Steak and Tonic opened its doors in Newport News in August of 2022, prepared to offer the community a unique menu unlike anything else that could be found in the area. “My restaurant Fin in Newport News was opened first, and I also have a speak-easy in Suffolk. I wanted to do something different, and I also wanted to do a steak house,” says executive chef and owner of Steak and Tonic, Kenny Sloane. “I wanted to focus on a unique menu and feature unique meats, things like camel and kangaroo.”
Sloane is no stranger to following his dreams and bringing his ideas to life. He got his start in the restaurant business by washing dishes in 1997, before heading to culinary school in 2000. He then worked in the Outer Banks for 15 years. Fast forward to the current day, and he now has opened his third business venture in the Hampton Roads area. “The inspiration for Steak and Tonic stems from wanting to open something different in the area,” Sloane says. “We have adventurous meats like ostrich or elk, but we also have typical meats like beef, chicken and pork.”
With a menu full of unique items that often need to be imported, it can be difficult to maintain a regular menu, so things are often changing. “Sometimes kangaroo will be off the menu for a while, as it is a customer favorite and we run out. So, we often have to change things and switch up what we offer,” the chef says. “If camel is unavailable for a few weeks, instead we’ll offer entrees like New York strip steak or a wild boar special. We also have offered lots of wagyu beef from Japan and Australia.”
With such a wide variety of items on the menu, Chef Sloane certainly knows how to keep items fresh and interesting. His personal favorite menu selection? Well, it’s hard for him to pick just one. “I like all of the items on the menu, honestly. When picking a favorite, it’s important to keep price in mind, as we have variety there, as well,” Sloane says. “I do love braised scallops and the pork belly; those are probably my favorites. As for customers’ favorites, surf and turf pasta and our beef tips are often very popular.”
With about 30 staff members on hand at Steak and Tonic, Chef Sloane can confidently juggle all three restaurants knowing everything is in good hands when he must head to another one of his businesses. “A typical workday I spend about two or three hours at each restaurant. Sometimes more, depending on where I need to be for the day,” Sloane says. The chef makes sure to split his time among all his ventures.
While Steak and Tonic focuses on offering a new and unique dining experience to the area, it also focuses on giving back to the community it serves. “We do work with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and give to them,” the chef says. “We make sure to help out the THRIVE food kitchen here in Newport News, as well.”
Chef Sloane has a lot on his plate, running three unique restaurants throughout the Hampton Roads area. However, when he does get some time for himself, unique food experiences are still on his mind. “I love traveling and eating. I like experiencing new things in my free time,” Sloane says.
The doors of Steak and Tonic are open with a unique menu, ready to offer new foods as well as some classic favorites.
TO THE POINT:
Steak and Tonic
Address: 11810-A Fountain Way, Newport News, VA 23606