Some believe that the American steakhouse is an archaic restaurant model from a bygone era. A boys’ club. A high dollar gathering place exclusive to celebrating business deals with overpriced bourbon and overcooked steak. Anyone can name five or six, maybe even ten, steakhouses, none of which is any more remarkable than the next. My husband and I had reached the point of feeling like a steakhouse is a steakhouse is a steakhouse. Until last Friday evening.
Having recently dined at Peggy’s On The Green, we were very much looking forward to our invitation to Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, also owned by Chef Mark Bohanan. As we entered the street level bar I knew immediately it would be a special evening.
As their website says, “The Bar at Bohanan’s is where the grownups go…” Refreshingly so. I was quite struck by the juxtaposition of classic architecture and old-world decor with such a comfortable atmosphere. I find steakhouse bars to either be small and crowded or too sparsely arranged. I’m looking for just the right combination of intimacy and energy, which is exactly the synthesis you’ll find at Bohanan’s. Here you’ll sink into deeply seated soft leather chairs and sofas arrayed into private little groupings. Combine this with the seductive amber lighting and you may need to get a room. It’s old school but oh so sexy. Don’t be surprised when your cocktails flow as easily as your conversation. We enjoyed pre-dinner libations of Meiomi Pinot Noir and an Old Fashioned. Service is highly professional and very friendly.
Next we headed upstairs via elevator to the second floor for dinner. Our reserved table in the Houston Room was beautifully set against the window overlooking the historic Majestic Theatre. Sitting above the street amongst the twinkling white lights adorning the trees outside gives the room a deeply romantic feel. It’s easy to imagine you’re looking down onto the streets of Paris, rather than downtown San Antonio.
Speaking of France, Fabien Jacob, Bohanan’s certified sommelier presented us with a bubbly aperitif of Gosset, the oldest wine house in Champagne. Fabien is everything that you hope for in an excellent sommelier. He took the time to get to know us and our preferences in wine without any intimidating airs or pressure to select a wine we weren’t comfortable with. We felt as if we were his only table. He recommended a 2014 Lioco Pinot Noir that paired perfectly with both entrees and exceeded our expectations for quality. I highly recommend seeking his expertise.
Now on to the main event. To start we chose the Caprese Salad, a special for the evening, made with three varieties of heirloom tomatoes halved and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese. The tomatoes were large and flavorful and the use of heirlooms was a surprising and delicious enhancement, lending a little Texas influence to this Italian staple. We also opted for the Seared Sashimi Grade Tuna, perfectly seared with a light crusting of sesame seeds. The temperature, texture, and flavor of the tuna were on point, and the micro greens of seaweed salad added a stimulating brightness.
You cannot come to Bohanan’s without having steak. It’s been said that some restaurants are not as forthcoming with the quality of the steak they’re serving. What is supposed to be USDA Prime is actually “high choice.” You won’t find this deception at a Mark Bohanan establishment. He has an outstanding relationship with Allen Brothers, “The Great Steakhouse Steaks” company, which supplies both Peggy’s On The Green and Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. You know you’re getting the highest quality of beef from Chef Mark Bohanan.
My husband selected a 12 oz. medium-rare ribeye and I decided on the Mero Sea Bass. The steak was absolutely above reproach. Requesting a steak at medium-rare and actually getting a steak at medium-rare are two different things. Bohanan’s knows how to achieve this. The sea bass had a light crust of a sear and flaked away in succulent pieces. Absolutely divine. For a side dish we shared the Creamy Macaroni & Cheese, because how could you not? It’s simple and classic and has that crusty top part that makes it a fan favorite.
What I really appreciate about Mark Bohanan’s restaurants is that I always find something that reminds me of my roots. There’s a connection to Texas and comfort food. I not only make a memory while dining here but also reminisce on one. For dessert we went for an off-menu selection of pineapple upside down cake. My grandmother used to make me a pineapple upside down cake every year for my birthday. It’s a rather untraditional birthday cake and pretty simple but every time I have one, which isn’t often, I’m reminded of her and her love of cooking for her family. Bohanan’s pineapple upside down cake is so fluffy and gooey and full of brown sugary delight. But I will never tell my grandmother just how good it is.
In this foodie’s opinion, Bohanan’s has truly bested the steakhouse scene.
Finally, a special thank you to Chef Mark Bohanan (and fellow Aggie) for inviting us to experience Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. It is truly a feast for all the senses at your restaurants. Also, I’d like to thank our server Friday evening, Preston Shinn, for such a welcoming and memorable experience. And again to Fabien Jacob. Merci!
You can read my review of Peggy’s On The Green here.
219 East Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
128 West Blanco Road
Boerne, TX 78006
Bohanan’s Bests The Steakhouse Scene appeared first on Cathedrals and Cafés.