Pair Shula’s Steak House with a night at the Wynfrey Hotel.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Jason Wallis
This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday—perfect timing for a romantic overnighter or weekend. Shula’s Steak House and the Wynfrey Hotel offer two packages from which to choose. “A Touch of Romance” is available during Valentine’s weekend, February 12 through February 14. And the “Taste of Shula’s” is available year round!
Located inside the Wynfrey Hotel—in the Riverchase Galleria—Shula’s Steak House maintains a freestanding atmosphere, with its own entrance adjacent to the hotel’s revolving doors, and complimentary valet parking. And a second entry is located in the hotel lobby. This swank steakhouse is themed after the 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins team and their "perfect” 17 - 0 season. Dark paneling provides a warm and welcoming backdrop to the white tablecloths, candlelit tables and hunter green leather booths. The restaurant is divided among several dining spaces, including Shula’s No Name Lounge—with memorabilia boasting the theme of 17.
Shula’s dinner menu presentation is action packed. After being seated in a roomy, romantic booth, a hand painted steak menu on an official NFL game football—signed by legendary Coach Don Shula—is placed on my plate, atop a football-kicking tee. Other leather bound menus listing cocktails, additional entrees and sides and Shula’s extensive wine list are also provided. From the martini list we order two martinis, a Perfect Margarita and a Cosmopolitan. A silver basket with a loaf of piping hot sourdough bread arrives with a generous portion of butter along with our martinis. The margarita is golden in color with a salty rim and a delightful sipper for those—such as me—who prefer a salty verses sweet cocktail. The cosmo is ruby red in color, balanced—fruity yet not sweet—light, refreshing.
We select the Lobster Cocktail as an appetizer to share. Chef, Wesley Scholtz cracked and cut the chilled lobster from the shell. He then placed back the lobster inside the shell for a colorful and appetizing presentation. This luscious lobster is served with a cheesecloth-covered lemon and a creamy yet acidic sauce complement for each tender bite.
Shula’s menu presentation continues with a cart brought tableside, boasting one, beautiful raw example each of the SHULA CUT ® (certified Angus beef steaks, served exclusively at Shula’s restaurants). From an 8-ounce Petite Filet to a 48-ounce Porter House our server, Dong eloquently describes each. Diners who finish the 48-once Porter House are invited to join Shula's 48-Ounce Club and honored with a plaque on Shula’s website. I once tried to become a member but was eventually defeated by the 48 ounces and happily shared half of it. So this time we opt for an 8-ounce petite filet mignon, medium and the 24-ounce Prime Rib, medium.
Sides are portioned to be shared. Yet we can’t decide between hash browns and the double baked potato, so we order both. Entrees are served with an invitation by the server to cut them in order to ensure the doneness level is as was ordered. Both are medium to perfection—the center cooked 80 percent through with a pink center. Each bite of the succulent filet is tender, juicy and flavor filled. And the two-inch thick prime rib is tender inside and out with a tasty and classic au jus. The massive double baked potato is a beautiful balance of creaminess and chives. And the hash browns are a thick, golden, crispy pie—shaped plateful of hot shredded potatoes.
Dessert of Apple Cobbler—sized for sharing is selected among tonight’s featured desserts. A large apple tart with a nutty and golden topping is presented on a plate dusted with cinnamon along with a cup of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. The fruity, crunchy warmth combines with the cold, creamy vanilla flavor in this scrumptious dish. The dessert is paired with two Chocolate Martinis in which real chocolate shines through. These deep and dark concoctions—a mix of Tia Maria Liqueur, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, dark crème de cocoa, and Stoli Vanilla Vodka—make an elegant end to the evening.