilla Sherry, pear, lemon, grapefruit, black pepper)
This slightly remixed cobbler (sherry + fruit) is light and perfect for the warm weather ahead.  The fresh pepper milled on top adds just a bit of spice to make this drink delightfully well balanced.  (Want to try this at home?  Check out the “Cocktail of the Week” feature of it on DallasObserver.com for the recipe.)

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We snacked on some appetizers to get us through all of the cocktails–the Fried Oysters and their Texas Selection of Cheeses.  I always miss the chance to get appetizers (or know better than to order them) as I know I’m going to eat my weight in steak and potatoes shortly.  It’s something I need to remember, though, because both were absolutely incredible.  I think I’ll need to make this an after-work stop for a cocktail and app more often … and you’re all welcome to join me if you don’t hog the sharp cheddar.


PAPPAS BROS. STEAKHOUSE

10477 Lombardy Lane, Dallas, TX 75220

pappasbros.com

STK Las Vegas

If you follow me on my social platforms (especially Snapchat … @susieoz), you’ll know that I’ve been spending some time in Las Vegas for work.  One evening I was able to try out STK at the Cosmopolitan.  Eddie and Angelee, the dynamic duo behind His + Her went along with me to the Chef’s Menu–a smattering of their best dishes–the night before we skipped town.  The NYC transplant offers a decidedly sexy steakhouse feel.

We were greeted by our very friendly server and started with a few drinks to ease into the night.  I was told that the Strawberry Cobbler Martini (Belvedere, strawberry, graham cracker crust) is their most popular drink … which was delicious, but a bit sweet for a dinner drink, so save this one for dessert.  Later on I tried the … Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan (Bulleit Bourbon, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth).  It was much more my speed and the Fernet was a surprisingly perfect addition to the traditional manhattan.

(Bear with me through the pictures … the lighting is quite low in there and I didn’t have my camera. 😒)

Our waiter began our tasting with a Caesar Salad, Tuna Tartare, a plate of large shrimp, and a cluster of their bleu cheese pull-apart bread.  The pull-apart bread was nearly irresistible.  They serve it with a cilantro oil that was unreal … Angelee and I all but licked the ramekin it came in.  (Also, since I’m allergic to bleu cheese, they kindly served one portion without the glaze.  So kind!)  I usually don’t mess with salads … who wants to waste the space?  But this one was worth a few bites … especially the housemade croutons.  The Tuna Tartare, served with perfectly crispy taro chips, was fresh, tender, and had a soy honey sauce with it that was to die.  I’d definitely recommend ordering this!

Being a steakhouse, STK obviously had a bomb steak–nice and tender … so tender that we could cut it with our butter knives.  (If I were ordering it for myself, I’d have ordered it medium instead of medium well, but to each her own.)  The Seared Big Eye Tuna (served with wasabi potato, maitake mushrooms, and sweet miso jus) was seared to perfection and nearly fell apart.  We nearly had to flip a coin to decide who got the last piece … and you better believe that the sweet miso sauce was sopped up … and some bread may have been dipped in it, too.  I personally enjoyed the Free Range Chicken (served with polenta fries, smoked tomato whiskey, and green beans) the most because I couldn’t get enough of the green beans.  They had a simple soy-based sauce that made them like crack to me.

For me, dessert after steak is completely unnecessary–I’ve had my awesome meal and don’t need something else to fill me up even more.  However, if you go to STK and don’t order the STK Donuts (sweet potato donuts, maple glaze, candied pecans), then you’re doing it wrong.  These things were little pillows of goodness and I stared the discomfort of a full belly right in the face, defied it, and ate two.

Make sure to make a reservation if you plan to visit STK on your next visit to Vegas … if for anything, for their take on the Manhattan and those GD green beans.


STK Las Vegas
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The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
(702)698-7990

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is one of the staple steakhouses not just in the Dallas area, but in the country.  Its longstanding ranking among the best steakhouses made tonight’s visit to the flagship location pretty exciting for me.

