vic and anthony's steakhouse
1510 texas @ la branch
tillman haters, i don't want to hear it. vic and anthony's is one of the handful of restaurants in houston where i've never had a bunk dish. if you think about that statement, you'll realize that it's a hard statement to make. and i have to face it. being a texan, i'll always have a special place in my heart and tummy for steakhouses. vic and anthony's is my favorite in houston.
first of all, i tend to sit in the lounge. v&a which recently made mytable's ballot for best barservice is undoubtably deserving of that nomination. henry and shea behind the bar are friendly, professional and always make sure i have everything i need. the lounge is more casual and comfortable and i don't feel bad about splitting a steak and a few appetizers with a friend. i'll get a table in the lounge if i have more than 1 friend in tow. the club chairs are super comfy. if it's just me and one other, i'm right at the bar where all the action is.
secondly, they have 2 appetizers which make my list of tops for best crabcake and best quail dishes. v&a's crabcake comes from a culinary valhalla and is chock full of crabmeat with virtually no bread crumbs to be detected. it's served with a chive beurre blanc and... has even more jumbo lump crab meat on top. i've heard that they don't actually make a profit on this dish at all. it's one of those gimme items to make their guests happy. go try it for yourself. you'll be amazed at just how much jumbo lump arrives on your plate.
the maple glazed quail dish should not be missed. i have still yet to find a better quail dish anywhere. v&a's quail is sweet and the skin is so crispy. don't ignore the slaw underneath. it provides some acidity to counter the sweetness of the glaze and the interplay of flavors is amazing. the plate is even garnished with little dots of sriracha. use it if you want to. i'm a big fan of the extra kick.
bluepoint oysters on the half shell are fresh and delicious served with a champagne mignonette. the problem is that a 1/2 dozen isn't ever enough.
a couple nights ago, my friend and i also chose the tomato and mozzarella salad. the mozzarella in the caprese is made in-house, the cheese is a bit firmer and drier than what i expect but still very good and the portion is generous. the beefsteak tomato and onion salad is also really good and is served with roquefort cheese. request extra red onions if you're like me. my friends rave about the chopped salad there too. the yellow and white cheddar cheeses scare me a bit and i have yet to try it.
that night we also split a filet and a side of haricot vert. the filet, a hunk of prime beef, was perfectly broiled with a slight char and still red in the center. it comes on a hot plate in a small pool of drawn butter. haricot vert are always a wonderful al dente and sauteed with shallots. i've had most of the side items on the menu, but the haricot vert is my favorite.
as for other cuts of meat, they usually have an off-menu bone-in ribeye which is served with a port peppercorn sauce. i'm a total sucker for meat still attached to the bone, but the sauce puts this dish over the top. the port peppercorn has wonderful hints of caramel and is so buttery rich. we were attempting to eat healthier this evening thus foregoing the strip which i usually order and bone-in ribeye. i even thought about requesting a side of port peppercorn sauce, but seriously, the stuff is like crack. we already had 3 starters, so i knew i had better not (this time).
friday lunches are a special treat. first of all, friday is the only lunch they are open for. secondly, they make a wonderful burger using ground up steak trimmings. (you can also request the burger in the bar at dinner, although i've never done it. burger = lunch, steak = dinner in my book.) lastly, the steakhouse fries are thick cut, extra crispy on the outside, and just wonderful.