Valley Fort Steakhouse – a French chef and some satisfying specialties

A new steakhouse has opened in Fallbrook and it’s no surprise that the proprietors are working hard to make it successful. Hank Hornsveld and his wife Patty both have successful businesses of their own apart from the restaurant. The couple has owned the Valley Fort Steakhouse for three years, but, due to some renovation, it has only been open for seven months. They have breathed new life into the establishment; and have plans for the future which include summer events in the charming outdoor venue in back.

Two months ago the couple hired a new Executive Chef, Vicent Alatavilla, who is originally from France. He has brought some fresh ideas to the menu and is already infusing a French flair to the food preparation.

Chef Vincent is from the south of France, between Marseilles and Toulon, where the food is vibrant with herbs and seafood. Look for more of both on the menu. “I also plan on adding more sauces for fish and also more caper sauces,” he said. A fairly new addition to the menu has been the lemon caper sauce.

The establishment earns its name as a “steakhouse” with the “Flat Iron Steak.” Smothered in onions and mushrooms, this steak is grilled in their signature butter, which is enhanced by several spices. The flavor of the steak, with its charbroiled nuances, stands on its own, without any steak sauces. There was nothing inedible on this piece of meat – I was able to enjoy the entire piece.

Donny Lopez, one of the chefs, said that this steak is the second most tender in the house – filet mignon holds the top spot. He mentioned that this steak has been so popular that seven cases of them were delivered on a Thursday and by the next Saturday they had prepared every single steak.

If you love spinach, you will love the “Spinach Soup.” Potatoes, garlic and pepper lend extra flavor. It’s perfect for a winter evening.

Don’t miss the house-made corn bread, which is very moist with a hint of honey flavor.

The interior of the restaurant has an old Western aura with vintage red glass Tiffany lamps from New York. The shelves above the tables are cheery with antiques that Patty has collected. A trickling stream lends a peaceful aura to the courtyard; and the old-West-style buildings across the courtyard have been given a facelift.

A reasonably priced Sunday Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a complimentary glass of champagne. Several egg dishes are available such as “Eggs Benedict” and “Eggs Florentine.” Diners may also order off the menu.

The Red Dog Saloon, adjacent to the dining area, has a variety of wine, craft beers and ale available. This area offers eight television screens tuned to the NFL Channel and ESPN; and a live band on Friday nights. At Valley Fort’s New Year’s Eve celebration the band, Blue Zone, will take center stage.

Happy Hour is from 3:30 to 7 p.m. with an extensive bar menu. This menu features a collection of unusual dishes – some reflecting Chef Vincent’s French influence – like “Crab Cakes with Remoulade,” as well as “Mussels,” which are gently steamed in a bath of white wine, parsley and garlic.

Valley Fort Steakhouse is located at 3757 S Mission Rd. in Fallbrook.

For further information, including their Christmas Light Show, please access the website, The telephone number is (760) 728-3200; and the restaurant is closed Tuesdays with “bar-only” service on Mondays.

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