Luxury Steakhouse Debuts Monthly Whiskey Pairing Series

Steak and whiskey — it’s a classic pairing that’s existed for generations. It’s rare to find a steakhouse without a lengthy whiskey list, but Mastro’s Steakhouse has taken its love affair with whiskey to the next level.

The first Texas location of Mastro’s Steakhouse has its own whiskey bar that features more than 370 different bottles. Bar director and sommelier Shaun Prevatt takes great pride in the collection. “Whiskey is for everyone. Not everybody has found what appeals to them yet, but we’re confident that Mastro’s can pair the perfect whiskey for our guests.”

Executive chef Michael Colbert’s salmon poké. Photo by Josh Armendariz

It’s with that spirit in mind that Mastro’s has launched its monthly whiskey pairing series. April’s selections focus on Japanese whiskies Akashi White Oak, Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Suntory Whisky Toki and Yamazaki 12 Year Old. A flight of all four costs $45 and is available at the bar only.

Toki and Hibiki Harmony are blended whiskies from Suntory’s three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. Diners may be familiar with Toki as it is commonly used in Japanese Highballs. Toki’s slightly citrusy and spicy taste is a wonderful way to wake up the palate. Harmony tastes more of orange, apricot and other stone fruits. White Oak, another blended whiskey, evokes hints of toffee, butter and oak.

The A5+ Wagyu Sando and Yamazaki 12yr were born to be together. Photo by Josh Armendariz

Yamazaki is a highly-decorated single malt whiskey and has been mentioned many times in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Notes of dried fruit, honey and a slight spice show exactly why it’s next to impossible to find this bottle at the local liquor store.

Executive chef Michael Colbert has created three suggested pairings, also exclusively available at the whiskey bar. Colbert’s salmon poké features New Zealand Ōra King salmon flown in fresh daily and is $25. Colbert cures the fish with rice wine vinegar in lieu of traditional soy sauce. The salmon is accompanied by avocado and fish roe.

The toro nigiri brought new life to Suntory Toki. Photo by Josh Armendariz

Colbert also offers a plate of toro nigiri — three pieces of fatty tuna belly. The fish is flown in fresh from Hawaii and has never been frozen. The $35 nigiri brought vibrancy and a velvety mouthfeel to the Toki that I’ve never experienced while drinking this Japanese classic.

The gold medal winner, though, is the A5+ Wagyu Sando. This A5 wagyu is the pinnacle of beef, attaining the highest beef marbling score (BMS) possible. Colbert coats the beef with breadcrumbs and deep fries i quickly in sesame oil. The sandwich is served with black truffles and housemade stone-ground mustard. It’s not often that we’ll recommend a $60 sandwich, but this is worth every single penny.

The whiskey flights will rotate monthly as will the suggested food pairings.

Mastro’s Steakhouse is located at 1650 West Loop South and is open Mondays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Josh Armendariz is Houston Food Finder’s lead freelance beer and cocktail writer. He can often be found on a stool at your favorite bar, sipping a hoppy craft beer and talking about the Astros with anyone who’ll lend an ear. Follow him on Instagram at @drinkwithjosh.

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