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Quail, Crab and Pork Show That Kirby’s Appeal Extends Beyond Beef

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Kirby’s Tenderloin Yakitori

The road through Restaurant Week led us to Kirby’s Steakhouse Sunday, which proved to be a lucky move. Not only did we have a wonderful dinner at the steakhouse, known for its prime cuts and dimly lit dining rooms, but we also enjoyed a nice surprise concerning the bottle of wine we ordered: The steakhouse on Loop 1604 offers 50 percent off  all bottles under $200 every Sunday evening.

The special menu for Restaurant Week, which Kirby’s actually offers through Sept. 1, is varied and includes a number of options not on the regular menu. You can also get larger portions for a  little extra.

Achiote Chile-glazed Texas Quail

Instead of larger portions, we opted to split an additional appetizer, a moist quail in a lightly spicy ancho chile rub that costs a $7 extra. The exceptionally tender meat cut easily with a butter knife, and we enjoyed dredging it in a bing cherry balsamic reduction that offer a fruity balance to the ancho’s heat.

Among the appetizer choices, my friend opted for the crab cake, made with plenty of crab meat and topped with a garlic butter sauce. Two skewers of beef tenderloin yakotori, with a smoky layer of paprika seasoning each bite, were served over a honey-ginger sauce; the sauce was a tad too sweet for my taste and distracted from the excellent beef flavor; thankfully, it was easy to avoid.

Among the half-dozen entree options, including a pair of beef options, my friend had her sights firmly set on the generous Australian rack of lamb with a shiitake-veal demi-glace. It was served perfectly medium rare as ordered, while the combination of mushrooms and veal added a welcome earthiness.

Alaskan king crab cake with

The herb-crusted pork tenderloin, served medium, as recommended, was juicy and satisfying, with sage coming through the herb blend beautifully. I wish I could say the same for the bland dressing on the side, which bore no trace of the promised mushroom flavor. It was the lone misstep of the evening.

The meals came with a welcome plate of sautéed vegetables, including squashes, carrots and broccoli, as well as mashed potatoes and mushrooms.

Instead of the advertised desserts, Kirby’s chef willingly made us two dishes of mixed berries for this pair of diabetics. The medley of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries went well with the last vestiges of the Cabernet Sauvignon we had ordered with dinner. On sommelier Sam Miller’s recommendation, we chose a 2006 Forefathers Lone Tree Vineyard Cab, which was opened beautifully in the glass, revealing some luscious dark berry and red fruit flavors blended with some soft tannins. It was a welcome accompaniment to the entire meal.

Mixed berries with chantilly cream.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week continues at about three dozen places around town. Lunches cost $15, while dinners are priced at $35. For a list of participants, click on the Culinaria ad above.

Kirby’s Steakhouse
123 N. Loop 1604 E.
(210) 404-2221
kirbyssteakhouse.com

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