I thought it might be fun to open up a discussion on steakhouses. They are my favorite type of restaurant. I would like everyone to share maybe their top 3 best meals/favorite steakhouse experiences, some places they have been to/enjoyed but weren't their top 3, and places they went to and the experience just didn't measure up.
I will start:
Gibsons (Chicago): Delicious steaks, great atmosphere, great staff, great location, red leather booths, wood paneling, martinis, high rollers, flawless service, giant steaks, and lobster tails. Need I say more?
Capital Grille (particularly Chicago, Paramus and KOP): Absoultely the most flavorful and amazing porcini rubbed delmonico ever. Lobster Mac 'n Cheese is awesome and the creamed spinach is fantastic. The wait staff in these three locations are professional and very courteous. extensive wine list.
Keen's (NYC): Awesome Porterhouse for 2. Great sides. Very cozy and dark. Good service.
Runner ups: (Good mea; but not favorite)
Fleming's (Richmond VA)
Ruth's Chris (NJ)
Bobby Van's (NYC)
Del Frisco's (NYC)
Places I would like to try from what I hear/see:
David Burkes Primehouse
Places I have tried but really didn't get the hype:
Peter Luger's (NYC) I just don't get the hype. Was the porterhouse good? Sure it was good but not great. It is in Brooklyn which means getting to it can be a pain, the wait staff is intentionally rude, and my biggest issue is that it's CASH ONLY (HUGE strike against it since the bill there is huge) Let's say its a group of 4-6 people what do you want me to do? get mugged with $500 in my wallet in Brooklyn? Nah, I'll pass.
Smith and Wollensky (Chicago) Maybe it was just an off night but the steak was just okay and the seating wasn't comfortable, mediocre service, very expensive for what I got)
Come on steaklovers! What places do you like?!?!
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I'm now hungry just reading this.
Bern's in Tampa. Famous for their wine cellar, but the steaks are all outrageous. Need to book months in advance to get a reservation.
Old Homestead in Manhattan, New York. It's been a few years since I have been here, but the porterhouse for 2 was the best I ever had.
Prime 112 in South Miami Beach, FL. Great food and a good place to people watch. Someone famous will be eating there even though I have no idea who they are.
3 Forks in Dallas Tx and Hallandale FL. I've been to both and was impressed every time.
Fogo de Chao - Dallas Tx, Orlando FL and Miami FL - Does this count as a steakhouse?
Not a fan:
Capital Grille - I can't go to a restaurant owned by the Olive Garden
Smith and Wollensky - Not a fan of their meats
rbmia Bern's is a very popular choice- so popular that in the 3 years I lived in Tampa, I could never get in there for anything but dessert. Now, I didn't try all that hard, never calling more than a month or so out, but still- it's a very much in-demand place to dine.
Big fan of Capital Grille. Go just about every time we're in a city that has one. Buy a gift card every year, get a set of free steak knives.
Like Del Friscos, probably 2nd to Capital Grille.
Not a fan of Flemings or Mortons. Ruth Chris' a decent compromise.
Smith & Wollensky at the bottom of the list, although only tried once and that was Vegas.
Forgot to mention Truluck's, although I've never had steak there ... their specialty is seafood/crab. But their crab legs are amazing, and the carrot cake is best ever had.
randomname Not a fan of Mortons?! I LOVE that place. Been there in several cities, in the US and abroad (Singapore). Most expensive meal I've ever had, but it was the best too. What keeps it off your list?
Believe it not one of the major reasons is I feel like I'm being met by a robot. The waiter always goes through the same spiel, bringing over the tray showing different things, etc. Ok, small issue ... didn't say I was logical. Guess that's why it's good that there are so many different restaurants!
Best steakhouse by far is my grill!!! Sorry, we just don't go out for steaks rather cook them on the grill and get some mushrooms to saute, maybe some grilled asparagus or sauteed spinach and start it all off with one of Mrs. IAH crispy garden salads. Wine will be a nice from Argentina Trapiche or possibly a Merlot from any number of places.
Harris Ranch (home of famed California Chrome), located off of interstate 5, about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Excellent corn fed (shipped in from the midwest) Angus beef. On two occasions, we have enjoyed the happy experience of flying there (in a friend's 182T) for lunch and also dinner. It has a 2800' runway with landing lights and an aviation fuel pump.
