Sunday, March 27, 2011

Katz 21 Steaks & Spirits -- Corpus Christi, TX

Katz 21 Steaks & Spirts is located at 317 Mesquite Street, Corpus Christi, TX, in the downtown area ( The moment you walk up to Katz, you feel welcome and important. Just before we reached the door it swung open and we were greeted warmly with "Welcome to Katz." The doorman then proceeded to guide us to the reception desk where we were greeted again. We informed the two lovely young ladies that we had a reservation and one of them led us to our table. On the way to our table every staff member we passed greeted us, and again welcomed us to Katz. The interior is paneled is rich dark woods and elegantly trimmed. We were guided to our table in a booth that was all but completely private. High walls divide the booths and the various sections of the restaurant, so that wherever you sit you never feel like you're in a large impersonal space.

Our server, Alisa, introduced herself and told us about the night's special. She was very pleasant and informative. Considering the atmosphere, you might expect the waitstaff to be a bit stuffy. Not at all. Alisa was quite personable and we enjoyed her. As we perused the menus, bread arrived at the table -- a very nice white bread with a crunchy crust, served with real butter. I love real butter! The menu prices are on the higher side and everything is separate (salad, entree, sides, etc) so be prepared (as we were with our $25.00 coupon). I ordered a Greek Salad and the Pesca al Forno. Rob ordered a Ceasar Salad and the 6 oz Filet of Beef with a Baked Potato. They were out of the wine I ordered, so Alisa brought me a better one.

I love Greek Salads and this one is the best I've ever had. Large chunks of tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and black olives piled up on a small bed of various lettuces, dressed with a wonderful vinaigrette and liberally sprinkled with an herbed feta cheese. I was regretting having ordered anything else. The salad was huge and delicious. When my entree arrived I almost asked for the to-go box right then! The prices may be up there, but you get your money's worth. A filet of tilapia about the size of a small sedan lay across the plate. It was topped with crabmeat, two large shrimp, olives and capers. Next to it lay a medley of squash, zucchini and carrot. I was glad I had not ordered a side, yet Alisa showed up a minute or two later with another dish and informed me that the chef told her the the Pesca al Forno was now being accompanied with a rice pilaf. I could have fed two other people with this dish. As it turned out, we actually had enough of my entree left over for both of us to have dinner the next night! My first bite tasted a little salty and I relayed that to Alisa, who offered to have the chef remake the dish. I declined, explaining that I've been on a low sodium diet and I might be sensitive. Rob tasted it and didn't think it was salty at all. So, it was just me. The fish was nicely cooked, tender and moist but not fishy tasting. The shrimp were perfect. I could not finish even a third of the fish, nevermind the rice and everything else on the dish.

Rob's steak was served with the same vegetable medley as my dish. His potato was served on a separate dish and was quite large. The steak was cooked perfectly. I had a taste and commented that I liked the seasoning, especially the fact that it wasn't heavily seasoned. He said that he usually preferred more seasoning on his steak, but this was such good quality beef that it didn't need more seasoning. He had his potato completely dressed, sans the sour cream, and it must have been good, because he put quite a dent in it.

As Alisa arrived with to-go boxes (she read my mind) on a tray (classy), and boxed up the leftovers, she asked if we wanted dessert. Rob asked if they had chocolate. She told us about their Godiva Cheesecake that she said, "will change your life!" I believe she called it "sin on a plate." She also said that they had a flourless chocolate torte, but I'd had that before. I went with the Godiva Cheesecake and I do believe my life has been changed. Creamy, rich chocolate cheesecake encased in Godiva chocolate, served on a pool of raspberry sauce. Absolutely amazing, and worth every decadent calorie!

Katz is not going to be your everyday, run of the mill date night restaurant, but for the special occasion it is the perfect place. The staff treat you as if you are the most important people to walk in that night. The food is excellent, and although you're spending more than you normally would, you won't feel as if your money was wasted.

We understand that Katz will be moving later this year to the old Trend House building on Esplanade. According to our server, it will have patio dining as well as an elegant interior and live music. We're looking forward to it!

We are giving away a $25 gift certificate to Katz to one lucky "follower" of our blog. If you are not yet a "follower," become one now! (Winner will be announced April 10, 2011).

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