by Steven Doyle
In 1979, the Perry family opened its first restaurant: a modest meat market in Southeast Houston called Perry’s Butcher Shop and Deli. By 1986, Chris Perry persuaded his father Bob to add dining tables, paving the way for an expansion and the opening of a second market. As the markets gained popularity, today operating as Perry & Sons Market & Grille, Chris went on to create Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in 1993.
With locations in Uptown, Plano and the latest incarnation in Grapevine it is always a special occasion to pay a visit to one the steakhouses. Whether you go for the now legendary 7-finger chop carved table-side for the awe of your tablemates and anyone in eye’s distance, or one of the magnificent steaks, Perry’s is a place to show your friends and family a special evening. With the holidays now at hand it would be a good time to revisit this old friend. And we did just recently and found some really special new items that captured our attention by the mere mention of the menu.
Not sure about you but I like to measure a good steakhouse by their seafood. And Perry’s set the bar fairly high with their new Red Snapper Crudo; Gulf wild red snapper thinly sliced and served on a chilled plate, dressed with fresh pickled ginger, turmeric, red fresno chile, finger lime berries and virgin tangerine oil. The flavors are breathtaking, but the plate leaves you wanting a bit more. So we sampled the new Octopus offering which is Spanish octopus simmered in a flavored broth, seasoned, charred, sliced and then served with a creamy herbaceous slaw and potatoes roasted with garlic and lemon. Garnished with onions pickled in citrus and jalapeño. The flavors are not for the faint of heart with a bold chile bite married with the perfectly tender cephalopod. Outstanding dish and a must try. The char on the octopus is nothing short of perfection.
More on the seafood front we were then presented with a whole Bandera Branzino roasted whole, and festive mind you, in a salt cake. Upon gasps and ahhs the fish was whisked away to be deboned and make pretty. The fish was set with a side of an agrodolce sauce, which is a bit sweet and sour in an Asian sense, and is cooked down with fruits and vinegar to create a perfect balance. The branzino is terrific without the sauce, but you will definitely wish to sample with it as well.
The following course was a 16-ounce cowboy fut bison which translates to a Durham Ranch Natural Bison rubbed with a special seasoning and butter basted with garlic cloves and fresh thyme sprigs. Served with a classic Chimichurri. My dining friend for the evening is a cattle rancher and knows his beef well, and was happy to see bison on the table. We both fell silent at the plate set before us and he was speechless. While cutting into the gorgeous steak we chattered endlessly about how beautiful the cut was. While we dined we both beamed. Leaving the restaurant later we gushed about how terrific and almost unexpected the dinner was, but also there was a lot of talk about that bison and its perfection. Lean yes, but infused with bacon wor added flavor and juiciness. Oh, we adored the branzino, and you will too. But that bison is a must order.
We polished off the night with two desserts, a butterscotch budino layered with a salted caramel sauce and an olive oil strawberry shortcake. It would be difficult at best to tell you which to order, even though this may be my job, so we suggest both. The desserts play well off each other and neither too sweet.
Perry’s has a full bar with some seriously good specialty cocktails, but we might suggest a few of their own branded wine which were ever-so-perfect for the evening.
Perry’s is what Uptown Dallas should be defined as, with its rich elegance and attention to service, great fare and cocktails. It is what the holiday season needs when visiting Dallas.