Four Winds Steakhouse
21191 FM 47
In the middle of hay fields, tucked beneath shadows of oaks trees, Four Winds Steakhouse near Wills Point is not just a great meal, it is a dining experience that will be branded on your gastronomic memory. For food lovers, and especially steak lovers, in East Texas, this home base for rustic fine dining.
Chef and co-owner, Frank Rumore, knew the moment he drove onto the Four Winds Ranch that this was the canvas for his culinary masterpiece.
“I did not do a lot of research — this was an instinct,” he said. “I want you to come for dinner as if you are a guest in my house. Eat, be happy and enjoy.”
This philosophy radiates from the moment you walk in the lead glass and pine door and are greeted by staff. The dining room at Four Winds is a large great room with simple and elegant tables draped in white linen and offers views of the ranch land from every angle.
However, the co-stars of Four Winds are the food and the service. Both shine. The food is not fussy couture dining. There are no contemporary food techniques and nitrogen-cooked petite plates. This is steakhouse cooking with the portions to match.
Four Winds specializes in steak — filet, New York strip and ribeye are your options. They are cut and fired when ordered, as Rumore demands that everything be as fresh as possible.
The kitchen makes your vegetables when your order and each day produces their own salad dressings, sauces, butters and gets as much of their produce and meat from local farmers as they can.
The quality shows in each course. We began our meal with fresh baked bread and a bottle of Syrah called “Writer’s Block.” The wine selection at Four Winds is amazing. Just ask your server what pairings they suggest. As a wine lover, I do wish that Four Winds would feature Texas Wines, after all our local selections are as immaculate as the food they serve.
Appetizers arrive quickly at Four Winds. The crab cakes are dressed with a aromatic sauce. You can choose from several delights like hand-cut and fried-to-order onion rings or scallops and escargot. The escargot can be a hard dish to perfect and sometimes slightly overdone, but they swim in a pool of lovely sauce. Our favorite is the grilled goat cheese, wrapped in grape leaves and coated with a pepper chutney — it is divine.
Besides steak other entrées at Four Winds include a hand-cut double pork chop, pecan-breaded catfish, fried breaded tenderloin and fresh fish every day.
Your server will introduce the specials for the evening.
Don’t forget your sides; fresh creamed spinach or corn, whipped Yukon gold potatoes with cheddar, steamed asparagus or mushrooms and onions. Sides are served family style by your wait staff, so don’t over order. Everything at Four Winds is la carte.
Dessert is a star here. They feature bread pudding, cake and a sorbet trio that are heartwarming. My favorite is the creme brulee, which is one of the best in East Texas.
Chef Rumore does not wander the dining room — he commands the kitchen. He lets his staff be the stars in the dining room and service is superb. They do not hoover, they appear plates in hand and smiles ready.
“Great service is a priority for us. My staff is my family, too. They must be part of the experience.” Rumore adds.
This investment has staff that has been with the restaurant six to eight years, a feat not experienced by many in the food service business.
Dining at Four Winds is not a cheap meal, but food of this quality never is. Gather some friends and family or just that special someone for a great time. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. Reservations are suggested — a pleasurable meal is guaranteed.
The sorbet trio is one of the delicious desserts available at Four Winds. Photo by Patti Light