You know what? I must have driven right near that place last summer. I was in my seat on the plane flying SFO-EWR with my wife when Asiana crashed. I ended up renting a car and driving to LA all night to catch a 6AM LAX-JFK flight on AA. I ended up stopping for gas at a Shell with a Baja Fresh in it in Coalinga. It was my first and only time driving from SFO-LAX and boy that part of the drive is in the middle of NOWHERE!
Yup, huge ranch in the middle of nowhere. Why they have a runway, no doubt. Lots of space for renown cattle sourcing (with progressive, innovative AND humane practices), thoroughbred operations and prime California farming in sandy loam soil.
Too bad you missed it. http://www.harrisranch.com/index2.php They have an inn and a gift shop as well. Pretty grounds.
Small world, we were on the San Francisco Bay Trail, less than a mile from the runway when the plane crashed. Just almost exactly a year ago. So you were boarded, but had not yet taken off when the accident occurred? I was in a similar predicament the morning of 9/11/01, though not meaning to bring up such a sad subject.
pluto77 now that brings back some old flying for dinner memories from the mid 90's. LaGrange, Texas used to have a place called The Cottonwood Inn that was famous for steaks that would to the table sizzling in butter on a tin plate, WOW where they good and that was long before I cared about what I eat.
Anyway, the little airport was just across the street from The Cottonwood so I'd land there and taxi back to the north end of the runway, take a tiny walk across the street and stuff ourselves. I don't recall the length of the runway but I want to say about 3,300', long enough to put six people in a C210 and get in and out of there.
Thanks for the memory.
It's a good life, is it not IAHFLYR? I am hoping to fly to Oahu for dinner (and excellent company) later this year (though it won't be on a private plane. )
I forgot to mention that I hope we hear from Mr. Hawaii kharada46 on this thread, so we can learn where the best places are to enjoy Waygu or Kobe beef (the real deal) either in Japan or Hawaii.
He'll come up out of the weeds and have some crazy wild good joint. We just don't eat much read meat either, like ssindc I'd like to live longer rather than start to consume red meat on a regular basis.....yet some ground turkey and chicken is much worse than a good ground Angus so who knows.
I am happy to report that I do not have (a need for) a cardiologist, but I did just recently meet with a health coach and in reviewing my numbers, decided to cut the red meat back to once/week and increase fish to twice/week, poultry once or twice/week and complete the remaining days with vegetarian. We'll see how it shakes out in about 4 months when the new numbers spit out.
I like my numbers and am very happy with grilled fish, veggies, chicken and pork most of the time. Of course then the Italian heritage of the wife makes pasta a few times month.....but steak not so much. Still it will come from our grill not an eating establishment.
Of course a few years ago when myself and the travel mates from work would roll into the PHL Airport Marriott a nice early evening meal with happy hour was the famous Marriott burger. My that would sure take care of the "meds"!!!
pluto77, really Kobe/Waguy beef is incredibly hard to get in the US. I've had it only twice in my life, though I must say, I'm not really a fan. It's richer than foie gras in my opinion, and very difficult to eat beyond the first few bites. BUT, you can find it in Honolulu here and there. The only time I've had authentic, Japanese raised Wagyu beef in Honolulu was at the insanely over-the-top and expensive Vintage Cave. The night we dined, they served Miyazaki grade A-5 (highest possible) Wagyu Beef from Japan. Those 2, small medallions were much more than enough for me.
In Japan, I had Matsusaka grade A-5 Wagyu beef from La Rochelle Shibuya (defunct), which was owned by Iron Chef French, Hirayuki Sakai.
Both of the above restaurants aren't steakhouses, but that's the kind of place you need to go to get real wagyu beef, though none were from the Kobe region of Japan.
The next best thing besides that is wagyu beef with pure genetics, that is to say, not crossbred with anything else. This is a little easier to find, and can be had at places like Chef Mavro, Arancino at the Kahala, and YuZu Ko Olina.
Arancino at the Kahala
Wagyu Tataki Nigiri at YuZu Ko Olina
Then of course, there's the so called "American Kobe" or "Washugyu," which are normally crossbred cattle that contain some Wagyu bloodline. This is MUCH easier to find, though prices are still normally high.
These are the places I know has it:
A lot of the steakhouses in Hawaii are chains. We have only 2 notable locally based ones, which are:
d.k Steak House - Dinner Nightly 5:30 to 10P.M. 808-931-6280 benefit is this one is located in the Waikiki Beach Marriott
Hys Steakhouse (no relation to Canadian chain)
The rest of the steakhouses in Honolulu are Morton's, Wolfgang, Ruth Chris, etc.