The night of excess started with an Old Fashioned in true Susie fashion (Knob Creek Bourbon, muddled cherry, orange, sugar & bitters).  It was quite standard (as I’m super spoiled when it comes to OFs) and nothing too extraordinary, but you could actually taste the bourbon used and it wasn’t too diluted, which gave it a really delightful flavor.  (Because … ya know … I love bourbon.)  Luckily, the rest of the drinks were much more unique.

If you’re in for just one drink, make it Del’s Manhattan (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth, bitters, Luxardo cherry).  It’s as smooth as a baby’s rump and as strong as Arnold back in the day.  They actually have barrels of Maker’s Mark in the upstairs office that they use (no, I wasn’t allowed to visit them), and the Manhattan is make with Luxardo cherries (because are there any others?).

Next up was the Pomegranate Martini (360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor, splash of cranberry), which was quite sweet and reminded me of a drink my favorite cocktail creator/roommate, Sam, would make me after a long day of classes (and before my night classes) back in the day.  PAMA gives any cocktail an incredibly rich flavor —- and it makes it healthy, right?

Last up was the Blackberry Ginger Cocktail (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh blackberries, fresh lemon juice, mint, splash of ginger beer).  It sounds like a girly little drink, huh?  WRONG.  It’s a powerful and flavorful little libation with a perfect splash of ginger beer to give it a little tingle and bubble.

As for food, we started with crab cakes (holy awesome … no filler here!) and onion rings (double awesome … they’re as big as my hand), and then proceeded to entrees.  I couldn’t resist the “feature” of three 4oz steaks with different sauces on each (fois gras butter, port wine, and peppercorn … I think*).  The steaks were tender, juicy, and amazingly savory.  Dessert was pretty incredible (lemon cake and cheesecake).  Their cheesecake is whipped, not baked, which makes it so light that it’s completely irresistible.  Like seriously … I’m meant to be on a diet and I definitely partook in (and took home leftovers of) most of it.  The crust is made with pecans, so if you have a nut allergy, you’re shit outta luck.  (Whatever, dude, more for me.)

Last note: Don’t expect to park your own car here … go ahead and resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to valet.  Even on a Monday night there wasn’t a parking space to be found.  No cash to tip?  No worries … they’ll let you charge a card to get some cash at the bar!

Del Frisco’s has already released their Valentine’s Day menu and are accepting reservations, so (for the guys out there), get a move on and make your girl’s day by having a plan for the night.  (And don’t forget the flowers and lingerie.)

*I’m not a food blogger … I do drinks.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
delfriscos.com | @del_friscos | Facebook.com/DelFrisco
5251 Spring Valley Road
(972) 490-9000

****I was invited to join Del Frisco’s for a meal this evening and my meal was on the house.****

Bailey’s Prime (Closed)

Bailey’s, the Cedar Hill transplant that opened a couple years ago in the brand new Shops at Park Lane, is HANDS DOWN one of my new favorite fancy happy hour spots.  I’d say it’s right up there with Perry’s, only trumping it with its longer hours.

After visiting Bailey’s for a “working” lunch and Mother’s Day brunch, I was eager to try their famed all-night happy hour.  I was glad I finally made it in because my time there was one of the more fun nights I’ve had in a while.  (I’ll attribute that a little to the company and a little to the location.)

The whole staff seems to be there to make your experience amazing.  Perfect example: my mom invited me to meet her when I was walking out of the grocery with items that needed refrigeration.  On the way to the resto, I called and asked if they could free up some fridge space for my groceries and they gladly obliged.  The bartenders (Pedro and Kelly) will get you anything you want and will even take you for a swing on the dance floor if you so desire; on that note, Kelly is one of the better bartenders I’ve seen in Dallas from a service standpoint.

