1480 River Ridge Drive • Clemmons, NC 27012
Every month, I am in the (enviable) position to visit a local restaurant with fabulous photographer, Melinda Lamm of Photo Artistry by Melinda, to sample menus and learn about great dining opportunities in Forsyth County and the surrounding area! For March, Melinda and I (as well as my husband) were delighted to experience a new Clemmons restaurant, Three Bulls American Steakhouse! Because Three Bulls is a sister-restaurant to Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse, another restaurant I’ve reviewed in the past, I knew we were in for a treat. Plus, our server, Savanna, was an absolute gem. The food I’m about to describe was exceptional, but Savanna’s attention to detail, knowledge of the menu, and friendly disposition just made a great experience even better. I know exactly whose table I’m going to be requesting when I go back!
First up – we sampled two appetizers. The Thai Chili Cauliflower was not a dish I would have usually ordered. There are only two vegetables that I’m not gung-ho over, and cauliflower is one of them (okra is the other – blame my mother who made me eat it as a child). But this appetizer may have converted me. Don’t get me wrong… I still firmly believe that cauliflower is a poor substitute for rice or potatoes, but this appetizer – I couldn’t believe how incredibly flavorful it was! It was a generous appetizer, and I confess, I may have accidentally-on-purpose knocked my husband’s fork out of the way in my zeal to get to an extra big piece he was reaching for (a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do). Lightly fried cauliflower was light and tender, with an incredibly flavorful Thai chili sauce. I will definitely order this one again. It was amazing!
We also sampled the NOLA Shrimp. NOLA stands for New Orleans, Louisiana, but don’t let the name fool you. While this dish has a definite Cajun influence, it’s not spicy as one would expect. It’s actually a pretty mild dish, served over a thick piece of cheese toast with a generous serving of Bayou gravy. It’s hearty and creamy. A very unique twist that seafood lovers would definitely enjoy!
Three Bulls American Steakhouse let us try all three of their house soups. First up – exactly what you’d expect from a steakhouse, Jim’s Famous Chili. I don’t know who Jim is, but he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s a beefy chili, full of beans, and tons of flavor. Everything chili is supposed to be with a generous dollop of sour cream and cheese on the top.
We also tried the Clam Chowder. While creamy as one would expect, it also had a bit of a smoky flavor that was quite tasty. Made with potatoes and served with bacon and scallions, the Clam Chowder wasn’t fishy and is a delicious soup option.
My favorite soup, though was the French Onion Soup. I absolutely love French onion soup, and I tend to be a bit of a snob about it. Though I confess I have never successfully made it myself, I do know what I am looking for when it comes to this particular recipe. Rich and cheesy. The Three Bulls take on this classic did not disappoint. I could have made a meal out of their French Onion Soup without any issues…
Especially when Savanna brought out a bowl of Family Salad. This is something that Three Bulls American Steakhouse does just like their sister, Fratelli’s. And I love it. It’s a tossed salad for the table to share. It consists of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperchinis, candied almonds, onions, and cheese – all tossed with a creamy Italian dressing. It’s fresh, and there’s plenty to share. We enjoyed the rest of our soup and salad with a basket of fresh bread – Corn Muffins and Dinner Rolls, served with herb butter that is decadently creamy.
On to the entrees! Our first dish was the Cedar Plank Salmon. No, it’s not a particular breed of salmon. This generous portion of fresh salmon is cooked on a piece of cedar wood, which gives the fish a light smoky flavor. It’s then drizzled with housemade maple mustard and pickled red onion. The salmon (including the board) is served atop a bed of perfectly steamed broccolini. Friends, I wish I could just take all of you with me to Three Bulls American Steakhouse so you could try this for yourself. Even if you don’t like salmon – try it. It is a fabulous entrée.
We also tried the Lemon Chicken, and this is, in a word, divine. Two marinated chicken breasts are served with a lemon cream sauce that has been sautéed with capers, mushrooms, and goat cheese. It is an exquisite mix of flavors that is unique and utterly delightful. Lemon is always a nice accompaniment to chicken, so that’s no surprise. But it’s the goat cheese and capers that give it such a distinctive flavor. Chicken fans – you’ll love it! This entrée is served on a bed of mashed potatoes (YUM!), and house vegetable sauté of zucchini and squash. It was a generous meal that would easily cover lunch the next day, too!
You can’t go to a steakhouse without sampling some steak. And we were served a 6-ounce Filet Mignon that was so tender, I could literally cut it with a fork. Ours was cooked medium-rare and Pittsburgh style (which is, in my opinion, the only way to properly cook a steak), and they paired it with a housemade demi-glace, which is made from a Worcestershire-based reduction. The filet was served with a generous helping of asparagus and a grit cake. My husband, who is from the north, wasn’t quite sure what to make of the grit cake, but we all enjoyed it. It’s not what you would expect – it’s actually quite creamy and very flavorful.
And oh, my goodness. I honestly don’t know if Three Bulls American Steakhouse has anything on their dessert menu other than their signature Moravian Sugar Cake Bread Pudding. If they do – I can’t imagine why. Because with this as an option, you really don’t need other options. This nod to a Winston-Salem classic was, without question, pure and unfiltered dessert heaven. They’ve taken a traditional Moravian sugar cake and turned it into a bread pudding, with a homemade bourbon glaze, and topped with a cinnamon sugar ice cream. This is the dessert you dream about.
Needless to say, I went home in a complete food coma. And my husband happily ate all the leftovers before I could get to them. That’s okay though, because I know we’re headed that way again soon. And I hope you’ll visit them, too! Be sure to tell them that Rosey sent ya!