Vine & Dine
Hitting the Mark at Bull and Bourbon
We drove out to the recently reimagined and redesigned Sycuan Casino Resort for a meal at the property’s flagship steakhouse, Bull and Bourbon. Opened in March of 2019, Bull and Bourbon offers over 70 types of bourbons along with well executed steaks and all the fixings. Whether patrons worked up an appetite swimming out by the pool all day or are just looking to unwind after a day of playing cards, Bull and Bourbon offers the high end escape they are looking for.
The first thing you’ll notice upon entry into the restaurant is the beautiful white marble bar top and backlit bottles of bourbon arranged behind the bar. Elaborate pendant chandeliers also greet diners as they walk in. There are comfortable leather chairs and small cocktail tables arranged around the cocktail area for those looking to grab a pre-dinner drink.
After being escorted to our table, furnished by a cream-colored leather booth surrounding a handsome, dark wooden table, Chef David Underwood stopped by to give us an overview of the space. Our main takeaway from talking to Chef Underwood was how important he felt the collaborative process is. He really listens to the feedback patrons give and incorporates it into new offerings and specials. It was a fun discussion and he even took the time to help us understand some of the details around the dry aging of meats, something the restaurant specializes in. He finished the chat with some ordering recommendations and we were excited to start the meal.
We started with a classic Caesar salad and French onion soup. Both were served in overly generous portions. The onions are caramelized in bourbon before being added to the soup and boy could we taste it. A really delicious and well executed example of a staple steakhouse soup. For the Caesar, the romaine was fresh and crispy and the parmesan was piled on beautifully. Fresh sourdough croutons added some further crunch to complete the dish.
For our entrees, we went with the braised short rib and the 8 oz. grass fed filet mignon. The short rib was served complete with creamy white polenta and topped with diced apple and a toasted almond salad. The meat came apart expertly and was the star of the night. The filet, cooked to order and served with a wonderful seared crust, came out perfectly. Sides of Yukon mashed potatoes along with a baked truffle mac and cheese, bookended our entrees and compemented the natural flavors of the meats. Of course, no cut of steak is complete without a delicious red wine paired with it. In addition to its voluminous selection of bourbons, Bull and Bourbon offers a wide array of wines. We went with the King Estate Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, one of our favorite wine regions.
Starting with a visually impressive first impression, and following up with well executed culinary concepts, Bull and Bourbon has positioned itself as a serious entry into the high-end steak restaurant space. The entire staff was extremely amicable and really added to the experience. Visitors to the Sycuan Casino Resort worried about a lack of fine dining options need not worry. Patrons can choose from over 70 types of bourbon for the restaurant’s signature Old Fashioned, try an award-winning crab cake (The San Diego Union-Tribune’s winner), or any number of expertly prepared steaks. Bull and Bourbon isn’t just a stop while you are at the resort; it is the destination.
Bull and Bourbon @ Sycuan Casino Resort
5469 Casino Way
El Cajon, CA 92019
Hours: Mon. & Tue.: CLOSED
Wed., Thu. & Sun.: 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Fri. & Sat.: 5 p.m.-10 p.m.