On the Road with LPC
We spend a lot of our time on the road and are known to savor a good meal. Here is a list of some our favorites. Enjoy!
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille: They say everything is bigger in Texas. That boast certainly applied to the pork chops at Perry’s Steakhouse in downtown Austin: 32 ounces of perfection, butchered on site and carved right at the table. It is just what you would expect from a restaurant that began life as a butcher shop and has retained its respect for all things meat.
The atmosphere at Perry’s is very sophisticated, while at the same time comfortable. The building is a former bank – one of the dining rooms is located inside an abandoned vault. It all seems cozy in spite of the fact that one wall features floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a view of the busy street scene outside.
A special mention goes out to the restaurant’s Bar 79, a very nicely appointed and comfortable spot to enjoy an adult libation while waiting for a table or to meet with a client after closing another successful deal. All in all, Perry’s is my new favorite dining spot deep in the heart of Texas.
114 West 7th Street
Ranch 616: Perhaps the funkiest restaurant in a city known for offbeat dining establishments, Ranch 616 calls itself a “South Texas style icehouse.” The eclectic décor is part roadhouse, part bunkhouse, and part shrine. It somehow works.
Ranch 616’s claim to fame is an unusual combination of seafood and authentic Mexican fare. You haven’t lived until you’ve dined on fried oysters followed up with pork empeñadas. Portions are Texas-sized, and there is a nice selection of wines and cocktails to keep things interesting.
616 Nueces Street
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse: Although one of five restaurants in the Chima chain, this feels like a very high-end destination. As the name suggests, the menu is big on beef served the always delicious Brazilian way. A good place to impress a client or just enjoy a fine meal. Try the Picanha, a prime cut of top sirloin grilled to perfection.
139 S. Tryon Street
Hall’s Chophouse: If lawyers treated clients the way Hall’s treats their guests there would be no defections! It is hard to imagine feeling more welcome anywhere short of home. Even when I have been away for a year or more I am greeted with a shout of “Red Sox!” when I walk through the door. A special place that is pricy but worth every penny. Tell Billy Hall that “Boston” sends his regards!
434 King St
Hanks: An unbeatable combination of fascinating people watching and perhaps the best seafood on the East Coast. Not much to look at from outside, but a very comfortable place to spend time once you sit down for a meal. Be sure to go to the bar and ask Mariah to make you a drink.
10 Hayne St.
High Thyme Cuisine: One of the best places in the state for brunch, High Thyme is also an outstanding choice for lunch or dinner. Laid back service is not for anyone in a rush. But the food is well worth the wait. Try to get seated in the outdoor dining area, then sit back and enjoy the experience.
2213 Middle Street (Sullivan’s Island, SC)
Home Team BBQ: As Mac’s Speed Shop is to Charlotte, so Home Team BBQ is to Sullivan’s Island. Just a comfortable place to kick back and enjoy some good Southern cooking and cold adult beverage. Be prepared to get messy. Splurge and get the full slab – you won’t be sorry.
2209 Middle Street (Sullivan’s Island, SC)
Langdon’s: If you want to impress a client – or a date – Langdon’s is the place to do it. Very elegant and refined, with a menu that puts a local spin on international flavors. I’ve enjoyed many pork chops over the years and Langdon’s is one of the best.
Bi-Lo Shopping Center, 778 South Shelmore Blvd. (Mt Pleasant, SC)
Poe’s Tavern: Just two blocks from the ocean you can sit down to enjoy one of the best burgers you’ll ever eat. Go wild! I’ve had four of their burgers selections and each was great. Plus, the guacamole at Poe’s rivals any of the best. The place is named after Edgar Allan Poe, who spent 13 months on Sullivan’s Island while serving in the U.S. Army.
2210 Middle Street (Sullivan’s Island, SC)
The Boathouse, at Breach Inlet: Next to the Old Fort Pub on Hilton Head Island, The Boathouse may be the best spot on the east coast to enjoy a beautiful sunset. A relaxed atmosphere with Low Country food prepared in a true Southern kitchen. The native sole is a favorite. Go upstairs on the deck, sip a cocktail and enjoy the view.
101 Palm Boulevard (Isle of Palms, SC)
Carolina Brewery and Grill: As might be expected in a college town, the menu includes burgers, BBQ and some of the most interesting tacos I’ve ever seen. Try the CB Local Burger for a delicious twist on an “all-in” burger with everything from bun to burger to cheese sourced locally.
But there’s a reason “brewery” comes before “grill” in the restaurant’s name. As a direct outlet of the Carolina Brewery, you can sample some delightful beers. IPA fans will enjoy the Flagship IPA and (when its available) the Myth Perpetuator Double IPA. For a lighter palate try to Sky Blue Golden Ale. Adventurous? Try the Funky Monk Belgian dubbel ale for a powerful flavor.
460 West Franklin Street
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse: Chef Jeff Ruby says the purpose of his business is to deliver an absolutely incomparable total dining experience, known as “The Jeff Ruby Experience.” I’m here to tell you that Jeff and his staff deliver on that promise.
I’m a steak guy, and I was convinced that nothing could ever top the steakhouses of Chicago. But Jeff Ruby’s in Cincinnati is simply the best steak place ever.
