At a time when eating smaller, healthier and quicker may seem the way to go for local diners, the opulent Perry's Steakhouse & Grille, new in Grapevine, qualifies as a refreshing change of pace.
Perry's is part of a growing Texas-born national chain (the Grapevine store is location No. 15) that unapologetically throws back to a time and place of indulgence, excess and fun — when dining used to take two hours, involve several courses and rounds of drinks, and cost a lot of money.
The vibe: With its enormous size — 10,000 square feet — and magnificent stone and glass shell, you'll think you're visitinga luxury hotel. As you walk in, you'll see the various cuts of beef in which Perry's specializes, including the restaurant's prized possession, A5 Japanese Kobe beef, supposedly the best cut of meat on the planet.
You'll get ushered to your seat by a friendly hostess. This will require a bit of maneuvering, as the tables are situated close together. Under castle-size chandeliers, you'll dine within inches of swooning couples, large and loud groups, and rowdy revelers celebrating special occasions; leave the kids at home.
The food: Perry's menu has one foot in the past, one in the present. It's a throwback menu that even millennials would be cool with — short and concise, made up of classic, bone-in steaks, specialty dishes and sides served family-style. It'll take you longer to decide what wine to get.
There are also a dozen appetizers, ranging from crab cakes and oysters to escargot and fried asparagus. We opted for the latter ($17.95) and couldn't find a single fault. The firm stalks were cloaked in sheaths of pleasantly salty and crunchy batter, nicely counterbalanced by small plops of slightly sweet jumbo crab meat.
The entree most diners choose is, oddly, not a steak but the signature pork chop, which isn't a pork chop at all. Essentially roasted, smoked and caramelized pork served three ways, it consisted of ribs, tenderloin and a center-cut portion, all carved tableside. At $40, it was a steal. Even though we split it, we still had two days' worth of leftovers.
Our server offered chronological instructions on how to eat this mammoth amount of food: Start with the ribs, then the center cut (nicknamed the "eyelash," as it's near the eye of cut) and finish with the loin. A side of applesauce is designed to help break up the monotony but we barely touched it, as each portion had such a unique flavor.
We thought less of the Surf & Turf Pasta ($32.95), whose thick tomato basil sauce overpowered the grilled lobster tail and medallions of filet mignon that crowned the angel-hair pasta.
Better to spend that money on the coveted A5 ($17.95 an ounce) Japanese Wagyu. A 2-ounce portion may not sound like a lot, but it was plenty for us. Composed of 10 bite-size pieces, thinly sliced, cooked medium rare and scarred with a sear, it was some of the best beef I've ever had — well-marbled, perfectly seasoned with sea salt, and, thanks to the surplus of fat, incredibly rich. In fact, it was so rich, 2 ounces was about all we could handle.
Dessert options include old school "flaming desserts" such as bananas Foster, along with deconstructed lemon meringue pie and rocky-road bread pudding.
The service: Impeccable. But the white-glove treatment never translated to stuffiness. You'll have a blast.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille
2400 W. Texas 114
Hours: 4-10.p.m Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 4-10 p.m. Saturday; 4-9 p.m. Sunday