Murals of festive party scenes fill the walls inside Rocco’s Grill, an Italian restaurant that serves pizza, pasta, and hand-cut steaks. Awarded the title of Best Steak in Austin by CitySearch in 2010, Rocco’s offers several grilled specialties, most notably the Pepper Steak Marsala, a black-pepper-crusted tenderloin drizzled in a creamy, mushroom-Marsala reduction. Other options include the grilled tilapia and the New Zealand lamb—a personal favorite of the owner. All items on the menu are listed with a recommended wine and silly hat pairing. Diners can enjoy their meals inside a colorful dining room or on a veranda, which offers beautiful views overlooking the Yaupon Golf Course.
The agile hands at Dragon Gate by Phoenix forge an array of pan-Asian classics, including ranks of meticulously rolled maki. Edamame project their delicate soy aromas, and diners tuck into such sushi rolls as the Maguro Dynasty roll, which cloaks a shrimp-tempura core in fresh tuna and caviar. Unagi, cucumber, and fresh salmon combine their palate-pleasing forces in the Tiffany roll, and the Volcano roll rolls onto taste buds with a flavorful magma of spicy baked crab, avocado, and cucumber. Chefs eschew convention like a finger-painting Leonardo da Vinci by baking california rolls and sheathing them in salmon to form the Lion King roll. Dark wooden furnishings reflect the dining room's intimate lighting, and Asian artwork adorns the walls near a teppanyaki and sushi bar for patrons eager to test Dragon Gate's culinary masterminds with knock-knock jokes.
In 1912, George Kamburis set sail from Patmos, Greece. Once in America, he made his way to Montgomery, Alabama, and began peddling ice cream from a cart. He eventually saved enough money to buy a fruit stand and then a caf??the Coffee Pot. Sadly, that eatery burned down, but with the help of his brother, George soon opened a new restaurant, the Normandy Caf?. Today, George?s grandchildren have recreated his vision, this time giving the restaurant a contemporary name and contemporary cuisine: Satellite Bistro & Bar.
Although the bistro?s menu pays homage to the Kamburis family's Greek roots with Mediterranean dishes such as steak gyros and flaming saganaki cheese, its chefs draw inspiration from around the globe. Entrees of oven-roasted chicken, seared diver scallops, and bone-in french-cut pork chops are glazed in sauces ranging from an orchid beurre blanc to a cognac cream sauce. Latin influences show in fish tacos and enchiladas, and Asian traditions yield thai stir-fry and jumbo shrimp paired with mango and wontons. During weekend brunches, innovative creations such as ice-cream-battered french toast and panko-breaded salmon croquettes grace the table.
These modernized dishes are surrounded by equally modern decor dreamt up by Michael Hsu. Photomurals featuring an astronaut and a cityscape surround diners who perch on azure seats amid cherry-red countertops and stone pillars. On summery days, guests lounge on stuffed couches on the patio and pretend the sun is more than just a giant light bulb screwed into the sky. When the weekend comes round, musicians tickle the ivories on a baby grand in the lounge, evoking Ray Charles and Harry Connick Jr. As they listen, audiences sip wines from California and Argentina or martinis and specialty cocktails.
Under the direction of Chef Morris Buck, diners are treated to culinary delights every night such as crispy Statler chicken, served with green chili mashed potatoes, or pan roasted duck with a blueberry demi-glaze. Servers then transport this hearty, seasonal cuisine across hardwood floors, stepping to the swinging notes of live jazz bands.
Though sunset is the perfect time to drink in the patio’s glorious views with a glass of wine in hand, the staff doesn’t neglect its earlier visitors. Brunch serves up both sweets such as maple-drizzled, toasted challah and savories such as Texas skillets with potatoes o'brien, sausages, biscuits, gravy and eggs.