Here in Texas everything bigger is better. We have a bigger-than-life attitude, big hearts, big hats, big hair (in some parts of the state), and a big appetite for the biggest and best steaks we can find. I happened to find the place for the best steaks at 111 Lavaca Street, called III Forks. It is a gem of a restaurant known to Senators and Cowboys alike, and nothing beats this sexy and sophisticated steakhouse here in Austin. I like to think of III Forks as the “trinity of tines,” and believe that the three main qualities are in its atmosphere, cuisine and their fabulous wine list which all flow together to create one unified and satisfying dining experience.
The dining experience begins the moment you step into the foyer. There is a sexy atmosphere here, dark and sumptuous as a rich dessert. III Forks has two luxurious main dining rooms and four ornate private dining rooms.
The chef wows the clientele with gorgeous, tantalizing house-cut steaks and fresh seafood. Currently, the seafood feature is Branzino, a light summer dish of Mediterranean Sea Bass drizzled with an olive oil pesto sauce. But of course, the staple of III Forks is their steak. Their menu features Prime cuts of beef: melt in your mouth filets, a hearty ribeye and New York strips. These beauties are cooked perfectly to order, seasoned and brushed with butter. For any steak house this would be more than adequate, but Three Forks takes it a step further and showcases a list of impressive off the menu bone-in steaks. He has a decadent 16 oz. Bone-in-Filet and the lavish 32 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye, which was the most beautiful and delicious steak I have ever eaten. The Tomahawk Ribeye is Wagyu beef, a specimen with honeycomb-like marbleization which melts into the steak with precision of flavor in every bite. If you veer off the steer trail, you also have an option in what may be the best kept secret on the menu, The Australian lamb. The lamb has a creole mustard and herb crust and is kissed with a red Bordelaise sauce. It is absolutely mouth-watering. Here at III Forks all dinners are served with hearty side items to accompany their meal. Ala carte be damned.
For many, a great meal is empty without a great wine to accompany it. Head sommelier and wine director Marc Sauri has an amazing list of wines, with his list of California cult wines being extraordinary. These bottles are highly allocated from the winemakers, which makes them hard to find. To see so many cult wines such as DaNa, Scarecrow, Schrader, Colgin, and Harlan Estates in one place is impressive. Then there is Mark’s selection of old world First Growth Bordeaux, Grand Cru Burgundies and an over the top vintage Champagne selection. I have not even mentioned the fab finds in his Italian and Spanish selections. III Forks has two certified sommeliers and a whole staff of servers with an impressive amount of wine knowledge eager to assist guests.
During your meal you will most certainly meet the charming manager Earnest Hernandez. He radiates pride in III Forks and makes sure all his guests are comfortable and happy. On special occasions, he will bring you a house-made Irish cream cocktail quietly known as ‘the juice’. All guests fall in love with Earnest’s gracious hospitality and Southern manners.
When you decide you want to try one of the best steaks in Texas, be sure to step into III Forks. Through their trinity of great atmosphere, culinary delights and wine, both steak lovers and the uninitiated will find that special something, the delivery of a great dining experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.
By Jhea Fulgaro