By Rae Jefferson
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Waco fine dining is even finer, thanks to a host of renovations and new menu items rolled out by DiamondBack’s steakhouse.
The restaurant, which is located at the Riversquare Center near Ninfa’s and Spice Village, is a popular high-end establishment in the Waco community, and is often the site of wedding parties and corporate gatherings.
DiamondBack’s proprietor Michael Kornman said the restaurant underwent a “soft remodel” to make the dining experience more enjoyable for customers.
The restaurant’s newest appetizers are the sesame-seared tuna tostada and the chophouse onion ring tower, served with a side of ranch and ketchup. The tenderloin trio, chicken-fried venison and slow-braised short rib with fresh pasta are the three newest entrée dishes to grace the menu.
Recent changes to the restaurant go beyond the menu and also include new artwork framed with reclaimed wood and light fixtures made from repurposed chicken feeders, Kornman said. Black and white photographs from local artist Lauren Logan hang high on the walls above patrons’ heads in the main dining area.
“She took some great photos of the landscape around Waco and outside Austin,” he said. “We’re really excited about the redecoration – it was a pretty big project.”
Kornman said he has also opened a new banquet hall next door to DiamondBack’s that is being marketed separately from the traditional DiamondBack’s name. The hall is located in the space once occupied by Gratziano’s, an Italian restaurant that was also owned by Kornman.
The banquet hall, called The Hall at Riversquare Center, seats up to 250 people for as low as $20 per person, which is less than some meals from the DiamondBack’s menu.
“We’re really excited about the hall,” Kornman said. “We wanted to make this a little more approachable and affordable.”
Unlike other Diamondback’s banquet rooms that charge a room fee on top of dining fees, the hall will not charge a room usage fee. The hall features in-house catering because it provides a better value to customers, Kornman said.
“What you get for what you’d pay to have a cater come in – it’s not very good,” he said. “If you’ve got a big party and you come to us, it’s a great value.”
Although new items are being offered on the Diamondback’s menu, Kornman said the existing menu features items customers have loved since the restaurant opened.
“Everything’s made from scratch here,” Kornman said. “If you saw the sheer number of ingredients in the back of the house – it’s mind boggling.”
Kornman said at one point he made the mistake of removing staple items like the chocolate sack dessert off the menu, but quickly reversed the decision because he wanted to keep his customers happy.
“Some of them were fairly close to becoming physically violent,” he said jokingly.
Kornman said Diamondback’s newest items are currently available for the public to purchase.