In honor of my brother's birthday, we all went to III Forks Steakhouse on Saturday; he turns a year older and I get free food & booze.. I'm kinda liking the way this thing works, I could get use to this. I'd never been to this restaurant before, but it's pretty much on par with Ruth's Chris Steakhouse - except III Forks doesn't char the living dog crap out their steaks. (I've only been to Ruth's Chris once but their whole claim to fame is some kind of patented crazy-insane broiling method that instantly converts a steak into a smoking lump of coal.)
The place was pretty snazzy and I felt waay under-dressed in jeans and polo shirt. I'm soo glad I didn't stick with the shorts and flip-flops I originally planned to wear. However, with Austin being the slacker-friendly kind of town it is, I sincerely doubt the "maitre de" would have flinched if I did show up in shorts.
Our reservation was for 7:15p but we got there around 6:30p to take advantage of the live Jazz in the lounge, which of course promptly started just about the time we were to be seated (far far away from the lounge). Oh well. But we did hang out in the lounge long enough to have a couple of cocktails. My brother and I had a glass of red wine, my sister-in-law ordered a dirty russian martini and the bartender showed no visible irritation whatsoever when my niece ordered a virgin daiquiri. Normally bartenders *hate* making virgin drinks, but our guy was a real trooper.
Next I decided to try a martini except I wanted mine with gin. After a brief question-and-answer session (brand? olive? twist? vermouth? - I didn't realize a glass of gin could be so complicated) the bartender produced a glass of gin. I gave my brother his present (Matthew Sweet's latest CD) which he duly noted was wrapped with christmas paper - hey, at least I wrapped it. We sat around and chatted and just about the time we started to get restless, my nephew and his new gf showed up and viola our table was ready.
It was basically steaks all around, except for my niece, who had a wedge salad, but not before she dug all of the soft chewy centers out of the loaves of bread on the table - leaving only the brown crusty hollowed out hulks, which she piled on my bread plate so I'd get the blame. Oh, and AW's new gf had some kind of marvy fried shrimp platter that totally put any $50 steak to shame. The steaks were expensive, but they were also like 16-18oz slabs of meat too. Service was good and not overly pretentious either, meaning no one came by and refolded our napkins or used a little swiffer thingy to roll the crumbs off the table. Another glass of wine followed by another martini and I decided dessert was not in my best interest. In fact, everyone was soo stuffed nobody wanted dessert. Our waiter didn't seem too disappointed, I think he was probably glad to have the table back. Happy birthday bro.
The back of my niece; AW's new gf (don't remember her name, but she IS cute); my brother and his wife. Nephew isn't in pic since he had to retrieve his own vehicle (the valets couldn't get the alarm to stop going off.)