Re-create this menu from Robard’s in The Woodlands and celebrate your upcoming nuptials
By Tom Flynn
Décor and coordination by Shelby Reininger & Jade Lewis | Linens from EB, Inc | Flowers by B&M Floral Creations
Beefsteak Tomato Salad
The Woodlands, Texas has it going on. The master-planned community has always been known for big trees, great homes (at great prices) and excellent golf courses, and as the area has grown, a mall filled with quality retailers. Then the Woodlands Waterway opened with high-end shops and entertainment venues. But where could you get a good steak?
Robard’s Steakhouse sits on the 18th green of the Panther Trail golf course. A salute to Howard Robard Hughes Jr., they have the finest dry-aged meat, an impeccable wine list and artwork featuring Hughes, a Houston legend. During a recent visit, they invited me to the kitchen and taught me how to recreate a Robard’s meal at home.
The team at Robard’s dry-ages the choicest meats in-house, their oven heats to 1600°F, and the experienced waitstaff provide topnotch service as guests enjoy their two- to three-hour meals. Although these details make it near impossible to recreate the exact experience at home, Chef Sammy showed me how to get close with the help of a good cast-iron skillet and a few thick-cut steaks from H-E-B. Don’t forget to pair your rib eye with its trusty partner, the potato, served any way you like it.
1. Make the dressing: Combine the egg, mustard, onions, garlic, sugar and water in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
2. Assemble the salad: Layer the tomatoes and onions on a plate. Top with a thin layer of microgreens and sprinkle with the cheese crumbles. Drizzle on the dressing and serve garnished with the chopped herbs.
Robard’s Green Beans
1. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute.
2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high. Add the garlic, chile paste, broth and salt. Stir to combine. Add the beans and toss/stir until the beans are tender. Serve immediately.
Candied-Bacon French Toast
1. Make the syrup: Cook the bourbon and cherries in a pot over medium until the cherries soften, about 3 minutes. Flambé by tilting the pan toward the fire and letting the bourbon ignite. (The fire will burn off the alcohol, but leave the flavors in tact.) Once the flames have vanished, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Make the bacon: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a baking rack on top. Arrange the bacon on the rack in a single layer. Brush on the mustard and sprinkle on the sugar, thyme and pepper. Bake until the bacon is fully cooked and slightly crispy, about 25 minutes.
3. Make the French toast: Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl. Working in batches, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium in a large skillet. Dip the bread slices in the batter and cook in the pan until golden brown; flip and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and repeat until all bread is cooked.
4. To serve, place 1 piece French toast on a plate, top with 1 slice bacon and drizzle on the syrup. Lean a second piece of toast on top and add more bacon and syrup. Top with the cheese crumbles and serve hot.
Go Big and Go Thick Buttery Rib eyes
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Liberally season the steaks with salt and pepper.
2. Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over high until the pan begins to smoke. Add the steaks and sear for 2 minutes per side.
3. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130–140°F. Remove from oven and allow the steaks to rest on a plate for 10 minutes.
4. Warm the skillet over medium and sear the steaks for 10 seconds per side. Serve immediately.