Houston Steakhouse Debuts New Seafood, Vegetarian Dishes & More

Caviar Cones from the new menu at Steak 48. Courtesy photo.

Steak 48, a chain of upscale, contemporary American steakhouses with locations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Beverly Hills, Charlotte and Houston, is introducing new menu items for the first time in several years. Houston Food Finder was invited to preview these dishes over a special media dinner hosted by Prime Steak Concepts Chief Executive Officer Jeff Mastro, Chief Brand Officer Oliver Badgio and the recently appointed corporate research and development chef Raul Del Pozo at the Houston outpost, located at 4444 Westheimer in the River Oaks District. 

Prime Steak Concepts corporate research and development chef Raul Del Pozo. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Prime Steak Concepts corporate research and development chef Raul Del Pozo. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

James Beard Award-nominated restaurateurs Jeff and Michael, along with their father Dennis and partner Scott Troilo, launched renowned hospitality group Prime Steak Concepts in 2011. The group’s portfolio of brands includes Dominick’s Steakhouse, Steak 44, Steak 48, Ocean 44 and the upcoming Ocean 48. Mastro and his family were also the original owners of Mastro’s Steakhouse and Mastro’s Ocean Club, where Jeff served as President and grew the brand to be one of the most successful in the country before selling in 2007. It was later acquired by Landry’s in 2013.

The dining room at Steak 48 Houston. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The dining room at Steak 48 Houston. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Prime Steak Concepts’ flagship restaurant was named after its 44th Street location in Phoenix, but later locations changed to Steak 48 in honor of Arizona, the 48th state. The name change took effect for subsequent locations beginning with the opening of the Houston steakhouse in 2016.

Strip steak at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Strip steak at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Steak 48 is known for its high-quality wet- and dry-aged steaks cut in-house with selections that include USDA Prime steaks and chops, domestic and Australian Wagyu and Japanese A5. It also offers world-class fresh seafood, including caviar service and stunning seafood towers, with massive wine and Scotch whisky lists. Dinner at Steak 48 can average about $75 to $100 per person before tax and gratuity on the conservative end.

Caviar service at Steak 48. Courtesy photo.
Caviar service at Steak 48. Courtesy photo.

Del Pozo, who joined the Steak 48 team in October 2023, is responsible for developing new menu items and reporting directly to Jeff Mastro to help ensure that the restaurant experience lives up to the price tag. Del Pozo brings over 15 years of experience in culinary operations to his role as corporate research and development chef and is partnering with chief executive chef Marc Lupino to identify opportunities for revising the current menu. His latest creations, listed below, will be debuted gradually over the course of the next couple of months. 

Caviar Cones from the new menu at Steak 48. Courtesy photo.
Caviar Cones from the new menu at Steak 48. Courtesy photo.

One of the most memorable bites of the evening came in the form of playful Caviar Cones filled with sustainably and ethically farm-raised Sasanian Siberian Osetra a crisp, nutty caviar of medium-sized dark pearls, which came accented with cool, tangy horseradish crème fraîche topped with flecks of gold leaf. These petite, sweet-and-salty snacks are light and earthy with abundant flavor — and prone to disappearing almost immediately.

Torched Scallops with yuzu ponzu, truffle crèma and prized Siberian Osetra caviar. Courtesy photo.
Torched Scallops with yuzu ponzu, truffle crèma and prized Siberian Osetra caviar. Courtesy photo.

Other forthcoming seafood options include Torched Scallops with yuzu ponzu, truffle crèma and prized Siberian Osetra caviar, and oven-roasted whole branzino fillet topped with charred lemon and beurre blanc — a simple, classic preparation that accentuates the mild, slightly sweet flavor of the fish and coats each flaky morsel.

Spring Pea Ravioli. Courtesy photo.
Spring Pea Ravioli. Courtesy photo.

Also joining the menu: Spring Pea Ravioli bathed in sweet corn cream and chive oil, and Fire-Roasted Cauliflower over smoked basil aioli and snowcapped with finely-shaved aged pecorino. Both dishes are vegetarian and sure to please. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the aptly named Hanging Bacon is composed solely of tender, thick-cut bacon strips coated with Steak 48’s signature steak rub. The strips arrive on a small rack, hung like laundry on a diminutive clothesline. While the bacon is delicious, I found the presentation to be a mite kitsch and dated. (Chef Kris Jakob, now the owner of B1895 Tavern in Friendswood, used the same kind of presentation for his housemade charcuterie a decade ago inside the eponymous Kris Bistro at Culinary Institute LeNôtre.)

Hanging Bacon. Couresy photo.
Hanging Bacon. Couresy photo.

Another special dish that is available now, though only as an off-menu choice that you must ask for specifically, is the Butcher’s Cut. It’s a juicy rib cap of Wagyu ribeye, sliced and served on a sizzling hot plate. It’s one of the most flavorful steaks not on the menu and can be enhanced with one of many toppings, including Black Truffle Green Peppercorn, Crab Cake “Oscar” and Black Truffle Sautéed Maine Lobster

Creamy Mac & Cheese at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Creamy Mac & Cheese at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

When dining at Steak 48, do not overlook the sides, especially the Creamy Mac & Cheese with shells tossed in a nostalgic blend of Velveeta and Provel, supple mozzarella and salty Romano and Parmesan, and finished with toasted bread crumbs. If that’s not unctuous enough for you, upgrade to the Alaskan King Crab & Rock Shrimp Mac & Cheese, which adds premium seafood coated with herb butter. Other popular side dishes include the Crispy Hasselback Potato with smoked sea salt, truffle butter and chive cream cheese sauce and Corn Crème Brûlée

Oven-roasted whole branzino fillet topped with charred lemon and beurre blanc. Courtesy photo.
Oven-roasted whole branzino fillet topped with charred lemon and beurre blanc. Courtesy photo.

The company has plans to bring Ocean 48, a new seafood restaurant, to Houston. A spokesperson for the company shared that while there are “no concrete plans to open a Houston location yet, there’s a definite desire. We have been looking for a great location in Houston and hope to find one and open very soon.” Much like Steak 44, “The sister brand Ocean 44 is in Scottsdale and opened in 2018. Newport Beach will be our very first Ocean 48.” 

Steak 48 faced backlash in 2021 after implementing a $100 per person minimum at the Philadelphia and Chicago locations in addition to a strict dress policy that bars baggy clothes, athletic wear and excessively revealing garments. Detractors claim the policies are discriminatory against Black people, while others, including Ernest Owens a Philadelphia-based Black writer who is originally from Houston, defend the restaurant’s position, inviting the offended parties to “Stop Assuming Black People Won’t Spend $100 at Dinner — and Look Amazing Doing So”.

Fresh seafood at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Fresh seafood at Steak 48. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Steak 48 is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. Valet parking is available. Reservations are recommended and can be made through the website

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