Sunday, September 21, 2014

Oxford Grillhouse has great steaks, but next time I'm going to try the Mr. Phat's Chinese menu

    I visited the Oxford Grillhouse the other night with my daughter Lucy. It was the first time I've visited since it opened on the Square.
    I give them a solid B, and the steak a solid A-plus. Others might not grade the steak so high, for reasons I'll explain in a moment. But I thought the steak was outstanding.
    I didn't order from the Chinese menu that the Grillhouse has on Thursday nights. They have arranged for Mr. Phat -- formerly of Two Stick and before that Ruby's Chinese Restaurant -- to prepare a few of his specialties on Thursday nights. Ruby's was one of my favorite Chinese restaurnts ever -- the other was in Cayce, South Carolina -- and I can't wait to make a Chinese night of it.
    Now for a couple of negatives, some of which can be cured with wiser ordering.
    First quibble: the Grillhouse has joined Boure' in using stemless wine glasses. These are nothing more than water tumblers, and I don't care for them. Fortunately I was able to get a stemmed glass for my second order. So if you prefer a stemmed wine glass, ask for it.
    Second quibble: I ordered the wedge salad, and was surprised that it had what appeared to be a good bit of French salad dressing. I pulled the menu up after I came home and found that the wedge salad comes with "a touch of sweet balsamic drizzle." I didn't get a touch; it was a slathering, and pretty much ruined the salad. In the end it was my partially my fault for not studying the menu more carefully. A wedge salad should have nothing but blue cheese (or preferably, Roquefort) dressing.
    My steak was outstanding and cooked a nice medium-rare. It was well seasoned, and might be a little too seasoned for some, but perfect for me. I always get a little Worcestershire Sauce for my steak, but mine really didn't need anything else. It had a good bit of coarse salt, which for me is a bonus; I love salt. But if something is salty enough for me that means it is too salty for most people. So salt-haters might request that they use an easy hand with the salt.
    Lucy ordered the Redfish Stuffed with Crawfish & Asparagus, served over risotto. The fish was outstanding, but Lucy hated the risotto. I took a taste and hated it, too. I realize some may say "hate" is a strong word, but the risotto remained uneaten.
    For dessert Lucy and I shared a molten lava cake with ice cream. We enjoyed it.
    Although I've mentioned a few things I didn't like, I'm looking forward to going back. Oxford Grillhouse does an amazing job with steaks, but next time I'm going to try the Chinese menu.

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