Brother Sebastian's is Romantic Spot Readers Toast Most
(OWH. Sept. 1991)
Brother Sebastian's Steakhouse and Winery, a restaurant designed to
resemble a California monastery and winery, was the top choice as "favorite
romantic restaurant" among those who responded to The World-Herald's "Toast of
the Town" questionnaire.
"The intimate atmosphere, the little rooms, the out-of-the-way look - That's
what appealed to us," said Kathy Bilek of Omaha, a teacher at Bancroft
Elementary School. "My husband, Jim, and I celebrated our fifth wedding
anniversary at Brother Sebastian's in June 1990, and we loved the place."
Mrs. Bilek gave high marks to the food and service, as did other respondents.
"It's a special place for special occasions," Mrs. Bilek said."We definitely
plan to go back."
John Glantz of Omaha said he and his wife, Janet, stumbled onto Brother
Sebastian's a few years ago when looking for a place to dine. "We were
absolutely enchanted by the intimacy of the place, the fireplaces, the
coziness... and we've never had a bad meal there since," he said. "They are
consistent, too. We've eaten with groups as large as 18 or 20 as well as just
the two of us, and the service and food are always just as good. When there is a
special occasion, we go straight to Brother Sebastian's."
Brother Sebastian's Will Rise Again ..(Omaha
World-Herald editorial, February, 1996)
The destruction by fire of
Brother Sebastian's Steak House and Winery in Omaha was a devastating blow to
its owner and workers. It wasn't just the loss of the business. One worker said
it was if they all had lost their best friend.
A World-Herald news story
described what seemed like a spontaneous funeral procession of employees and
patrons who turned out to mourn the widely known restaurant and console owner
Loren Koch. Koch said he was grateful for the support of his loyal customers and
his employees, whom he called "the best."
The feeling of loss was
personal because Brother Sebastian's seems to have enjoyed the sense of family
that successful businesses strive to create. "Will we see each other again?" one
worker wondered aloud.
The answer is yes. Koch vowed
to rebuild on the site where the restaurant has been for all of its 19 years.
The American work place is
sometimes portrayed as a hostile, anxious, grumpy environment. How refreshing to
see a business infused with human warmth and resilience.
|"Loren Koch's operation has the
two most-prized-by-diners attributes going for it: handsome atmosphere and
meticulous service..." Steaks and prime rib, I've found above reproach"
Peter Citron, Omaha World Herald, June 1978
"Brother Sebastian's, true to it's name, creates a
monastic environment with subdued lighting, dark beamed ceilings and stone or
brick walls. One dining room is a library, another is lined with wine casks. The
attentive waiters and waitresses are monkish in hooded robes... The filets are
tender and juicy. Sirloins, true to form, are chewier, but juicy and flavorful."
Jane Palmer, Omaha World Herald, February
"Add the cozy dining areas, such as "The Brother's Study", to
all this vintage atmosphere, and what you have is quite a romantic place to
Sarah Casey Newman, Omaha World Herald,
"I tried the smaller filet, and it was simply the most tender, flavorful and
perfectly cooked steak I've ever had in or out of a restaurant. It was a
masterpiece, with a pink center and the outer taste of grilled beef... a
solid, upscale restaurant with a strong local following."
Jim Delmont, Omaha World Herald, July 1991
"In 1991, in a review of Brother Sebastian's Steak House and Winery, I
wrote that the filet mignon there was "simply the most tender, flavorful and
perfectly cooked steak I've had in or out of a restaurant." Well, nothing has
changed. On a recent visit, I ordered the filet again, and again it was heavenly
- with a pleasant grilled flavor outside, juicy and tender inside. So often at
restaurants, when you order a filet cooked "medium," it arrives dry and
overcooked. Filet mignon can be bland, too. Not at Brother Sebastian's - this
cut was pink in the interior, bursting with flavor and buttery soft. The
exterior did not have the blackened effect you encounter with some grilled
steaks. Instead it had an agreeable surface crust, just kissed by the grill."
Jim Delmont, Omaha World Herald,
O Brother, Thou Art First-Class Dining Host
(condensed from World-Herald Article by restaurant reviewer John
Keenan, April 2002)
A loudspeaker hidden in the
bell tower atop Brother Sebastian's Steak House & Winery pipes out
Gregorian chants as diners approach the restaurant, which was voted favorite
romantic-upscale restaurant by Omaha World-Herald readers in a 2000 survey.
Inside, the restaurant's
dining areas are divided, so booths offer a pleasant degree of intimacy. The
restaurant itself is heavy on red brick, dark wood and black wrought iron. Some
rooms feature casks; in one, there is a wall of bookshelves featuring odd, but
aesthetically pleasing, volumes. The whole restaurant, on other words, is
designed to provide an Old World feel.
Brother Sebastian's is
meticulous about its service and is dependable and sometimes quite original with
its food. It's popularity is certainly well-deserved.
How About Your Top 10 Restaurants? We Offer Picks
(condensed from OWH article by restaurant reviewer John Keenan. December
With 2002 nearing its end,
here's a look back at my year in dining. Of the 50 restaurants I hit, these were
my favorite for 2002.
...One of the city's most
romantic restaurants, Brother Sebastian's offers an Old World feel with a
steak-heavy menu, which includes Chateaubriand for two as well as frog legs. An
extensive wine cellar and some great desserts, including a flaming baked Alaska,
complete a memorable dining experience.
High Steaks -
Brother Sebastian's Survives Chains
(excerpts from Omaha
City Weekly Review, January 2007)
Brother Sebastian's Steakhouse and Winery is a local classic - opened by Loren
Koch in the late '70's, it offered a contrast to it's main competition - Omaha's
longtime Italian steakhouses, with their side menus of Italian-American
favorites. Built to resemble a California mission, Brother Sebastian's offered
cozy brick rooms with fireplaces, wine racks, low-beamed ceilings, Spanish-style
lanterns and grillwork - and even stained glass. It was at once one of the
city's most romantic restaurants.
The menu is pure steakhouse - including a range of seafood selections that run
from grilled salmon to frog legs. There are a half a dozen chicken dishes, too.
But steak is king here - and consistently good.
With some very expensive prime beef establishments not offering competition,
Brother Sebastian's, with U.S.D.A. Choice meats, must keep up in terms of
seasoning, preparation and service. Over the years it's prime rib and filet have
been second to none. Both come in small and large sizes and are tender, juicy
and cooked to order. The queen cut prime rib, ordered the other night, melted in
the mouth, succulent and tasty as it's au jus, a pink thick slab of delicious
Whether for a feast or a simple dinner of steak and salad, Brother Sebastian's
is holding it's own with top-notch service, attention to detail, sticking to
what they do best, and a unique atmosphere. Prices have crept up in recent
years, as they have elsewhere, but steaks are not a la carte, as at so many
places these days. You won't break the bank buying extras - it all comes with