C. Knight's Steakhouse: More Than Meats the Plate in El Dorado Hills
May 03, 2018 03:19PM
Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops
C. Knight’s Steakhouse, 2085 Vine Street, Suite 101, El Dorado Hills, 916-235-1730, cknightssteakhouse.com
Reviving a vintage ideal. That’s what Charles “Chuck” Knight has achieved in bringing his namesake steakhouse to the El Dorado Hills Town Center. The prologue to his menu articulates his vision better than I could. “Dark wood, diamond tufted booths, and checkered floors all take you back to a time where big band was the sound, ‘chivalry’ was still in style, and ‘classic’ reigned supreme.” Indeed, somewhere, Glenn Miller is smiling.
The menu stays true to the mark, with a few twists to keep it relevant to today’s diners. Carpaccio, escargot, and beignets de fromage are among the starting lineup. The latter—a donut/fritter stuffed with triple cream brie and Point Reyes blue, then surrounded by sliced apples, Marcona almonds, and a Port reduction—was as sinfully good as it sounds.
The entrées continue on the nostalgia trail featuring steaks, chops, and seafood. The grilled Colorado lamb chops with green lentil ragout and mint gremolata were especially outstanding. Generous “double-cut” chops cooked perfectly medium-rare showcased both the skill of the chef and owner Chuck’s commitment to his concept. The lentil ragout and gremolata were a welcome change from the standard refrain of “baked or mashed?”
As for the steaks? Having just returned from a weekend paying over-inflated prices for over-inflated-celebrity restaurant steaks in Las Vegas, C. Knight’s offerings were a welcome-home bonus. I had to pry the plate of Wagyu sirloin center cut away from my dining companion, the lovely Isabella. Not even her father could believe the level of scorn on her 12-year-old face. Thankfully, I was able to calm her by offering the not-so-classically-named green phunque as a peace offering—a side dish of creamed spinach with bacon, mushrooms, and cheese that is a C. Knight favorite.
The menu offers “Gild the Lily”—a playful phrasing for the accouterments available with your protein, which include sauces like Bordelaise, Béarnaise and chimichurri; or your choice of a foie gras slab or blue cheese crust.
Three spoons and the house-made cheesecake with lemon curd and fresh berries left our table blissful, although there were some tense moments of flatware jousting over the luscious lemon curd.
Another pleasurable moment arrived in the form of the check: understated and downright friendly…just like the owner and staff.
Hours: 3-9 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 3-10 p.m. (Friday), 5-10 p.m. (Saturday), 5-9 p.m. (Sunday)
Try This: Beignets de Fromage, Creole Style Blue Shell Crab Cakes, Slow Braised Escargot, Hearts of Romaine Caesar, Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops, Green Phunque, Ribeye, Filet Mignon, Cheesecake
Drinks: Full bar; beer, wine, and cocktails
Heads-Up: Vegetarian entrée option; “Ecstatic” (Happy) Hour from 3-5 p.m. on weekdays; house-made pasta; craft cocktails made with Dry Diggings Distillery spirits and local wines
By Lorn Randall
Photos by Dante Fontana