Springville Steak House: Fresh, Creative, Local.

Springville Steak House: Fresh, Creative, Local.

Interview & Images by Larissa Lilly

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With a kindly, welcoming atmosphere and a quality you’d be hard pressed to beat in this neck of the woods, Springville Steak House is a true gem for the Eel River Valley. Elegant but relaxed, everyone is invited to feel at home and lose themselves in a nice cold beer or cider on tap, a few expertly crafted cocktails and a fresh, creative meal. With a beautiful newly renovated dining room and a cozy bar, Springville Steak House has the perfect ambiance and the right offerings for any occasion- all at a great price.

The real treasure of Springville is in the attention to detail. Owner Beverley Wolfe leaves no stone unturned. Keep an eye out for the little treasures she has hidden throughout the restaurant. It seems as though almost everything has a meaningful story behind it. Some you’ll just have to discover on your own. Here’s a few to start you off. Look on the cover of the menus and notice there’s a unique vintage hand-colored linen Humboldt redwoods post card gracing the front of each book that Beverley collected one by one. Even if you’re taking your time relaxing in the dining room, you don’t want to miss the custom redwood bar. This magnificent installation was crafted by Barry Heaslet of Maple Creek Woodworks using old growth redwood boards sourced by Adam Dias, of Rio Dell’s “Dias Artisan”, who also cut the live edge redwood slab for the bar top. You’ll notice the top is one solid piece of redwood slab and if you look closely you may find beautiful gem inclusions. There are hidden agates, sentimental river rocks from throughout Humboldt and even an amethyst heart waiting to be found.

With a happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 4-6pm with both drink and food specials, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding an excuse or two to spend some time finding the treasures at the bar. Speaking of treasures, here’s a few of the drinks I recommend you find yourself enjoying while you’re there.

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The Fortunatini!

This is as local as it gets. Using Fortuna’s very own Humboldt Distillery vodka and the famous apple cider from down the street at the Clendenen family’s orchard, this unique spin on a martini is one you definitely don’t want to miss. The local flair doesn’t stop there. The rim is coated in cinnamon sugar and to top it all off, a Waltana apple slice is served as a float. The Waltana apple is a unique variety grown at Clendenen’s that has deep traditional roots in Humbodlt. This particular apple comes from the famed apple legacy of Albert Etter, the same man that established Ettersburg in the late 1800s. Known by Humboldt apple growers as the premier Etter apple, the Waltana variety is perfectly crisp and stays that way throughout the winter. This particular apple was championed by Albert Etter’s younger brother Walter, who combined his wife Anna’s name and his own, giving birth to the name Waltana. This light and refreshing cocktail pays tribute to the excellence of our historical local offerings and our notable new distillery. Holding true to that mission though, Springville won’t compromise and use a different apple cider, so if Clendenen’s Cider Works is out for the season in early summer, you’re going to have to wait until the fall apple harvest to get your fix. Trust me though, it’s well worth it!

Bird Dog Blackberry Old Fashioned

This is not your grandfather’s old fashioned. But it just may be if you bring him in and have him give it a try. Heck your grandma will probably fall for it too!  Continuing in line with the local theme, the key here is the blackberry flavored liquor. It’s hard for me to not to love a good bourbon, so this one was a pretty easy sell. Bird Dog Blackberry whiskey was nationally recognized at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and makes a lovely backbone for this simple but unique drink. This old fashioned goes down smooth and without a bite, making it my new favorite around.

IMG_4611eThe Mojito

When you’re looking for a refreshing classic, the mojito at Springville is your best bet. Using garden-fresh mint from out back not even picked until after you order your drink, this drink aims to please. A mojito is a traditional highball made by muddling the fresh mint just enough to release the aromatic essential oils and topped off with Bacardi rum, a healthy dose of lime, sugar, and soda then served on ice. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though, it’s terribly hard to say no to a second one!

Girl’s Night Out!

As the menu describes, “just like you, it’s bubbly & fun!!” This is a lively Cava based cocktail with a dash of pomegranate and a subtle hint of ginger. With this drink by your side, you can’t help but enjoy your time at the eatery. I particularly enjoyed that the pomegranate and ginger flavors complemented but didn’t overwhelm the clean and brisk flavors of the traditional Spanish sparkling wine. This would be my suggestion for a ladies’ night out or a fun drink to enjoy on a date!

Don’t forget the Food!

Alright, alright… there inevitably comes a point where you’ll be sipping on all those delicious cocktails and you’ll start to be tempted by the aromas wafting out of the kitchen. You’ll want to give in and without a doubt, you won’t be disappointed if you do. The menu offerings are full of just as much heartfelt thought and attention to detail as the cocktails. You can stay at the bar and partake in a few Bacon Wrapped Prawns served with a Crisp House Sweet Slaw. Or try what are in my opinion Humboldt County’s best Crispy Green Beans served with Dipping Aioli. Really though you have to try Springville’s Fresh Jalapeno Poppers. They’re filled with bacon and just the right amount of cream cheese. You’ll experience all the subtle flavors of the jalapeno and delight at how perfect this guilty pleasure can be.

You can also enjoy a local grass fed burger on one of their brioche buns, made daily from scratch in the kitchen. And of course you won’t go wrong with one of their hand cut USDA steaks! Join the gracious staff in the dining room if you’re looking for a relaxed way to experience quality local foods at surprisingly affordable prices. As soon as you walk in, you get the feeling that you’re family so find yourself an excuse, any excuse and spend some time enjoying Fortuna’s crown jewel.

The bar opens at 4pm M-F and 5pm on Sat & Sun. The dining room opens at 5pm for dinner Tues-Sun as well. Happy Hour Food and Drinks from 4-6pm in the bar Tues-Fri and Thursday is Ladies’ night with happy hour prices on food and drink all night for the ladies out there! Springville Steak does excellent catering and private parties and don’t forget to stay in the loop by liking them on Facebook.

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Emerald contributor since March 2012

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