The drinks are delicious and STRONG.  Try some of their signature cocktails offered on the happy hour menu like the Cosmotini, Pomegranate Martini, or the bourbon-based, Forty Apples.  I enjoyed the VERY cucumber-y Cucumber Martini and would have died to try the French Seventy Five Martini – I didn’t want to venture into champagne on a school night.

The food is equally as good (and equally as discounted).  We got an order of their homemade chips and they were delicious as was their fresh-baked bread.  You know a restaurant is good when you see Kent Rathbun stop in for a bite!

Last word: Make sure you check in on Foursquare because they have one of the most generous check-ins specials I’ve seen – a free glass of their house Malbec, no strings attached.

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 4.5

Bailey’s Prime Plus
www.baileysprimeplus.com
8160 Park Lane #130 (Shops at Park Lane) | (214) 750-8100

Specials:
Monday-Thursday (4-7 p.m.) and Friday (4-11 p.m.)
$5 house wines, $6 signature cocktails, $2 domestic beer, $4 well drinks

Live bands:  Friday and Saturday nights

Perry’s Steakhouse | Uptown Dallas

Let’s start with some education: the restaurant on Routh many Dallasites know of as Perry’s has changed its name to The Place at Perry’s.  Don’t be confused because they are both steakhouses – however, I am giving my thoughts only about the newly opened Perry’s on McKinney.  That being said, here we go!

My visit to Perry’s was one of the most enjoyable happy hours I’ve had in quite a while.  I have been back since my initial visit and loved it as much as I did the first time around – maybe even more actually.

Picture courtesy of Perry’s Steakhouse

From now on, you will be able to find me here most Fridays starting around 3:30 p.m. partaking in their Friday lunch special of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop served with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce for only $13.95 before 4 p.m.  If a pork chop doesn’t tickle your fancy, take part in one (hell, two, three, or even four) of the Social Hour appetizer options.  My favorites were the fried asparagus with lump crab meat*, homemade Polish sausage, and the Kobe burger.  My friend Casey made the following comment after eating the Kobe burger: “THIS burger for is on happy hour?”*  Glances at girlfriend and says emphatically, “We’re comin’ back!”

After eating your fill, stay for a couple hours and enjoy the cocktail offerings they have for Bar 79 Social Hour.  There is a cocktail for everyone here.  If you can’t decide, try the flight of cocktails which includes three inventive concoctions in sippable sizes.  Their mojitos are the perfect drink for summer, hands down.  In addition they have a drink that is Perry’s take on a Manhattan that the men at the table thoroughly enjoyed (a few times over).  Their fruit is incredible and is prepared fresh daily; head chef Danny does fruit quality control daily to ensure it’s at its best.

Aside from the fantastic discounted food and drinks, the atmosphere is relaxing and inviting with live music to lighten the mood in the bar and entertain.  There is an air of sophisticated relaxation in the bar area and the patio boasts a giant inverted umbrella with plenty of seating.  If you want to catch a game without spending time at a dive bar, they have a TV behind the hand-etched glass bar (with hilarious quotes about drinking) so you can nosh on their brilliant food while watching.  If you can, try to get the middle table, though, you’ll feel like you’re in the VIP section!

The wait staff at Perry’s is unmatched; they offer VERY helpful suggestions, crack jokes, and are incredibly attentive.  Between Mark, Howard, Rich the bartender, Kennan, and Martin, our waiter, we were never in want for another drink or a even a napkin.

I’ll see all of you there on Friday!


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

www.perryssteakhouse.com
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2000 McKinney Ave., Suite 100 | 214-855-5151

PERRY’S NOW HAS A LOCATION IN FRISCO, TX ALSO. CHECK OUT RACHEL’S REVIEW OF THE NEW SPOT!

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4

Specials:

Social Hour | Monday-Friday, 4-6:30 p.m.
discounted seasonal cocktails, wines, and appetizers

Live Music | Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday | 6-11 p.m.

*Initial post written quite a while ago.  Pricing has been updated to reflect changes!