After years of earning praise for its smoked meats at the Pit Room and mesquite-grilled Tex-Mex delights at Candente, Sambrooks Management Company is taking its protein game to the next level with the opening of a new wood-burning steakhouse. The budding hospitality group announced Andiron is officially opening its doors today at 3201 Allen Parkway in the Allen Parkway corridor.
Helmed by executive chef Louis Maldonado, who brings plenty of star power to the table with experience cooking in Michelin Star restaurants, including French Laundry in Yountville, and Aziza, Mourad, and Cortez in San Francisco, Andiron sets itself apart by combining the classic elements of traditional steakhouses with a modern small plate progressive dining experience. The focus is on simply treating quality meats and fresh seafood, and preparing them over the restaurant’s 22-foot live fire grill.
The menu entices with items like oysters and blue fin tuna from the raw bar, a classic wedge salad amped up with black truffle, and grilled A5 wagyu short rib and foie gras from the robata. Highlights of Andiron’s meat program include a rotating selection of small farm Japanese Wagyus, and Niman Ranch Prime from Australian Wagyu, with a mix of traditional and non-traditional sides like whipped potatoes, white asparagus, and caramelized onion tart to round out the menu.
The wine program, led by advanced sommelier Renato Bringas, features a selection of more than 500 wines from around the world, representing classic and emerging producers. Along with a number of vintages, the list spotlights Burgundy, Spain, and California. Just as appealing is an imaginative menu of seasonally-focused cocktails, crafted with barrel-aged rums and whiskeys, thought up by head bartender Angel Batista.
The 4,500 square-foot, 110-seat restaurant has been designed by AvroKo, a New York City-based interior design firm. Leaning on “fire as a focus” as a theme, the space features white veined red marble, meant to mimic beef marbling, copper accents, individual revival light fixtures, and parquet and end grain wood floors, The bar boasts a smoke-inspired Cippolino marble bar top, banquette seating, and is illuminated by a custom 28-foot chandelier. While full-service dining is offered at the bar, those who opt for a table at the chef’s counter or in the main dining room will have direct views into the kitchen.
Andiron’s interiors are further completed with works from New York artist Julia Hickey Gonzalez. A number of abstract paintings, depicting cattle, fire, and movement, were produced exclusively for the space, and are prominently displayed in the 6-seat private dining room. For now, Andiron’s outdoor dining space is still in the works. When it’s complete, the patio — complete with its own bar — will offer seating for an additional 70 guests.
Reservations for Andiron’s daily dinner service are available on Resy. Curious Houstonians who want to toast the opening can venture in today when the restaurant opens for cocktails at 4 p.m., with dinner service beginning at 5 p.m.