The Brass Door, San Ramon CA
Steak was on Zach’s brain tonight, but we were out of town and not near anywhere familiar. We found ourselves around San Ramon, so we looked up steak houses and The Brass Door came up immediately. We called to make sure there would be a table for us, and it’s a good thing we did because the place is very popular.
Oysters here are available on the half shell as well as Rockefeller style, with béchamel sauce, spinach, and cheese. We recommend trying these; make sure to squeeze some lemon and add a little bit of the horseradish, but just a little because it is fresh.
Well, we got a bonus scallop somehow, so our trio turned into a quartet. Three were seared and served with lemon butter, and the fourth crispy on a small smear of mashed potatoes. The sauce was amazing – savory, buttery, lemony, a perfect complement to the scallops and the vegetables. The scallops were sizable and cooked well.
We each added on a salad because we felt we needed some roughage. August had the California salad with field greens, craisins, glazed walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, and balsamic vinaigrette. The flavor mix and ratio of the ingredients was appropriately balanced.
We knew one of us would get a Caesar because it’s a favorite. The romaine was very fresh and crisp, and the dressing wasn’t too acidic or bitter like some restaurants make it.
The first meat August had as a baby was liver, so she’s always been fond of it. Tonight she had hormone-free veal liver with bacon, onions, and mashed potatoes. She asked for the meat to be cooked medium, and was happy that it came out neither overdone nor underdone. The onions were sweet and plentiful, and the bacon was crispy and salty to balance out the dish.
Billed as 16 oz. with the bone in, Zach wanted the gourmet cut prime rib for two reasons: a better picture, and to bring a big hunk with the bone back to the dog. It is served with au jus, creamed spinach, and typically a baked potato but Zach swapped that out for house-made potatoes au gratin. He ordered the meat medium, and it came out unequivocally medium. It was very mild in seasoning, so if you’re sensitive to salt and/or spices, this might be good for you. The creamed spinach was really creamy and had a hint of nutmeg, the same as what was used for the oysters Rockefeller. The potatoes au gratin were cheesy and light in texture, and definitely had that house-made je ne sais quoi.
If you’re looking for a long-standing establishment that leans towards house-made fare, this is a good place for it. To plan for an anniversary or birthday, you would want to make reservations well in advance as the following is strong and you wouldn’t want to wait for a table for your special event.