Summit Club

The Summit Club on Wednesday May 29, 2019. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

I had the chance to eat at the Summit Club, which is a private club with a large banquet facility and two dining rooms.

You might be wondering why I would review a private dinning club, but I believe the first-tier membership of less than $60 monthly is worth the benefits the club brings.

Members are graciously greeted when they first sit down. Someone takes your drink order within a few minutes, and then the member is asked to sign a small piece of paper. That’s it and the bill is taken care of — you will not see another bill nor be asked for an additional tip.

Nafie Asad is both the owner and the chef of the Summit Club, which has a great menu.

My wife and I shared the oyster nachos for an appetizer. I am actually going to use a term I have never used before. OMG! They were delicious, and what made them just that more special was small bits of mango in the pico portion of the nachos. It was like three levels of flavor: First, the traditional tortilla chip flavor, then the taste of a deep-fried oyster and a few seconds later the sweet flavor of the mango. Three wonderful layers of flavors — that is why I said OMG.

I then had the Lobster Bisque, which was the soup of the day. It pains me to say that what I was served was not lobster bisque. It has some seasoning in it that makes it taste more like a Southwest version of Lobster Bisque. Now, you might think that the review is going downhill from here, but you would be wrong. I consider the Lobster Bisque a hiccup in an otherwise wonderful meal.

I also had the Filet. My wife had the salad with steak, which we soon found out had almost the same portion of filet that I had but at a much lower price. This was great for her, but I am not as big a fan of having salad for dinner, so I would not have ordered the steak salad. The way the filet was cooked for both our entrees was perfect.

As our entree was about to be served, I looked at the wine list. It is a small but very nice selection. This night my wife did not want any wine, so the server showed me the list of wines by the glass, and I must say I was impressed by the selection. You know there are many a wine drinker who ends up with others at dinner and no one else wants wine. So, when they have to just have a glass instead of a bottle their options for a nice glass of wine disappear. That’s not the case at Summit Club. The restaurant actually had some decent wines by the glass. I was able to enjoy the filet with a nice wine, and some asparagus and delicious mashed potatoes.

If you have been reading my reviews for some time, you know the question I ask at this point in the meal: Does the Summit Club have Crème Brûlée?

The answer is yes, and I must say it was truly the best Crème Brûlée I have ever had. Now, I know just a few reviews ago I was bragging on Barron’s Crème Brûlée, and it was and is still is great. But I must tell you the Summit Club’s Crème Brûlée was even greater. It was lighter in its texture, and that helped with the taste.

My wife had the Berries Romanoff, and for a moment I wished I had ordered that. The presentation was wonderful, and it tasted great. Then I had the second taste of my Crème Brûlée and I knew I made the right choice.

Another nice thing about the Summit Club is the staff and the servers. They have been working there for a while and they know all the members by name. Chef Nafie takes time to come out to the tables and talk with the guests. That is a very nice touch and one of my favorites at restaurants. It gives you a chance to meet and talk about your meal with the chef and owner.

I wanted to mention also that the servers take away the plates from the previous course before ever bringing the next course. That may be trivial, but it is a pet peeve of mine. In some restaurants, including many of the chain restaurants, the servers just push aside the plate from the previous course and put down the plate for the next course. Or worse, they stand there and expect you to move the plate aside.

I give the Summit Club an A+, even though the Lobster Bisque was so bad. Nobody is perfect, and with the Filet, the great deal on the Steak Salad, the best Crème Brûlée, the symphony of tastes from the Oyster Nachos and impeccable service, I had to give the restaurant an A+.