5424 Steiner Ranch Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78732
Phone: (512) 381-0800
Hours: Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. 4-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4-11 p.m.
Perched high upon a hilltop at the front of the Steiner Ranch neighborhood is Steiner Ranch Steakhouse. This spot is a multi-leveled eatery with a clubby ranch meets Austin modern feel. The numerous, generous rock decks offer lots of room for musical performers and amazing vistas of the Hill Country and Lake Travis.
It would be simple to dismiss Steiner Ranch Steakhouse on the assumption that its patios and best-of-the-city views substitute for quality food. But such an assumption would seriously underestimate the delicious meals being served out of Steiner Ranch Steakhouse’s kitchen.
We visited on a Sunday afternoon, greeted by a sunny patio that provided seriously stunning views of Lake Travis. As we were seated, Drew Womack played guitar and sang favorites from the likes of James Taylor and Steve Miller Band. We grabbed mimosas and checked out the menu.
One thing we noticed immediately and consistently throughout our meal was the impeccable, friendly service. Every person we encountered from the hostesses to our waitress to employees merely acknowledging us in passing were extremely friendly and helpful, lending a welcoming charm.
We started off our meal with two appetizers–the Buffalo Quail Legs and the elk toronadas. The toronadas featured tender grilled elk slices atop crispy Asiago cheese crostini with pico de gallo. The elk was perfectly prepared, smoky and tender, and the creamy sauce and zesty pico were the perfect complement to the elk.
The Buffalo Quail Legs were also delicious. The sauce was a smoky mingling of barbecue and buffalo sauces, with hints of roasted garlic. The batter on the legs was so delicate as to almost appear grilled, and the smoky sauce was the perfect off the gaminess of the quail. The smoky-sweet sauce was further complemented by a stout, creamy gorgonzola dip. As we finished up our appetizers, we were treated to a multi-song performance by an operatic duo.
The wedge salad was scattered with tomato, green onions, applewood bacon, and Gorgonzola crumbles. The salad was finished with a creamy blue cheese dressing. Both salads were remarkably fresh and crispy and very large (definitely large enough to share).
We next sampled three entrees. First up was the chicken fried Denver elk. The elk was carefully tenderized, then lightly battered and fried. The elk was covered with a surprisingly light gravy with hints of red and black peppers. The elk was paired with a generous portion of skin-on mashed potatoes that were creamy and rustic. The plate was finished with asparagus, which was a bit on the undercooked side, but the elk and potatoes were so massive and delicious, that we did not miss the asparagus anyway.
One person in our group opted to sample the kabobs from the appetizer menu as an entree. The kabobs on our visit featured skin-on grilled mahi mahi medallions, paired with red bell pepper and onion slices, and mushrooms. The kabobs were grilled just to done, and dusted with zesty seasoning.
We grabbed one side for the table (which we really did not need, in light of the huge entree portions). We opted for the lobster mac and cheese (again, a surprisingly generous portion), which arrived bubbling in a skillet. The penne pasta soaked in a peppery cheese sauce, and was coated with ample amounts of grilled cheese atop the dish. Throughout the pasta were huge chunks of succulent lobster. This side was filling and large enough to serve as an entree in its own right, and was downright delicious.
Finally, we tried the Austin Ribeye, a 10 oz. cut that was prepared to a perfect medium rare. The Steiner Ranch ribeye was topped with an herbed butter with shallots and chives. The steak was seasoned with restraint, letting the meat stand on its own. The steak was paired with the same mashed potatoes and asparagus that came with the elk.
We left Steiner Ranch Steakhouse wondering why it had taken so long for us to seek out this spot. Between the amazing views, delicious food, and welcoming atmosphere, Steiner Ranch Steakhouse is the type of place you want to make your go-to special meal spot. We will definitely be returning.