We had not yet heard of this place when friends from Van, Texas suggested we meet there as a mid-way destination for us all. It is NEAR Terrell, Texas, but really boasts a Wills Point address that can make it challenging to find. Both Yellow Pages and our GPS failed to pinpoint the location, which is just 1/4 mile North of I-20 on FM47 -- Exit 516 off I-20 about 10 miles East of Terrell.
A turn to the right of FM47 puts you on a long winding driveway that leads up to a classic Texas ranch-house; sitting on 1100 acres of pecan-studded views with a big pond that you can enjoy from the ~100 ft long front porch. This one was once owned by Dallas Cowboy LeRoy Jordan; now the current owners have transformed into a warm, welcoming and wonderful restaurant.
Since we arrived early, we took the porch option with a cool drink in hand and waited for our friends to arrive. During our wait, we chanced a conversation with fashionably dressed young lady named LeeAnn. As it turned out, she is one of the proprietors with life-and-business-partner Chef Frank Rumore' -- former Executive Chef for Del Frisco's, the famous Dallas steakhouse. She gave us a warm welcome as first-timers and made sure all our questions were answered.
We learned a lot about the Chef and his philosophy, and total commitment to satisfying his patrons; that EVERYTHING is made fresh and on-site, even the staple breadbasket and all the desserts. And better yet, everything she told us was verified 10x over by the meals we experienced.
Appetizers ordered were Crab Cakes and Fried Oysters. There was almost nothing but crab in the cakes (no fillers, etc.) and they were topped with a orange-tinged glaze. The oysters were lightly breaded and fried to absolute perfection. Both were top of their class, and enjoyed by all.
For dinner, we all ended up ordering some version of their signature entree': STEAK. ((Although they also offer some wonderful fresh seafood, we were all beef hungry)). The meats were well-seasoned, cooked to order -- and to perfection -- with wonderful sides of green beans, sauteed mushrooms & onions, and the house mashed potatoes. Each night features a different version of the classic comfort food; that night they were lightly laced with Blue Cheese.
Although none of us really had room for dessert, we had to try the home-made Bread Pudding as a shareable. It is one of my wife's perennial favorites, and I usually don't eat it. However, even I WILL be ordering this one again: it was light and fluffy, delicious and topped with an extraordinarily tasty whiskey sauce. We both agreed it was absolutely THE BEST we had ever tasted. I can only wonder what the Creme Brulee' was like, but I'm sure it would also be a chart-topper!
The food, atmosphere and service makes it easy to understand why this place -- kind of 'in the middle of nowhere' -- now draws folks from as far away as Shreveport and Ft. Worth... and why, after just 9 years in business with nearly NO advertising the reservation book is nearly always FULL!
Service is always an important factor to me in any dining experience. Our table server "J.B." was knowledgeable, personable, courteous and prompt. The reception staff was friendly and helpful, and of course the proprietor LeeAnn was top shelf. The only negative was the bartender: her seeming lack of personality and total disinterest in me as a customer when I ordered our drinks for the porch wait (one of which was mis-made) was a blemish; hopefully that will be remedied.
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