So, here I am new to town, staying in a hotel at Preston & Plano Parkway while I try to find a temporary living situation and after a week of being sick I'm finally feeling good and dammit, I'm in Texas now so I want a steak. I briefly considered going to Bob's on Legacy or going to III Forks, but I happened across Steve Fields at Park & Preston and figured, "what the heck."
Let me tell you something: go to Bob's or III Forks.
The fourteen year-old, bleached-out prosti-tot working the hostess station shuffled me to a table and made way for a waitress who was friendly and good-humored facing solo-dining middle-aged schlumpy me. She brought me a generous cocktail and let me hang with the menu for a while. It's a simple one; basic apps that I didn't give a second glance (think fried calamari, etc - really, you're not coming here for an appetizer), a few salad choices (lettuce wedge, caesar, etc), lobster, several different filet options (including a bone-on filet, which is odd), a couple "prime steaks," some roast prime rib options, and that's about it. After she told me about the specials, which included surf-n-turf options involving filets & lobster tails, I remembered the tank at the front of the house with the pile of comatose sea-roaches lolling by the bubbler. And then I smelled it: dead fish. Oh well, I came for a steak. So I order a Caesar ($7) and a New York Strip ($39) medium, subbing broccoli for the baked spud, and munch away on maybe one more piece of the house-made foccacia while I'm waiting. They bring this bread - and it's not bad at all - with a slurry of garlic & peppers in olive oil for dipping. Fine as it goes. The caesar salad comes and the only thing cheesier in the place is the godawful lounge singer who's brutalizing the Lynyrd Skynyrd catalog with a tunerville-trolley medley of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Gimme Three Steps" before he segues into Frank Sinatra, who I promise you is gonna rise from the dead to whack this guy if there's any justice in the world at all. I mean, really, they're piping this guy all over their restaurant and frankly, he oughta be charged with a crime, not hired for more gigs.
So, I dispense with the salad and I've taken a random stab at ordering a glass of the only Rhone wine on the menu, something I've never heard of, but what the heck - I like Rhones and I'm willing to gamble. My plate comes and it looks pretty impressive; it's a nicely-broiled strip with a monster side of broccoli and I figure to let the slab of steer rest for a minute while I nibble on the greens. They're nice and fresh and maybe a little underdone which in my view is exactly the mistake to make if you're going to make one, so I'm good there. Then the glass of wine shows up. It's ghastly. Now look, I've never in my life sent a bottle or glass of wine back - if I made a mistake and it's not that great, well hell, I ordered it and I ought to know what I'm doing. This thing tasted like it had been stored in an open bottle hung from the skylight above the dryer vents in a hospital laundry room. I've eaten foreign coins that tasted better than this wine. Back it goes.
To the joint's credit, the waitron brought me a new glass with a smile and an apology - and to mine, I'm actually a hell of a lot more polite than this review would make you think, and I was reluctant to send the wine back, but holy cow was it bad.
Okay, so the steak. The steak was... well, it was just ordinary. This was advertised as a prime steak, but I don't believe for a second this was anything better than decent Choice meat. This was not the steak you go home raving about. It was nicely trimmed and nicely cooked, but by no means was this something to remember.
In the end I dropped $80 on this meal - just me, remember - with one cocktail, one glass of wine, a salad and an entree - which is about what I would expect to pay for a high-end steakhouse dinner. I would say on the whole, this was a really poor value. The waitstaff, while friendly, wasn't knowledgeable or involved in the food. The lounge singer was literally painful to listen to. And I won't be back, much as I love a good steakhouse.
Now, I've said a lot... so I'd love for other steak lovers in North Dallas to tell me I'm wrong, or to tell me I'm right and I should've gone to...