With kitchen walls of solid copper, flashy green marble bathrooms, and custom-designed-everything, every inch of Andiron almost smells like money (and a little bit like the wood-fired grill). While the upscale Montrose spot from the folks behind The Pit Room and Candente certainly qualifies as a ritzy steakhouse, the menu also takes a few liberties with the classics. Bucking tradition is all well and good, but when a wedge salad becomes unrecognizable—neither a wedge nor truly a salad—someone might be innovating a little too hard. There’s potential for greatness at Andiron, but some of the menu and service still need ironing out.
The plush booths are a romantic dream. Massive dried flower bouquets are quite literally everywhere. The staff deftly maneuvers these obstacles, all while ladling truffle sauce or sauteed pork belly from tiny copper pots or expertly cutting food tableside if you ask. You barely have to move other than raise a glass or a fork to your mouth—a hedonist’s fantasy. But while most of the staff is super attentive, some are slightly disinterested, and others appear to barely understand they’re at work.
The menu is a familiar selection of appetizers and salads, but Andiron adds a few twists. Sometimes it works, like a velvety steak tartare with smoked oyster butter and beef tendon chicharrones. Other changes, however, are questionable, like a bizarrely petite wedge salad, which in no way resembles its predecessors given how much meat and how little lettuce it has. Sides like the onion tart and pommes anna are beautiful, but also resemble dainty tea snacks—an overcorrection of the time-tested steakhouse model of shareable, boat-sized sides. Splitting any of these between more than two people would make for a good slapstick comedy bit. Cuts of steak are, however, exceptionally well-cooked—the wood-fired grill adds a charred crust and lends a light smoky flavor to the meat for a satisfying bite.
At the end of dinner, with a forkful of chocolate cake in one hand and an espresso martini in the other, you might feel you’ve enjoyed a meal that’s close to excellent. That may be the cocktail talking, or the 21 ounces of Black Angus ribeye you housed while cozied up on a crushed velvet banquet. And as the restaurant figures out what kind of steakhouse it wants to be, it’s still worth visiting, mostly for the opulent space and the impressive steaks. So go for a special occasion—like an anniversary or any time your boss hands you the company card—or if you just want to stare at someone grilling steaks through a special little kitchen window on the way to the bathroom.
The raw beef is a bright rust red, and is served with a raw egg yolk (yes, the server will stir it in for you), smoked oyster butter, and a side of beef tendon chicharrones. It’s beefy, rich, and slightly smoky. The airy beef tendon chips are also fun, and remind you of both the restaurant’s Texan and Mexican roots.
In truth, this is a salad only by technicality. It’s less of a wedge and more a disk of romaine smothered in blue cheese dressing and hunks of hot bacon simmering in truffle sauce, which is to say, really freaking good. It’s also on the smaller side, so order a couple if dining in a party of four, especially if all of y’all are wedge heads.
Beef Rib Au Poivre
Most beef ribs are served on the bone, but not here. The rib meat is smoked, deboned, sliced, and served on a large platter within a thin pool of tangy au poivre. This is sort of Andiron flexing its barbecue background, as the au poivre is more like a bbq sauce than anything the French would recognize.
Andiron actually has so much steak on the menu there’s a second, smaller menu that lists even more kinds of steak. Whether you want a petite filet, a bone-in ribeye, wagyu, kobe, or a thick cowboy cut, Andiron will grill it up, add a little smoke flavor magic, and deliver a beautiful piece of beef.
Every dessert on Andiron’s menu feels lifted from the 1950s with smart, modern refinement. A chocolate lava-style cake is updated with kumquats instead of orange. The cherries jubilee uses amarena cherries instead of sickly sweet maraschino. And the key lime pie dough is ever-so-lightly smoked to balance the tartness. Each one is worth trying.