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Culture / Restaurants

A Buzzy New Houston Steakhouse Brings a Las Vegas Scene and a Monster Menu

The New River Oaks Hotspot?

BY // 06.14.16

Stately seafood towers, deep-fried deviled eggs and beignet-adorned metallic tree branches aren’t conventional steakhouse staples, but at the new Steak 48 in River Oaks District, these grandiose displays are the norm. The contemporary steak and seafood concept from sibling restaurateurs Jeffrey and Michael Mastro — the pair modeled the Houston restaurant after their Phoenix-based Steak 44 — aims to enhance the city’s restaurant scene with a one-of-a-kind dining experience that pairs polished design aesthetic with enticing food.

“We are excited to be a part of the continued growth and development happening in Houston. We plan to dive in head first with getting to know our neighbors and welcoming the community to experience Steak 48,” senior vice president Oliver Badgio says.

The newly-opened steakhouse is the fourth restaurant to debut in al fresco shopping complex River Oaks District, joining Dallas-based restaurants Toulouse and Taverna as well as Austin-based burger chain Hopdoddy. French-Vietnamese concept Le Colonial, fusion eatery Sumo Maya Mexican-Asian Kitchen and classic American café The Porch will open later this year.

Amid the flurry of newly minted eateries, Steak 48’s two-story, 13,700-square-foot digs stand out upon entry. An elevated bar serves as a life-sized centerpiece anchoring the first-floor dining room with hanging glassware and embellished lighting. Grand photographs hang on the restaurant’s sprawling walls — some monochrome, while others showcase a vibrant tinge. Floor-to-ceiling glass panels separate the open floor plan, providing pockets of privacy throughout the vigorous landscape.

It’s a scene reminiscent of Las Vegas nightlife — perhaps a cue from its West Coast sister restaurant. Diverse music genres blast from the restaurant’s sound system, projecting everything from soulful ballads such as Leon Bridges’ “Coming Home” to pop tracks from Meghan Trainor.

Though Steak 48 may emerge as the newest go-to hub to see-and-be-scene, it’s not resting on ornate interiors or high-profile guests lists for validation. Well-executed food remains the top priority.

Chef Jeff Taylor mans the Steak 48 kitchen. (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Chef Jeff Taylor mans the Steak 48 kitchen. (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)

In the kitchen, executive chef Jeff Taylor sears hand-cut, wet-aged steaks before tossing them into a 1,000-degree broiler. The seafood supply is flown in daily, and the rotating selection is culled from sustainable fisheries.

Start your meal with options like the raw seafood tower — oysters, Alaskan king crab legs, Maine lobster and other crustaceans abound — crispy shrimp paired with garlic aoli, braised pork belly lathered in Thai chile sauce, or fried deviled eggs served with siracha aioli.

The obligatory steak spans from eight to 22 ounces, with nine prime cuts available — New York strip, petite filet mignon, ribeye, steak farina, filet mignon, bone-in Kansas City strip, bone-in filet mignon, bone-in ribeye and the domestic Wagyu filet. Each steak can be enhanced with sautéed blue cheese, green peppercorn, truffle butter, crab cake Oscar style, chef-style burrata, crispy shirmp, foie gras or surf-and-turf.

Not in the mood for steak? Dishes such as Chilean sea bass, New Bedford scallops, pan-sautéed chicken, bone-in veal chop and six leafy salads line Steak 48’s menu. Also available are the restaurant’s sides, including corn créme brûlée, creamed spinach, asparagus fries, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes and Alaskan king crab and rock shrimp macaroni and cheese.

Don’t dash without dessert. Warm vanilla caramel cake, red velvet bread pudding, the grilled banana split or a cookies & cream popcorn sundae provide a sweet finale to an already decadent meal.

Home, chic home.

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