Thanks, kharada46! There were a couple of restaurants in Okinawa that we loved to go to for special occasions (in the 80's) that claimed to serve Kobe beef, and it was all the thing that was talked about even back then (and they really were good restaurants and served up delicious beef), but I could no longer find them out there, and anyway, there are no restaurants from Okinawa on the official list of authorized distributors. There is one newer one that claims to serve Kobe beef, but now I am suspect that it (and the restaurants from back in my day as well) are misrepresenting themselves. The steaks were really good back then, but while good, they certainly don't look like the photos of real Kobe/Waygu beef that I see on the internet today (and you are right, who could eat more than a couple of bites of that stuff, and not just due to the price.) So I am now suspect that we were taken for a ride. It's possible that perhaps they serve beef that was raised in the Kobe (Hyogo) region, but not the Tajima-kyu breed of cow, so a white lie? And the prices weren't unreachable either, like you would expect for Kobe/Waygu (but also back then, the yen rate was 300Yen/1 USD so everything was a good deal. Still... I suppose if everyone was fat, dumb and happy, it wasn't a problem. ) I have read that many restaurants in the U.S. claim to serve Kobe beef as well, but it is simply not true. Buyer beware.
Haha! Thanks IAHFLYR
pluto77, that's a GREAT article! Read it a while back, and I think it's part of an ongoing theme from the writer. Here's another great one about Parmesan:
Then again, the US suffers rampant mislabeling and counterfeit food issues. Champagne, Black Forest Ham, etc. I agree with the writer. Our government should regulate labeling to protect place of origin, though I know it'll never happen for the very reasons the writer discussed.
Here's a few of the ones I have been to over the years. There's easily another 10 but just don't have enough time at the moment to list them all
3 Forks in Dallas as mentioned above, always a great meal.
Metropolitan Grill - Seattle - Never had a bad meal there either.
Buenos Aires Grill - Seattle - Argentine steakhouse with amazing steaks and pretty cool environment. Go on a Fri/Sat and enjoy the Tango dancers performing around the tables.
Bob's steak and chop house - Dallas - Old school steak house but they do it right.
The Pine Club - Dayton OH - Old school steak house, been around since the late 40s. Have eaten there a few times, I recall it to be pretty good.
The Angus Barn - Raleigh/Durham NC - Nice steakhouse with a proper old school flair. They also have the "Wild Turkey Lounge" upstairs for you to relax while they prepare your table.
I don't eat much red meat these days (aging, pressure from cardiologist and dietitian, etc.), but a few quick responses....
I wouldn't put Albie's Beef Inn anywhere near the top of my best steak place list, but the joint is hilarious. Walking into this San Diego institution makes you feel like you're transported back to the 50s or 60s, or a place that Tony Soprano's crew would have been right at home in. Check out the pictures on the wall: https://www.google.com/search?q=Albie%27s+beef+inn&client=opera&hs=QfM&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UcC9U8CxCqjmsASFwIDICA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg
Here would be mine in the US!
Smith & Wollensky's, Manhattan and Las Vegas
Metropolitan Grill, Seattle
St. Elmo's, Indy
Ulysses, Cocoa, Florida! Near the Space Center! The best in the area!
Capital Grill, any of them!
Ruth's Chris, STL!
These are all places I would go to if given the chance!
Is Wildfire in Tyson Corner Mall? If so I ate there long ago when on a trip to visit with MITRE!
There are two malls in Tyson's Corner and they are located across the street from each other. The larger main mall is called Tyson's Corner Center and the smaller more upscale mall is called Tyson's Galleria which is where Wildfire is located. Here are links to both malls:
If there is one upside to living in NJ you can get to great steakhouses in Manhattan pretty easily. My wife and I were able to take advantage of NYC Restaurant week at Delmonico's Friday night. I had the classic Delmonico and she had the filet. The creamed spinach was quite good. We also had small wedge salads and dessert that were both excellent. I definitely recommend!
Definitely, no where in England - or Western Europe, from my experience - but in the U.S., especially with our mid-western, grain-fed beef, it's a close call. However, one of the more memorable steak dinners I've enjoyed was at Sullivan's Steakhouse, Omaha, NE .However, the steak dinner was preceded with a stack of fried onion rings like I've never seen - or enjoyed as much before.