Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for July...Featuring Perry's Steakhouse & Grille at La Cantera in San Antonio

Exterior shot of Perry's Steakhouse & Grille, located at
La Cantera in San Antonio.
This month's featured restaurant in my monthly The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out series is the San Antonio location of Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. Perry’s is a Texas-based restaurant with nine locations in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. The San Antonio location opened last November at the upscale La Cantera shopping center. Since then, it has become quite popular  with local foodies! Perry’s hosted Michael and I for a personalized tour of the restaurant and a multi-course dinner highlighting some of their signature menu items, as well as martinis and their wonderful house cabernet sauvignon wine. 

The main dining room -- elegant without being stuffy!
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by General Manager Jeremiah Garcia. He gave Michael and I a walking tour of the restaurant and told us some of Perry’s history. The restaurant started as a butcher shop in Houston in 1979, and it has grown since then to become one of Texas's premier steakhouses. Perry's is serious about steak, serving only USDA Prime aged beef. We were very impressed by the sophisticated decor and the casual upscale vibe of both the restaurant and the adjoining Bar 79. This sleek bar features live piano music and lots of plush, comfy furniture to relax with friends over drinks and appetizers...before your meal, or as a destination of its own. Perry’s offers three private dining rooms that can be booked separately, or as one large facility that can seat up to 120 people for meetings or receptions. The kitchen, located at the rear of the dining room, is open-concept with large windows so you can see your meal being prepped in the kitchen.

From the dining room, you can see into the open-concept kitchen prep area. The dining area features
both tables and comfortable booths.

After our tour, we were seated at a table in the main dining room and introduced to Mark, our server. He was very knowledgeable and friendly, which is a great combo! First to arrive at our table were two trios of mini martinis from the bar. Both of our trios included Perry's signature Thyme-Lemondrop martini, flavored with lemon, thyme, and elderflower liqueur. It was refreshing and delicious! Of the other mini martinis we sampled, we especially enjoyed two: the Raspberry Crusta (flavored with raspberry, lemon, and sparking rose wine) and the Grand Smash (flavored with lemon, orange, mint, and Grand Marnier). The martini trio is available on the bar menu...it’s the ideal way to sample smaller servings of several signature martinis from their mixology drink menu.

First up was two Mini Martini Trios from Bar 79. The top trio includes (from left): Thyme-Lemondrop,
Raspberry Crusta, and Cucumber Blueberry. The bottom trio includes (from left): Grand Smash, Thyme-Lemondrop, and Lemon Creme.

Perry's features three different private-label wines, including this
fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon. It's custom-blended for Perry's in
 Sonoma, California.
The first items to arrive from the kitchen were two appetizers: Perry’s Signature Fried Asparagus topped with jumbo lump crab and their Housemade Polish Sausage. Talk about perfect timing: just before the appetizers arrived at the table, Mark brought us a bottle of Perry’s 2009 Private Label Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was specially blended for Perry’s by Amici in Sonoma, California, and it is fabulous! Seriously, it’s some of the best red wine we’ve tasted in ages. It paired very nicely with each item that we sampled during the evening. Now...about the appetizers. The fried asparagus was crispy without being the least bit greasy, tender on the inside, and seasoned perfectly with a lemon-butter sauce. The jumbo lump crab was very sweet and complimented the flavor and texture of the asparagus perfectly. This is their signature appetizer...and for good reason: it’s off-the-charts good! 

Perry's Signature Fried Asparagus...perfectly crispy, topped with jumbo lump crab and lemon-butter sauce.

Housemade Polish Sausage, served with two
dipping sauces and crackers on the side.
The Housemade Polish sausage was flavorful and nicely spiced. It was served with mustard and barbeque dipping sauces and crackers on the side. We enjoyed both appetizers a great deal and would definitely order them again. Just as we finished our appetizers, our shared salad arrived. Our featured salad was the Chopped Salad with Applewood-Smoked Bacon, tossed in Italian dressing. The salad contained chopped lettuce, applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion, and grape tomatoes. The dressing was assertive, but not overly so. It was tart, with a nice bit of pepper to give it a spicy bite. We ate our salads with fresh-from-the-oven sourdough bread and whipped butter. Before we knew it, our entrees and side dish arrived...both of which were carved table side with great flair.

The Chopped Salad with Applewood-Smoked Bacon, tossed in the house-made Italian vinaigrette. The
salad contains chopped lettuce, cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, green onions, and grape tomatoes.