The décor is rich and elegant, with dark woods, toned down lighting and deeply upholstered seating. It creates an atmosphere that says (quietly, of course), “You are about to enjoy a very special meal.” The payoff to this assertion comes quickly, with attentive service and a look at menu filled with an array of steak options. This place is focused – even the seafood choices are listed as “Ocean Meats.”
I went all in and ordered a bone-in rib eye, sautéed with mushrooms and onions, with hash browns on the side. The steak was the most flavorful I have ever had, a great cut that was prepared to perfection. It was accompanied by a terrific red from the restaurant’s extensive wine cellar that put an exclamation point on the entire meal.
If you are ever in – or near – Cincinnati, take the time to have lunch or dinner at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. You’ll call and thank me later.
Speaking of which, Jeff Ruby also has steakhouses in Louisville and Nashville, so now I am looking for excuses to visit those cities. If you have a law firm in either locale and are looking to improve your business development and client management efforts, let’s do lunch – at Jeff Ruby’s.
700 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Columbia (South Carolina)
Motor Supply Company Bistro: A comfortable place for an informal meal, Motor Supply Co. has a menu that varies from day to day. That’s because the chef/owner is committed to an authentic experience where locally sourced foods are prepared from scratch every day. There is even a page on the restaurant’s website dedicated to the area farmers who raise the crops, beef, pork and chicken that go onto the menu.
Normally I’m not a big farm to table person, but this was an exception. The shrimp and grits were from heaven! There’s also a rotating art exhibition that provides some interesting conversation starters. Especially after one of the bartender’s creative cocktails.
920 Gervais Street
Tolon: Who would have thought that you could find great scallops in Indiana? Yet that’s exactly what my dining companion enjoyed during a recent visit to Tolon, Ft. Wayne’s newest restaurant, which has only been open since February.
Tolon is a play on the last name of the owners, Matt and Nicky Nolot, who have created a great ambience in a very eclectic space that has been described as “vintage industrial.” Tolon is a farm-to-table restaurant that sources most of its dishes locally. The menu will be changing seasonally, and will include Indiana based signature drinks and spirits.
Still, that does not explain the delicious scallops, although they were accompanied by locally grown pepper roasted Brussel sprouts that made a nice impact. As for myself, I went with more traditional Indiana fare, pork chops, which were tender and flavorful.
All in all, a surprisingly sophisticated meal in an engaging setting.
614 S. Harrison Street
Ft. Wayne, IN
Undercurrent: The atmosphere is very simple, yet very elegant. Prices are reasonable and the service has been excellent the two times I have dined here. The menu changes every few months but is always interesting, with great “farm to table” offerings.
327 Battleground Avenue
The Woods: The “Woods” in the name is none other than Tiger Woods, the once (and future?) top golfer in the world. This elegantly appointed eatery, located just off the Intracoastal Waterway, is Tiger’s first venture into the restaurant business, and he clearly picked his partners well. This is one of the classier sports bars you’ll ever find. My recommendation is to make a reservation to sit in the bar area to soak in the ambience and take in a game on one of dozens of big screen televisions.
As for the food, it is up to par. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) I found the center cut pork chop to be excellent. The flatbread pizzas are also a cut above. The beer list was a little shortsighted. But, then again, how many sports bars have a cigar list?
129 Soundings Ave.
Pier Market: San Francisco’s waterfront has a global reputation as a hotbed for great dining, particularly when it comes to seafood. We put that to the test during a recent visit to the “City by the Bay,” starting with the Pier Market restaurant located right on Fisherman’s Wharf.
I believe it may be against a city ordinance for a visitor to order anything except seafood when dining in San Francisco. Not wanting to face charges, I opted for the Pacific cod, which was served blackened with Cajun seasoning. Outstanding meal. My dining companion chose the salmon, which was equally fresh and delicious.
As far as the ambiance, even though Fisherman’s Wharf is very much a tourist destination, the view of the harbor and sound of the sea lions frolicking below the pier were constantly changing and always entertaining.
San Francisco, CA
Coqueta: Although located among the plethora of seafood restaurants along the waterfront, Coqueta is an anomaly, offering a mélange of Spanish-style tapas and raciones (literally, “rations” or larger portions). The menu was challenging and the choices are not for the conservative diner. Prepare to experience some very different flavors as you progress through a meal here.
I chose the patatas bravas (potatoes with salsa and garlic aioli) and added a sunny-side up egg. An unusual combination that is very Spanish, and a unique taste combination that proved to be tasty.
Coqueta definitely offers an uncommon experience for your taste buds. While I am glad we tried it, I will probably go back to more traditional San Francisco offerings during my next visit.
San Francisco, CA
Tiramisu Ristorante Italiano: This is a relatively new spot for great Italian food on Florida’s east coast, just a few blocks off Route 1. Don’t let the name fool you – Tiramisu is about much more than dessert. I have not been able to identify a bad choice on the menu, but am particularly fond of the clams over linguini and the veal chop. Superb.
The best seat in the house is a table near the bar, the perfect spot to soak in the atmosphere, people watch and enjoy the piano player in this cozy and comfortable place.
187 Tequesta Drive