Short Orders: The Place At Perry's

The Place at Perry's
2911 Routh St.

Last night a group of the city's upstanding citizens, and myself, celebrated the something-or-other anniversary of McKinney Avenue's trolley.

I was with a group from Nationwide Insurance, who I think must have invited me along in order to thank me for signing with a difference agency, thus saving them untold thousand in claims. Right now I'm finishing up a breakfast of coffee and Zapp's potato chips while eying the bottle of Jack Daniel's on my desk--behaviors which certainly will prove costly to the other firm.

Anyway, we were taken by short bus (not the trolley) to what used to be called Perry's--and still is, colloquially.

Chef-owner Travis Henderson's restaurant is sometimes overlooked when people tick off lists of this city's top steakhouses, in part because it's not an overblown palace. But they really should consider The Place at Perry's alongside Del Frisco's, Nick & Sam's and Pappas Bros.

Besides showing a predilection for extraordinarily tender rare steak--rich and dark on the outside, cool and maroon in the center--they employ a few techniques that emphasize the flavor. One of these is a filet seared with Colombian coffee. The soft yet bitter character burnt into the crust blends into the caramelized tang of grilled prime.

Unfortunately, they doused half the steak in a creamy shallot reduction. Nice on its own--echoing earthy-sweet notes--the sauce obscured all that delicate bitterness seared into the meat.

Damn it. When your kitchen is this good, you should leave the steak alone.

But the other usual elements--mashed potatoes, asparagus--are just right. And service is prompt and professional. They look the part of formal steakhouse waiters, but move naturally through the room.

Of course, the fact that they had all monitors tuned to the World Cup qualifier means they're a little more worldly than most steakhouses. Maybe that's the best part.

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