PaperCity Magazine

February 2018- Houston

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60 I n recent years, Houston has become a contested battleground of steakhouse vs. steakhouse, all vying for the expense-account crowd that routinely discusses mergers and acquisitions, the price of oil and real estate deals over a New York strip. The newest entrant into the steak game is Mastro's Steakhouse. Originally created by the Mastro brothers, the concept was purchased by Houston billionaire and Landry's CEO and chairman Tilman Fertitta in 2007, all while the brothers sat on the sidelines until their non-compete clause lapsed. Coincidentally (or not), the siblings entered the market once again with another steak concept, Steak 48, one of which is poised less than a mile from the newly unveiled Mastro's. Never to be deterred by competition, Fertitta's crown jewel stands as one of the anchors to his new 10-acre development that includes the soon-to-open Post Oak Hotel and Landry's corporate headquarters. While Porsches, Ferraris, Rolls-Royces and Bentleys line the VIP spots up front, inside the dimly lit room big spenders vie for semicircular booths and seats around the see- and-be seen bar set center stage, all as a lounge singer croons top- 40 hits. Your polished server (ours was Mark) guides you through menu standouts including exclusives to Houston such as garlic-roasted bone marrow and the best dish at our table: the Aspen Ridge, an all-natural boneless rib-eye, sliced a quarter-inch thick and served alongside a scorching-hot stone and a trio of sauces. Sear each side of this beautifully marbled cut ever so briefly on the sizzling stone, then top with a dollop of mustard, ponzu with jalapeño, or chimichuri sauce ($48). Kudos to exec chef Michael Colbert for dreaming up this dish, and chef Angel Cabajal of Cabo San Lucas's Niksan, who is credited with developing Mastro's appealing sushi selections. Steaks and chops, all 28-day wet aged, range from a manageable six-ounce petite filet ($41) to a mighty 33-ounce chef's-cut rib-eye chop ($75), all of which can be served au poivre (but sans the classic pan peppercorn sauce laced with cognac) and served on a 400-degree white platter scattered with chopped fresh parsley. Seafood options also abound, from New Zealand Ora King salmon filet ($36) and local Gulf snapper and jumbo lump crab served à la meunière ($45) to live Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab, both of which are market priced. Standard sides include the usual, but go for the unusual, the Alaska king crab with a black truffle gnocchi ($34) or the perfectly prepared scalloped potatoes laced with Gruyère ($14). Finish with the dessert that regulars often start their meal with: Mastro's signature butter cake, a truly decadent slice topped with vanilla ice cream, or the equally wonderful warm cherry crisp. Mastro's, 1600 Post Oak Blvd., 713.993.2500, STEAK WELL DONE By Laurann Claridge Warm butter cake Wagyu Tomahawk The new Mastro's Steakhouse in The Post Oak Hotel

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