The Steak House at Silver Reef: Excellence Squared

by Megs Thompson

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Millions of people fly across the globe each year, in search of that perfect vacation destination. A place with sights to see (both natural & manmade), quality entertainment, attractions for every unique taste, excitement, a thrill, and of course, amazing food and adult beverages -Well, honestly folks, look no further!

Right here in our own corner of the world, settled just an hour & a half drive from both Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA (to the north & south respectively) is The Silver Reef Hotel, Casino, and Spa. Perched amongst the lush natural landscape of Western Washington, The Silver Reef offers many different dining and entertainment options – whether you’re a gambler, a connoisseur of whiskey or cigars, a lover of live music, or just looking for a great dining experience and a few nights away from reality.

Now, my word count is limited, so let’s get down to brass tacks: the food. There are actually 10 separate dining locations within the hotel/casino, ranging in focus from The Cantina, which offers a great selection of Mexican & Latin American cuisine as well as a tequila bar with over 75 unique brands (this is usually where I can be found), to Panasia, which offers tasty contemporary cuisine from the Far East, and another of my personal favorites, Pizzanini, which has (in my humble opinion) some of the best woodfire pizza in the area (especially after an evening of playing Michael Jackson slots).

Recently though, I was extended an invitation to enjoy an evening with friends at the well known, much loved, steak house, aptly named The Steak House. Because, quite simply, when you serve only the finest available USDA Prime Grade Domestic beef, hand cut exclusively from Midwest corn-fed cattle, aged a minimum of 28 days to ensure maximum tenderness and flavor, broiled at 1800 degrees to lock the natural juices inside and finished with the chef’s special steak butter – you really don’t need to get fancy on the name.

A trip to The Steak House is not just a meal or quick bite, but an experience that truly tantalizes all 5 senses. Being that this was my inaugural visit to The Steak House, my experience began with a private tour of the intimate dining areas, and of course, the recently added wine room, which contains, you guessed it, wine. An entire wall comprised of bottles, and bottles of wine. Not just any wine though; more specifically, it contains 650 unique options (recently whittled down from 700) – so many in fact that the staff possesses a treasure map of sorts, in order to keep them all straight.

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Taking a seat (and catching my breath), I began to peruse the menu, which is enough to drive a person mad, what with the debilitating chore of choosing a single meal from an array of such immense proportions. We started with a few appetizers, including Jumbo Prawn Cocktail (served with house made cocktail sauce), the Seafood Tower (Lobster Claws, more Jumbo Prawns, Oysters, & Mussels), & Beer Battered Prawns (one of the chefs’ specials for the evening – served with house made stone ground mustard).

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At the recommendation of our devoted Maître d (David) and Server (Jax – who’s, by the way, the first ever, female server on staff at The Steak House, and is unquestionably worthy of the title) we also decided to try the restaurants’ famous Caesar Salad (made tableside by Jax, a true salad artist. It is a true “come to Jesus” salad, with all fresh ingredients including asiago cheese, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, fresh garlic, & ground pepper) as well as a sampling of the Lobster Bisque, finished with a Cognac Flambé.

I opted for a 7oz Filet Mignon & Crab-Stuffed Prawns (amazing) as my entrée, and as a table we shared a smattering of sides, including Sherry and Garlic Braised Mushrooms (this was one of my absolute favorite dishes all night), sinfully smooth creamed corn, and 5 Cheese Lobster Macaroni (Gruyere, White Cheddar, Fontina, Parmesan, Blue Cheese, & Lobster – ‘nuff said).

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Three of the gentlemen in our little party ordered what’s come to be known as “The Tomahawk.” Not listed on any menu, this 32 oz rib eye is reminiscent of something from “The Flintstones” cartoons of my youth. At the same time, The Tomahawk is divinely luscious, and truly a sight to behold. While none of the gents were able to conquer the entire beast in one sitting, they eagerly took home enough succulent steak for another meal or two.

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Our experience lasted just under 4 hours (yes, our small group spent nearly 4 hours within The Steak Houses’ walls) and was filled with so much enjoyment, excitement, entertainment, and absolutely impeccable eats that the time passed in a euphoric haze. Our dinner conversation may not have been the most polite and proper (we may have discussed Russian royalty, (in)famous historical genitalia, and the legalization of marijuana – among other things), but the environment was so inviting, the staff so amazingly personable, & the service, unsurpassed excellence, that it was impossible not to feel like we belonged.

I’d like to go on record that The Steak House, at Silver Reef is rightfully considered one of the most amazing, sought after dining experiences in Whatcom County.

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