by Andrew Chalk
Frisco is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, predicted to outsize Plano in the 2020s. One needs little confirmation of the big-city intentions than a visit to the new Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille just opened in Stonebriar Centre (on the east side of Parkwood just south of Gaylord Pkwy. Google maps wrongly shows it north of Warren Parkway for some reason).
At a recent media preview I found that patrons of the Dallas location will not feel shortchanged, what with an eye-catching ‘wine wall’, four private dining rooms, audio-visual equipment for group/corporate events, a patio, vibrant bar scene and servers delivering a class of service as accomplished as at any upscale steakhouse in town. The whole appearance of the place is opulent and affluent, with clever design touches that provide niches around the walls that are visible from almost every table. It creates an engaging and almost intimate atmosphere, eluding the reality that this is actually one big room. Groups of six should consider the banquettes against the kitchen. Fours should seek a table in the central area. Groups of twelve should pre-book the circular table in the private room at the front. Shortly that will have a marble table to replace the current wooden occupant, but bad weather in the northeast has delayed its delivery by a few weeks.
Every steakhouse expects to be judged primarily by its steak. Perry’s offers the expected USDA prime grade of all the popular cuts. Indulge the house specialty of three sauces before you plumb for the available traditional Béarnaise or just take your steak ‘naked’. The roasted peppercorn sauce is a soft Paddington Bear brown and sits shimmering on the flesh of my châteaubriand, its sheen punctuated by the occasional black speck of peppercorn. The peppery beef stock taste, cut with heavy cream, makes it thoroughly lickable on its own. Perry’s should bottle this, but just at the holiday season. It would acquire a cult following. This is not to diss the truffle-Merlot sauce, another success. The châteaubriand is off-menu, by the way, but available on request.
Among appetizers, check out the Asian Ahi tuna tartare ($15.95), the fried asparagus topped with lump crab meat ($16.95) and the Homemade Polish Sausage ($11.95). Perry’s started in 1979 as a butcher shop and the Polish sausage, a Kielbasa on other menus, is still made in-house from pork and beef.
Already popular at the Uptown location and available in Frisco is the signature “Perry’s Famous Pork Chop”. It is no less than seven fingers high (real fingers, not some dainty dowager digits) and takes chef Kyle Jones half a day to cook “low and slow”. Our example was deeply flavorful with a glorious sinewy texture. Priced at $36.95 on the regular menu, it is sold for an absurd $12.95 at Friday lunch, 11am to 4pm (and with whipped potatoes and applesauce, to boot). A friend who frequents the Uptown location tells me that it comfortably handles two meals.
Perusing the menu, look for the ‘usual suspects’ in terms of proteins, salads and soups. Perry’s delivers what the steak aficionado expects, rather than a culinary cutting edge experience.
The bar (Bar 79, as it is named, in honor of the founding year) whips up a range of specialty cocktails, all priced at $12. We tried a Pineapple Ginger Mojito (sweet), a Manhattan 46 with delectable marinated cherries, and a classic side car. All good, but the winner, by my palate, was an Oolong Whiskey Spice (with an ‘e’ in Whisk*y) which emanated focused orange aromas leading to a bitey woody tea top-note flavor finished by the sweet taste of Dickel #8 Tennessee Whisky.
Perry’s even have their own wine label, and it is not the least expensive wine on the list. Rather, it is intended to stand in its own right. Created in conjunction with California’s Amici cellars, the Sonoma Chardonnay ($13/glass) from Russian River and Sonoma Coast regions embodies the forward fruit, opulent new French oak and soft mouth-feel of California’s contribution to the Chardonnay style tribe. The Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon ($18/glass) from Knight’s Valley leads with dark fruit aromas and has a satisfying but not overbearing grip in the mouth from the chewy tannins. At social hour (4-6pm M-F) the price drops to $9/glass. Very sociable.
What Perry’s do not yet have, to my great surprise for a Texas-founded and based company with ten of its twelve locations in the state, is a single Texas wine. Corporate Beverage Director Susi Zivanovic says she is looking into this. In the meantime, steak eaters seeking Texas wine will have to go down the road, to Bob’s, where the beverage staff report that Texas wine (and beer and whisky) fly off the shelves to the clientele of foreign C-level executives seeking authenticity while visiting U.S. operations on Legacy Drive.
Frisco has given a warm welcome to Perry’s, judging by the crowded parking lot on a Monday night (complimentary valet is available). Crave is delighted to see this new amenity and recommends an early visit.