Cigar Aficionado

Review: The Ranch at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas

Review: The Ranch at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
The outdoor space at The Ranch at Las Colinas is cigar-friendly and includes both table sections for full-service dining as well as comfy Adirondack chairs around an outdoor fireplace.
A sophisticated steakhouse in a down-to-earth atmosphere that caters to cigar lovers

A high-end steak spot masquerading as a casual western roadhouse that serves comfort foods like fried chicken with draught Lone Star beer alongside $100 dry-aged Tomahawk steaks and first-growth Bordeaux, the Ranch at Las Colinas tries to be everything to everyone—and succeeds. It’s fun and lively, with spotted cowhide chairs and staff sporting pearl snap western shirts. But it’s also sophisticated and tasty, taking advantage of Irving’s great weather to offer extensive outdoor seating areas, complete with misting fans and heaters to tackle the city’s short shoulder seasons.

The outdoor space is cigar-friendly and includes both table sections for full-service dining and comfy Adirondack chairs around an outdoor fireplace if you want to just smoke a post-prandial cigar with a whiskey, Port or other libation. All of this is in the posh neighborhood of Las Colinas, just minutes from the top-tier TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas golf course, home to the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Classic.

“We’ve had a lively cigar scene here for 20 years,” said general manager Charles Leon. “It’s a great place to sit outside and smoke, and once somebody lights up, there’s another and another. But while a lot of cigar bars can be intimidating, we try to make it welcoming.”

This includes stocking lighter, flavored cigars and curating a list of beverage pairings, from Balcones Baby Blue Texas whiskey with an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story to Macallan Fine Oak 21-year-old with the Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share and Ardbeg Uigeadail with the Fuente Fuente OpusX Lost City Double Robusto. Montecristo’s Texas Connoisseur Edition is fittingly paired with Texas whiskey, and the rest of the 22 featured cigar choices represent top brands, including Rocky Patel, Romeo y Julieta, non-Cuban Cohiba, My Father, Macanudo and Padrón.

All of the cigars are displayed in humidors at a prominent kiosk inside the restaurant, where advice is dispensed. Cigars can be ordered here or at the tables from the well-curated list, full of detailed depictions.

Customers from the unrelated sports bar and grill next door often come in to purchase smokes at the kiosk, and other diners take cigars home. “Just like our wine list, we try to have a nice array, with something for everyone, some really nice bands and some entry level,” said Leon.

While it is a great spot to enjoy a cigar—especially when they are slow smoking brisket outside for added aroma—it is also a top dining and drinking spot. Whether you opt for elk tacos or duck egg poutine to start, or choose chipotle meatloaf, double-cut wild boar chops, or Texas-raised American wagyu steaks, it’s hard to go wrong here, and loyal fans consider the unique smoked-then-fried chicken the best in the city.

The “Farm to Fork” theme changes many dishes seasonally but always emphasizes almost exclusively Lone Star State farms and ranches, down to the oysters, shrimp and redfish from the Gulf of Mexico. The owners run about a dozen independent and eclectic Dallas-area restaurants, including 60 Vines and a newly opened fancy steakhouse, so they have access to great purveyors and great wines, taking annual buying trips to Europe.

That’s why on top of all the steakhouse favorites like Caymus, Silver Oak, Stag’s Leap, Jordan and Heitz, you’ll find lots of Burgundies, Barolos, and expense account choices such as Penfolds Grange Hermitage in several vintages, a 2013 Château Haut-Brion, and the priciest offering, a double magnum bottle of 1947 Château Lafite Rothschild for $16,000.

There are more than 500 labels in all, and every single one—even the Lafite—is included in the weekly half-price wine bottle Saturdays. But the cigars are mostly paired with whiskies, and there are also tons of dessert and fortified choices. The Ranch would be a great spot to eat or drink even if it didn’t have Irving’s best setting for cigar lovers. But, it does.

The Ranch at Las Colinas
857 West John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, TX 75309
(972) 506-7262
http://theranchlc.com/  
Open Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. until late closing
Closed Sundays