LD_TomahawkChop.jpgLast Monday saw the opening of Texas transplant The Lonesome Dove - Western Bistro, an oddly named, upscale roadhouse of a restaurant on 21st Street. Packed to the gills, the opening was livened up by a musical duo pumping out country tunes, troughs of Lone Star beer and a parade of people brought into the kitchen to break in a wood wall with “LD” cattle branding irons.

Of the apps sampled, the Prairie Butter and Red Chile Jumbo Shrimp stuck out for us. Prairie Butter, for the uninitiated, is a lengthwise split buffalo femur bone coated in roasted chile peppers and baked. The melting marrow inside the bone is then plated with rustic grilled camp bread as a vehicle to get the marrow to your mouth.

The rest of the menu is actually rather appealing as long as meats, chiles, and strong flavors often associated with the American Southwest are your bag. Steaks (both buffalo ribeye and beef filet or strip) are priced by the ounce, an in-house invented-32-ounce-20-inch long Tomahawk Chop cut from the entire rib of a steer is sure to be an eye catcher served for two with lobster tail and dayboat scallops, and we would return for the Deer Chops with White Truffle Mac & Cheese and Fried Artichokes.

While un-noticed at the time, apparently there was an undercurrent of PR stress at the event. Eater reported post facto that renowned restaurant PR firm Bullfrog & Baum turned over responsibility for the joint after the launch to Phillip Baltz & Co. Their witness spotted a heated exchange between chef/owner Tim Love and Jennifer Baum. Does this mean Tim and TLD will not be making regular appearances on the Bullfrog and Baum food blog?

The Lonesome Dove, 29 West 21st Street, between 5th & 6th Aves., (212) 414-3139. Appetizers, $5 - 14, Entrees, $19.50 - $34.