Every Steak’s Bigger at Perry’s

Pork_Chop-0084X_AdjustedBy Jan Walsh

Maybe everything really is bigger in Texas. Upscale, Texas-based Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille recently opened a 10,000-square-foot steakhouse in the former TGIFriday’s location at The Colonnade, at 4 Perimeter Park South. Perry’s serves USDA Prime steaks that are Nebraska-bred, aged for 28 days, butchered in-house, and cut fresh to order. And they pair well with selections from the wine wall, which has hundreds of options, including Perry’s own label of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille offers a lunch menu on Fridays and is open for dinner nightly. There is also a Social Hour with specials on bar menu items, wine, and martinis on weekdays from 4:00 until 6:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 4:00 until 9:00 p.m.

The Place

Perry_Ribbon_Hi-8Upon our arrival, there is a valet waiting for us outside. And the interior of the restaurant is not only big, it is beautiful. The massive dining room is surrounded by four private dining rooms that can open into or be closed off from the main space, plus an open kitchen. In the main dining room, plush seating abounds, as Perry’s hopes you’ll linger over dinner. Swank, tufted banquettes in tones of chocolate and aqua wrap the perimeters of the candlelit space. Taupe upholstered chairs surround tables covered in brown tablecloths. There is also an island bar with live music named Bar 79, for Perry’s founding year of 1979, which opens to an outdoor patio with a water feature. And live notes from the bar’s baby grand piano drift throughout the restaurant.

OolongWhiskeySpice_0018_VertThe People

In 1979, Bob Perry opened his first meat market in Houston, Texas, called Perry’s Butcher Shop and Deli. His son, Chris, expanded the butcher shop to include a dining space. Three years later, they opened their second location, Perry and Sons Market and Grille, in Friendswood, Texas. And in 1993, Chris opened the first Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille in Clear Lake, Texas. Today, this family owned and operated business includes a total of 11 Texas locations and restaurants in Chicago, Denver, and now Birmingham. Tonight, Chris is here to welcome us, along with corporate chef Grant Hunter and Susi Zivanovic, who serves as corporate sommelier and beverage director. And we are also greeted by an excited, eager-to-please staff.

Favorite Fare

We take seats at Bar 79, where Zivanovic handcrafts two delightful cocktails: the Pineapple Ginger Mojito and the Oolong Whiskey Spice. The mojito is light and refreshing with tasty chunks of fresh pineapple and bits of fresh mint floating about the glass. The whiskey drink is inspired by Dickel’s small batch whiskies and also includes oolong tea and peach liqueur. It is served in a martini glass and is garnished with an orange twist and fresh mint. It has a beautifully balanced depth from the whiskey—not too sweet or too boozy.

TunaTartare-277Our favorite appetizer of the evening is the fresh, delicate Asian Ahi Tartare. We topple the tuna tower and spread the succulent tartare atop its accompanying tasty wonton crisps and nibble away. As an entrée course, we enjoy three tender slices of Chateaubriand, each with a different sauce: truffle merlot demiglace, béarnaise, and peppercorn reduction. The beef is served rare and is accompanied by lovely stems of asparagus and buttery bone marrow and is paired with Perry’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.

Tonight we did not have their signature entrée, Perry’s Famous Pork Chop, because Perry’s previously hand-delivered one to me. Since it is the tallest chop I have ever seen, I have not yet mustered up the nerve to cook it. The hand-selected prime pork chop is rubbed with proprietary seasoning, cured, and smoked in pecan wood. When ordered in the restaurant, it is glazed, caramelized, topped with Perry’s signature herb butter, and brought to the tableside for carving into five pieces.perrys-austin-021214-206

Our more-than-large-enough-for-sharing dessert is also prepared tableside. The Nutty D’Angelo is a massive mound of vanilla ice cream encrusted in crushed pecans, flambéed with brown sugar and brandy, and dipped in white chocolate and toasted almonds. Served on a plate drizzled with chocolate, this ice cream ball makes a powerful presentation. Zivanovic pairs it perfectly with a gorgeous wine, Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Maderia, which we enjoy, sipping and lingering into the night.

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