Our first entree was chateaubriand, a cut that you don’t see on many menus these days. That’s a shame, because it is AMAZING!  Chateaubriand is basically the most tender part of the beef tenderloin. Our chateaubriand was cooked medium, carved table side into six slices, and served with a trio of sauces: classic bearnaise, truffle merlot, and black peppercorn. The meat was flavorful and cooked perfectly: pink in the middle and so tender that you could cut it with a fork. We both thoroughly enjoyed all three of the flavorful sauces, but the truffle merlot was my most favorite.

The chateaubriand waiting to be carved and topped with a trio of sauces...
Chateaubriand sliced and topped with three sauces. From left: peppercorn, classic bearnaise, and truffle-merlot.

Our second entree was Perry’s Famous Pork Chop, which is cured, roasted, and slow-smoked before being given a quick sear to caramelize the outside just before serving. Our server, Mark, carved the massive chop into three sections: the eyelash (the front end of the chop), the ribs, and the loin. All three sections have a distinct flavor...but it’s all tender, juicy, and slightly smoky. It's served with applesauce on the side. This pork chop is Texas-sized and easily enough for two or three people to share as an entree. The side dish served was Lyonnaise potatoes: crispy potatoes with caramelized onion and parsley. It was the perfect partner for both the steak and the pork...and the cabernet paired perfectly with all of the dishes. 

Perry's Famous Pork Chop arrives at the table...big enough to feed two or three hungry Texans!
Our server carved the chop into three sections table side: the eyelash (the front portion of the chop), ribs, and loin. 
A shot of the entire table...you can see our pork chop, chateaubriand, Lyonnaise potatoes, and a glass of
the delicious cabernet sauvignon that was paired with our meal.
The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar dessert: decadent,
rich, and SO GOOD!!
After the main course was finished, out came cups of coffee...which gave us a bit of a breather to digest a bit and marvel over what a fantastic meal we were enjoying! About that time, Executive Sous Chef Art Lyrus came out from the kitchen to introduce himself. He’s new to Texas from New Jersey, and he’s one heck of a chef! We complimented him on our delicious meal and chatted for a bit. He was friendly and warm, just like all of the staff we encountered at Perry’s that evening! Then, it was time for the grand finale: dessert. Our first offering was the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar: Oreo crust topped with chocolate-peanut butter mousse, hot fudge, and whipped cream...with candied peanuts on the side. It was rich, but not overly sweet. I adore chocolate and peanut butter together...so I was in heaven!

Our second dessert was the Nutty d’Angelo, which is prepared table side. I enjoy desserts that are flambeed...the dramatic flourish always enthralls me! This dessert is a ball of vanilla ice cream that’s been coated in a white chocolate-almond shell. A brandy-infused pecan praline sauce is flambeed table side and poured over the top just before serving! The warm praline and cold ice cream provides a great contrast of flavors and textures. This dessert is over-the-top in the best way possible! We ate the Nutty d’Angelo first since we didn’t want the ice cream to melt. 

The Nutty d'Angelo -- Vanilla ice cream covered in a white chocolate-almond shell, with flambeed
pecan praline sauce poured over the top. Yeah...it's that good! 

We sampled bites of the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar Pie before wrapping it up to enjoy the rest later at home. By then, nearly three hours had passed since we first walked in the door. Believe me when I say that we left full and happy! The staff of Perry’s La Cantera went above and beyond, treating us to an exceptional meal and excellent Texas hospitality. For my Texas-based readers, Perry's is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries...or even when you just feel like enjoying a special meal with that special someone. Perry’s is sure to please on all levels: food, drink, hospitality, and decor!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary tasting menu for two to facilitate this post. As always, the opinions expressed are my own. Most of the pictures featured in this post were taken by Michael, but some were provided to me by Perry's for use in this post.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille on Urbanspoon


  1. Wonderful post! The food looks amazing. I'm drooling:) Those mini martinis look fabulous and dangerous.

    1. It's a WONDERFUL place to celebrate a special evening...keep in mind for your next big night on the town!

  2. Wow! What an evening. Everything looks so delicious, Wendy! Thank you for sharing your evening with us. I'm hungry now!

    1. It was a fabulous meal front to end...haven't been to the Austin location, but I'm sure it's just as fabulous. They are meat-centric, but you can also get wonderful seafood and some veg options as well!

  3. I remember going for dinner at the Perry's in Clear Lake many years ago - I think I was pregnant with Jami at the time. I got that "famous" pork chop and have never forgotten it. Delish! Needless to say, I took part of it home. Your review makes me think that we might need to make a point to visit Perry's again, even if it is a bit of a drive. :)

    1. It's the best pork chop I've EVER eaten!! We had enough left to have pulled pork sandwiches for dinner the next night! You should definitely head to Perry's the next time you're in the mood for a splurge...

  4. The food looks amazing !!! i just stumbled upon your blog and i have it in my favorites already!!


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