Vineyard Steakhouse – Restaurant review

This past weekend we ventured out to Vineyard Steakhouse for an early birthday celebration for me (I believe in birthday “weeks” and in my book you can never have too many celebratory dinners). We had a great meal and I think this is definitely in our top two or three nice restaurants in the area.

When we got there, we were seated and given menus and it took a few minutes for anyone to come to our table. I thought that was a little unusual, but we were perusing the menu and not in a particular hurry. After about five minutes, someone came by and told us our server would be there shortly and that someone else would be bringing us our champagne. However, we hadn’t ordered champagne. Hmmm….
We weren’t sure if they had made a mistake or perhaps were giving us champagne as a consolation for taking a few minutes for a server to get to our table.  As I looked around the room, I realized that nearly every other table had glasses of champagne, and decided that this must just be something they do for all their customers as a welcome.  Very nice and classy, and the champagne wasn’t bad at all, especially since it was free.  We each ordered a glass of red wine as well to go with the meal.

After considering the salads and appetizers, we decided to share an order of the crab cakes.  I always love crab cakes and these were no exception; they had nice big pieces of lump crabmeat and were served over a remoulade sauce.  There were two of them, each a nice size, and while I could have eaten them both, this was a nice way for us each to get a taste of an appetizer and still have plenty of room left for the main event.

Our main courses arrived shortly after that.  After reading some reviews online, I decided that I really needed to try a steak.  I ordered the 6 ounce filet, and was really happy to see that on the menu.  So few steakhouses have this size; usually the smallest you can find is 8 or 9.  I also ordered the bearnaise sauce to go over it and the garlic mashed potatoes.  The steak was so tender it was almost falling apart, and the potatoes had plenty of butter and garlic.  Delicious!

Jason ordered the Alaskan cod with bay scallop scampi.  It was lightly breaded and topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese, and served over pasta.  He thought it was very good, although he wasn’t quite able to finish it all.  That worked out great for me, as I had some leftover mashed potatoes too, and we took it all home where it served as my lunch the next day.  🙂

Since it was a birthday meal, I could hardly leave without dessert.  I had a hard time deciding between the chocolate sambuca cake, chocolate molten cake, and chocolate/banana bread pudding (Someone loves chocolate, no?).  I finally went for the chocolate sambuca cake.  This was the only part of the meal that was just OK.  The flavor of the cake was excellent, but it was cold as if it had just come from the refrigerator.  Room temperature at least would have been better.  I think next time we go there, I will go for the chocolate molten cake.

Speaking of birthdays and cake, I will also say that when I made the reservation, they asked if it was a special occasion and I mentioned it was my birthday celebration.  While they did make some mention of it when we were seated, nothing was said after that.  I have had this happen at restaurants before with birthday/anniversary meals and it puzzles me.  Why ask someone if it’s a special occasion if you’re not going to do something with the information?

But that’s a minor nitpick.  We really enjoyed our meal, from the first glasses of the champagne through the entire dinner and on to dessert, and I expect we will be back before too long.  This is a great addition to the Grapevine fine dining scene, which if I may say, is pretty impressive already for a community of this size.

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