Exploring Industrial Fine Dining at Iron Works Steaks and Fine Cocktails

3.3 min read| Published On: June 28th, 2024|

By Amanda Valderrama

Exploring Industrial Fine Dining at Iron Works Steaks and Fine Cocktails

3.3 min read| Published On: June 28th, 2024|

Picture this: Your server just delivered your dinner plate and on it is a 32-ounce tomahawk steak. Your meal is illuminated by the warm glow of Edison bulbs, just one piece of immersive decor harkening back to the American Industrial Revolution. 

You don’t have to go far for that experience. You can get it at Ironworks Steaks and Fine Cocktails, an upscale steakhouse on Ruby Street in downtown Tavares that makes for the perfect spot for a date night and more. 

Owners Hillary and David Perry and business partners Emad Shahid and George Walker curated a moody ambiance with low lighting and a steampunk feel. The concept explores an era when Americans went from primarily producing goods by hand to entrusting newer, innovative machinery to get the job done. 

The fine dining space is elegant with black linen and glass tabletops and gold-plated lanterns at each table.

The walls display vintage black and white photos that pay tribute to the late 1700s. The ceiling is lined with large beams. Large flames flicker from an old-fashioned furnace built into the wall above.

The dining area seats about 18 to 20 guests to provide a more intimate experience. Reservations are highly encouraged. 

There is additional high-top seating and ample seating at the bar, which features a bar top that’s narrower than most to give patrons a closer, more engaging experience as they watch the bartenders make exquisitely crafted cocktails. 

The menu includes various steak cuts, including porterhouse, filet, coulotte, tomahawk and NY Strip. A specialty dish is the NY Strip smoked under glass and presented tableside. 

Whether you are celebrating or just treating yourself to a well-deserved meal, you can add enhancements to any dish. Some options: a lobster tail, shrimp skewers, Oscar style with blue crab and house-made hollandaise. 

And for those who may not prefer beef, Ironworks also has a selection of delicious pasta, chicken, pork, and salmon dishes as well.  

All ingredients are locally sourced, and you can request a steak be grilled with their special “Ironworks house seasoning.” The beverage menu is just as exquisite with its unique craft cocktail choices and wine and beer selections.

Owners Hillary and David Perry, right, and business partner Emad Shahid, left

During my visit to Ironworks, I tasted a variety of delicious dishes. Each one was so aromatic as they made their way to the table.

I started out with a cocktail called The Iron Maiden Jane. It was made with rum, maraschino liqueur, pineapple and cinnamon topped with a Bordeaux cherry – a nice touch. The drink was easy sipping and the cinnamon enhanced the fruit flavors. It was more of a summery cocktail with a sweetness that paired nicely with the robust flavor of the entrees.

First up, their I-Beam bacon, an appetizer served hanging from a miniature model of a steel beam accompanied by a small pair of iron scissors for cutting. The bacon is about half a pound and paired with a maple brown sugar dipping sauce. It is a top-notch combination of sweet and savory. 

Next was the warm bread and butter, which was not the typical bread and butter you often have at the start of a meal. The butter is made into a candle that melts into a delicious spread infused with thyme, garlic and fresh lemon. 

After appetizers came the maple pork chop and bone-in tomahawk steak, both main courses. 

The 14-oz., thick-cut chop, drizzled with maple glaze, was juicy and flavorful and was paired with sweet potato mash and asparagus stocks that were hearty and cooked to perfection. The sweet potato mash was buttery and had a satisfying, whipped texture to it. 

The other entrée, the tomahawk, was a true showstopper and my favorite dish. The 32-oz. hearty top choice cut was big enough to split in two and the presentation very aesthetically pleasing. It’s served on a wooden board, the bone hanging from a hook and the meat garnished alongside a simplistic line of greenery. This steak was the crème de la crème. Truly delectable and tender. Each time I cut into it; it was like cutting into a piece of butter.

After enjoying such a delicious meal, I was thrilled to hear that Ironworks’ owners have decided to launch a new lunch menu for Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a Sunday brunch menu. The lunch menu features sandwiches, burgers and salads. And the brunch menu will offer omelets, eggs benedict and shareable portions of breakfast staples, such as a fruit and yogurt bowl. 

My favorite thing about Ironworks’ dishes is that their ingredients are locally sourced when possible. Overall, the experience was well worth another visit. Many of their portions are large and shareable and the staff is incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable. 

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About the Author: Amanda Valderrama

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