Last week we checked out The Ranch in Las Colinas and looked in on Bonnie Wilson who just made the switch from Whiskey Cake where she had bar duties. Wilson now manages the Front of the House in addition to the bar where she is creating a slew of new cocktails. The restaurant, which is a huge homage to Texas dining, has historically sold more beer and wine, but now is venturing off into to craft cocktails. A welcome addition, to be sure. Wilson has the talent to carry the bar, along with her very capable staff.
But the Ranch is not just about libations. With chef Grant Morgan at the helm there is plenty being cooked up in the kitchen. Morgan has a fantastic background as chef and has worked in some fine kitchens, including ZaZa’s Dragonfly. He is a soft spoken and affable guy who enjoys his work, and it shows on each plate.
The Ranch is owned by the same restaurant group behind Whiskey Cake, and numerous other restaurants including Velvet Taco and Twin Peaks, all of which share the talent of corporate chef John Franke.
The Ranch stays extremely busy, especially during the week when business travelers file in, sometimes by the busload to take advantage of the close proximity to the corporate epicenter in Las Colinas. The restaurant has a lot to offer visitors to the DFW area, including a feel of Texas. In addition to the restaurant, there is an attached bar which offers an escape without having to move to another venue. Here you will find a more relaxed room for cocktails and lighter bites, and live music nearly each evening. The night we were in many of the guests reveled on the dance floor while hoisting beers.
The weekends are a little more laid back, and families take advantage of the fun atmosphere, along with great food that is priced extremely friendly. In fact, Saturday the Ranch offers half priced wine. This is virtually unheard of as a weekend special.
We ordered plenty of food for you to check out. We didn’t go for the steaks that evening, which can range from a petite filet to a honking haunch of Waygu Tomahawk which is actually meant for two, but there have been plenty of hombres knock it back all by their lonesome. Instead we went for more the of home-style dishes like the fried chicken which spends time in a smoker before battered up and fried to a juicy perfection.
All of the concepts owned by this particular restaurant group seek out farm fresh and local. This means great beef, and locally sourced everything, including the honey. The kitchen’s at the Ranch are pretty huge, and also house the bakery that not only takes care of that restaurant’s needs, including house-baked buns and custom desserts (some of which were developed by Dude Sweet Katherine Clapner), but for some of the other restaurants, like that divine red velvet cake at Velvet Taco.
And those cocktails we went for originally? Amazing. Besides all the wonderful whiskey and scotch offerings, Bonnie Wilson has some well crafted drinks such as the Lemon Thyme Martini and a Grey Goose cocktail made with cactus pears. Also look for a fine cigar selection.