As Chef Anthony Bourdain said, “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.” The Longview Steakhouse recently furnished my dinner companions and I with wonderful memories on a special occasion, and prepared cuisine that bordered on religious experience.
The restaurant décor is simple, unintimidating and suitable for the Foothills area, with no need to sport a Perry Ellis suit or evening gown to gain entry. This point was highlighted by the trio of aesthetically gifted, denim clad lovelies at the next table. The simmering sound of Oscar Lopez playing Spanish guitar in the background added to the informal and comfortable warmth of the room. This is clearly a place to have fun and not stand on ceremony.
I ordered a rather risky appetizer for my table – coriander chicken with a most pleasant twist. The dish arrived, and before I’d even finished dividing it up amongst my companions, conversation halted abruptly and was replaced with softly drawn-out moans of ecstasy. Sampling my own slice of heaven, and divinely struck by a flavor that transcended syntax, I joined the chorus with a pleasure-filled “MMMmmmmm.” The chicken was a cinnamon dusted, sugar sprinkled, pastry wrapped miracle.
Our attentive and knowledgeable server recommended a bottle of Nugan, a triumphant vino floridly expressing its bouquet immediately after being uncorked. Tannins abound, inspiring boisterous Pagan celebration that Dionysus himself would applaud.
Our entrees were delivered, my John Dory and seafood-stuffed ravioli heading the pack. The presentation is simple and elegant, the portions appropriate for a satisfying meal. My fish was cooked to perfection and the ravioli was a momentous blitz of all things delectable. My dinner companions were equally awed with their orders of pork tenderloin and steak. We continued to talk and laugh among ourselves, with other patrons, and the staff, no one wanting the evening to end.
The Longview Steakhouse is family owned and run, and when my group asked who the chef of the evening was, actively involved host and owner Tari proudly informed us that his son had prepared our meals. As a paradigm of the service guests can expect at the Steakhouse, my family had filled the restaurant for my Grandmother’s birthday some time ago, and, as my family shares a palate for fine spirits, some of our favored brands were unavailable. Tari, without preview or request, took it upon himself to go out and purchase the desired labels just to make our evening more grand.
Everyone that I’ve spoken to regarding the Longview Steakhouse has had purely positive experiences at the restaurant. I experienced Nirvana there. Anthony Bourdain was right about the truly great meals in one’s life, and this was certainly one of the greats in mine. Tari and his family were equally right when they created the tag line for the Longview Steakhouse: “A short drive for an unforgettable meal.”