When Dee Lincoln and her partner first came up with the idea for Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in the early 80s, they never dreamed that in the mid 90s they would sell their Del Frisco’s concept to Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon for a record $23 million and that two decades later there would be six Del Frisco’s located across America in happening cities like Las Vegas, New York and Dallas.
At the flagship restaurant in Dallas, opened in the late 80s, business is booming. On a recent Saturday night, the romantic and elegant restaurant was teaming with a well-heeled crowd. In close proximity to other high-end steakhouses like III Forks and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Del Frisco’s could easily get lost in the crowd, but thanks to outstanding food, a pleasant atmosphere and gracious service, the restaurant continues to hold its own.
Lincoln says people like Del Frisco’s food because the kitchen is very consistent and emphasis is placed on fresh ingredients and simple preparation. Take Del Frisco’s steak for example. “The big point of differentiation in the steak itself is the simplicity of the seasoning,” says Lincoln. “We have the same flavor profile that was in grandma’s cupboard – salt, pepper, garlic, onion, pure butter and heavy cream.”
To ensure consistency, Del Frisco’s makes everything in-house from the warm, soft bread to the flavorful soups, salad dressings and sauces. Del Frisco’s takes great pride in its homemade desserts like the Lemon Doberge cake, a decadent New Orleans-style six layer cake with a tangy lemon filling, rich butter cream frosting and lemon ganache topping.
High-quality USDA prime beef and Australian cold water lobster tail are the cornerstones of the Del Frisco menu. The meat is cut to order and never frozen. Diners can choose cuts like the filet mignon, available in 8 and 12 ounce portions, the hefty 26-ounce bone-in double eagle strip and meaty 24-ounce porterhouse. The lobster is unbelievably fresh and is a must for seafood lovers.
Appetizers are classic steakhouse fare like jumbo shrimp cocktail and onion rings. “Almost every table starts out with our signature Jumbo Shrimp Platter served with three homemade sauces: remoulade, cocktail sauce and a garlic marinade along with our crab cake with Cajun lobster sauce which has won national culinary awards,” says Lincoln.
Salads include a crisp lettuce wedge with a tangy blue cheese dressing and a filling beefsteak tomato and sliced onion salad. Turtle soup and seafood soup also make good starters. Sides are served family-style and include classics like sautéed mushrooms, potatoes au gratin and spinach supreme.
While Del Frisco’s is first and foremost a traditional steakhouse, award-winning executive chef David Holben, who has cooked for U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush, is constantly trying new dishes. “It is our mission to continue to look for more ways to be innovative,” says Lincoln. “We protect our core menu but we continue to add culinary flare with more seafood, daily beef features, extravagant wine dinners and an innovative bar menu for customers on the go.”
Del Frisco’s wine list is first class. A regular winner of the yearly Wine Spectator Award of Excellence the wine list features nearly 1,000 selections from all over the world. The restaurant’s sommelier is invaluable in helping diners find the perfect bottle.
The masculine décor features warm, dark woods, beautiful ornate mirrors and eye catching wall coverings. Roses etched in the mirrors add a splash of color and femininity. Able to seat 450 diners, the restaurant is divided into several dining rooms, which creates a more intimate atmosphere. Tables are spaced well to ensure privacy and the plush hunter green carpet keeps noise to a minimum while the soft lighting bathes the restaurant in a warm glow. For sports fans, flat screens throughout the restaurant ensure you won’t miss a play.
The smartly dressed staff doesn’t miss a beat. “You’ll feel the hospitality everywhere from the greeter at the door to the bartender and wait staff with upbeat, courteous professionals eager to serve you as if you are a guest in our home,” Lincoln says.
A fixture of the Dallas fine dining scene, Del Frisco’s has established itself as one of the city’s signature steakhouses.
By Claire Reyes