Many years ago, before this blog was but a twinkle in mah belly, the Hotel San Jose hosted regular steak nights. I'd heard about them and kept meaning to go, but before I made it, they discontinued them.
So I was thrilled when I heard that Steak Night was making a comeback. And I was even more thrilled when I won reservations for two to their maiden meal, courtesy of Thrillist Austin (if you don't subscribe to this terrific e-mail publication, sign up now; it's a great way to learn about new eateries in town, and the writing is excellent, as well).
I had already planned a girl-date with my friend Liz that evening, but luckily, I was able to convince her to join me in a rare (for her) meat-feast. The meals are prepared by Chef Larry McGuire of Perla's and Lambert's fame, and focus on the use of local ingredients. Cost is $40 or $45 (depending on what cut of steak you choose) for three courses.
For our starters, we got to choose between a wedge salad with Pure Luck bleu cheese, local pear tomatoes, and sherry vinaigrette, or late summer gazpacho with pearl couscous, Texas crab, and basil oil. I chose the wedge salad:
And Liz chose the gazpacho:
The wedge was good, but man...the gazpacho! So fresh, so crisp, and the couscous provided just the right amount of chewiness. Like a tomato pearl tea, only better.
The entrée choices included McAllen Ranch NY strip with seared mushroom and shallot relish, Niman Ranch ribeye with fennel salsa verde, certified angus beef filet with hollandaise and fresh horseradish, or ahi tuna steak with smoked paprika chimichurri. All entrees were served with grilled asparagus, steak house potatoes and crispy shallots. Both Liz and I ordered the ribeye, but with different preparations (they'll also let you mix and match the sauces) - I got the mushroom & shallot relish, and Liz got the hollandaise.
Holy meat. This was the day after the BBQ Festival, by the way.
The ribeye was wonderfully prepared and deliciously marbled, although once again I was jealous of Liz's order; I thought the mushroom sauce was a little too vinegary and wished it was a little saucier (something I also wish of myself). Nevertheless, it was a delightful plate overall, and there was enough left over for another meal.
I did, however, save room for dessert - Mexia pear and blackberry cobbler served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. 'Cause you can never have enough cream.
Of course, part of the pleasure of a great meal out has to do with your surroundings and the service, and the San Jose excelled on both counts. A big steak just tastes better if you're enjoying it on the San Jose's perfect patio, particularly in the midst of this amazing fall weather.
These photos were taken before I met my new toy. Obviously.
The next Steak Night will be on October 18th. Menu details/reservation info here.
Huge thanks to Thrillist and the Hotel San Jose for a lovely meal!