At III Forks, you'll find the grandeur one comes to expect from a high-dollar Dallas steakhouse. It's a manly man's restaurant, classy and comfortable with an aura of elegance, decorated with brass and elk horn chandeliers, high ceilings and dark wood, leather-cushioned chairs, and tables covered in white tablecloths. I half expected to see J.R. Ewing show up with his entourage; rather, here's where real-life power negotiations and boardroom deals go down.
Through a twist of circumstances, my family and I ended up at III Forks for Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed a near-perfect experience with a few surprises. The first was its price—$42.95 for adults and $14.95 for children under 12—meager compared to other fixed-price meals in town. This four-course meal included soup, salad, a choice of two entrées and one of four desserts. We were told there were reservations for 2,300 on the books for that day. Fortunately, III Fork's sixteen dining rooms, named after Texas war heroes, are spacious enough to handle big crowds without feeling crowded.
To put us in a festive mood, we started with a holiday twist on the Mimosa: a combination of champagne and cranberry instead of orange juice aptly named "Poinsettia." Soon after we placed our dinner order, the thin, broth- not cream-based tomato basil soup arrived, closely followed by a spring green mix topped with blue cheese crumbles, slices of green apple and III Forks' delectable maple walnut pecan vinaigrette. The slow-roasted turkey dribbled with Grandma's giblet gravy wasn't memorable, but the juicy Chateaubriand with Bordelaise Sauce was tender enough to cut with a fork. Both meals came with crunchy, lightly-coated snap peas and whipped potatoes with chives and scallions. The turkey dinner included orange-infused yams, a healthier substitute from the standard syrupy marshmallow-coated recipe, a hearty sausage cornbread dressing, and a tart cranberry puree dollop. The generous portion of steak came with off-the-cob creamed corn that was as much cream as corn. It was such a hit that our waiter brought an additional family-style portion of the for us to share.
Our waiters, Duane and Brandon, were on top of their game, rarely beyond calling distance for our every need. Duane's recommendation to go with the Pumpkin Pie Cake with homemade whipped cream was a good call, although I was tempted by the Chestnut Ice Cream with Chocolate Orange Sauce. A few bites of the Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie were enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, as dense as it was rich. The other choice was Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.
I checked out III Fork's pricey but choice evening menu, which features USDA Prime beef and fish, accompanied by the III Forks salad and the off-the cob creamed corn we had at Thanksgiving. I'll be going for the Bone-in Rib Eye or the Veal Chop, or maybe I'll give the Australian or Southern Fried Lobster Tail a go. Next time we'll make a point to order from III Fork's impressive wine selection that offers over 900 varieties. We don't need any excuse, like another holiday, to make another trek to III Forks. Any meal at III Forks would be a special occasion.
III Forks Restaurant
17776 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287
(Additional locations in Austin, Texas and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida)
Open 7 days a week, closed for lunch
Sunday, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m
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