Striking gold

Elegant Steak House earns its Best Of title, no doubt about it

PURE PERFECTION<br>Eduardo Nunez serves an entrée of pan-seared elk medallions, which taste even better than they look.

Eduardo Nunez serves an entrée of pan-seared elk medallions, which taste even better than they look.

Photo By Josh Graham

The Steak House
At Gold Country Casino & Hotel
4020 Olive Highway, Oroville
5-9 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Weds.-Thurs.; 5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; closed Tuesdays
(800) 334-9400

Gold Country Casino

4020 Olive Hwy
Oroville, CA 95966

(530) 534-9892

I admittedly don’t venture into Oroville very often, so when the band Cake came to town last month for a benefit show, I took the opportunity to explore the city’s dining options. The Steak House at Gold Country Casino had taken home Best Restaurant honors in Oroville, from CN&R readers, so my boyfriend and I headed there for a meal before the show.

Not knowing what to expect, we were immediately blown away by the elegance of the restaurant—and how underdressed we were. Huge, picture windows line the outer wall and offer a striking view of (beyond the casino’s neon sign and highway) the sunset. We were quickly seated at a booth on the first tier—the seating is arranged so all tables get an outside view.

Our waiter, Eduardo, welcomed us, and his charming personality made me immediately excited to have found a new fancy date place. We ordered the lump crab cakes appetizer ($15) and a bottle of Red Diamond cabernet ($19), and for our main course, I chose the jumbo prawns stuffed with lump crab meat (I’m a sucker for seafood) and my boyfriend ordered the 10 oz. filet mignon ($25 and $32, respectively).

The crab cakes were absolutely delicious, served over whole-grain mustard sauce with chive oil. I typically steer clear of mustard, but this sauce was a perfect match for the hearty cakes, which were crisped to perfection.

Our meals were no less extraordinary. My prawns were plump and, served with rice pilaf (my choice), just the right serving size. Again, the crab was amazing, with big chunks. The filet mignon, served with a cabernet sauce—you can choose from a list, though our waiter said this was the best—was juicy, cooked just right, and full of flavor.

As we left, we both had huge grins on our faces. On our way to the Municipal Building to see Cake, we immediately made plans to return. In between visits, I found myself craving those crab cakes and wondering about the elk entrée. And I made a mental note to wear a dress next time.

For our second visit, I was thrilled to find Eduardo was once again our server. Genuine and polite, he remembered us and, before taking our order, asked how the concert was. Cake was awesome, we told him. But we came back for the Steak House!

This time I had to try the elk—pan-seared mountain elk medallions, over mashed potatoes and served with a blackberry zinfandel sauce ($24). My boyfriend opted for the 14 oz. N.Y. strip steak ($27). His father, whom we decided to treat, got the night’s halibut special ($29).

Again, perfection. This time, the little things stood out: the presentation of my elk medallions was beautiful. Same with the bread, brought out in an assorted basket. And everyone, from Eduardo to his assistant (yes, the waiters have assistants) to the hostesses, was extremely friendly.

The elk, as I had hoped, was wonderful. The N.Y. strip and halibut, too, were delicious.

If I didn’t love Fifth Street Steakhouse as much as I do, and I didn’t think their steaks were just a smidgeon more tasty, I’d give the Steak House at Gold Country five forks.

There’s definitely a reason the Steak House was voted Best Restaurant in Oroville. It’s so good, in fact, it’s worth the 40-minute drive from Chico, especially when you consider all the entertainment possibilities right there at the casino—gambling, a bowling alley, loads of shows and special events. Next time, I’ll just have to remember to leave room for dessert.