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Andiron: The Wait is Over

Andiron has the meat and everything else, too.
Andiron has the meat and everything else, too. Photo by Jenn Duncan

For fans of meat cooked over live fire, the much-anticipated Andiron, from Sambrooks Management Company, has finally arrived. Today, in fact. Beginning at 4 p.m., the restaurant will open for cocktails, with dinner service starting at 5 p.m.

Owner and founder Michael Sambrooks, the force behind such Houston favorites as The Pit Room, Candente and The Patio at The Pit Room, has put together an ace team of experts with Executive Chef Louis Maldonado leading the kitchen. Maldonado brings Michelin-starred expertise from such venerable establishments as French Laundry, Mourad and Cortez in San Francisco, the latter of which he led to its first Michelin star in 2008.
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Chef Louis Maldonado brings Michelin Star cred to the new Andiron.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
Alongside Maldonado will be Chef Mario Da Silva as chef de cuisine. Katie O'Hara will lead the pastry program while Advanced Sommelier Renato Bringas will serve as beverage and service director. Jose Montafur will take on the front of the house as maitre'd, bringing four decades of experience in the Houston restaurant industry.

The menu at Andiron is classic steakhouse with added contemporary touches like a small plates progressive dining experience. The ingredients speak for themselves at Andiron, with simple preparations and live-fire cooking. And of course, the meat program is of utmost importance, with Sambrooks sourcing high quality products like U.S.-raised Niman Ranch Prime and small production Wagyu beef from Australia, plus a rotating selection of small farm Japanese Wagyu.
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This could be one of the prettiest eggplants dishes we've ever seen.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
Guests can expect tasty plates such as A5 Wagyu Short Rib, a 34-ounce Bone-In Ribeye, a 12-ounce Picanha and Beef Rib Au Poivre. There are also poultry dishes like Chicken with chicory and Thousand Island or Aged Muscovy Duck with red grape, turnip, coffee and foie gras.

Seafood and vegetables get as much attention from the 22-foot live-fire grill suite imported from Spain. And guests will be able to see all the action from the dining room. Large Format items like Whole Grilled Turbot and the Two Pound Lobster take things up a notch both culinarily and financially.
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Andiron's Cherries Jubilee is a contemporary twist on an old school steakhouse dessert.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
There is a raw bar portion of the menu with Ice Cold Bivalves, Blue Fin Tuna and Steak Tartare along with 'tastings' such as Clams Casino and Golden Ossetra Caviar. Vegetable plates like Pommes Anna, Caramelized Onion Tart and Wood Roasted Maitake round out the offerings.

Any steak house worth its salt has a well-thought-out wine list to accommodate all tastes and wallets and Andiron has over 500 labels from around the world with both classic and upcoming producers represented. Varietals from Burgundy, Bourdeaux, Spain and California are given extra focus with a number of different vintages.
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The bar and lounge area offer full-service dining as well.
Photo by Julie Soefer
With more and more Americans drinking cocktails, the bar program at Andiron, headed by bartender Angel Batista, will have traditional classics and steakhouse staples like barrel-aged whiskeys and rums. The dine-in bar area has a smoke-inspired Cippolino marble bar top with a custom 28-foot-long chandelier providing romantic lighting overhead.

The interior design of the space was done by AvroKO, taking inspiration from Radom Capital's development of the building which preserved many of the historical elements of the Mission Revival structure. The design team's inspiration was "fire as a focus" with burnt wood colors and red marble, lined with white, drawing from the idea of well-marbled beef.
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The Kiss Goodnight might lead to more kisses.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
Owner Sambrooks said of his latest concept, " Although we are only now opening to the public, we have been in the kitchen since last December which has allowed Chef Louis and his team a lot of time to perfect an amazing menu." He added, " We are very excited to open the doors and let everyone in to see the stunning room and experience our world class offerings."

Reservations are now open on Resy.

3201 Allen Parkway
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.