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Apr 14, 2004 02:15 PM


  • c

Which steakhouse has the best food for a special occasion: Ruth's Chris;Barberians;Carman's, or Morton's? Don't want to go to House of Chan (want to try somewhere new).

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  1. The best steak in the city is Harbour 60!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Pauly
      Peppermint Pate

      I second the recommendation for Harbour 60. I've been to Morton's and Carmen's (and the Chan) - all have great steak but Harbour 60 has more of a luxe/special atmosphere. Go with a big appetite and a full wallet!

      1. re: Peppermint Pate

        Can't go wrong with Harbour 60-however IMHO Morton's is #1. Ask the server to skip the presentation of the meats and just order the porterhouse.

        1. re: Brian

          I would also rate Harbour 60 a notch above the US chains (Morton's, Ruth's Chris) followed by House of Chan. It probably is more expensive than it needs to be but that seems to go with the territory...

          I have not been to Barberian's - although it sounds like good value based on the other post. Almost too good to be true...? Is it really consistently good? Would you actually choose it over the other places if money was not an issue? (Regardless I will give it a try soon.)

          Can anyone comment on Tom Jones? How does it compare food and price wise to those above-mentioned?

          1. re: The Shammer

            I have been to Barberians three times, but only once in the last year. My general recollection is that I enjoyed the earlier experiences, but I can't recall them specifically enough to answer your "consistently good" question.

            If money were no object, I would still go to Barberians; I'd just buy a more expensive bottle of wine.

    2. I'd like to offer a disenting view. I recently had the opportunity to dine at Barberians and Harbour 60 within a couple of week of one another. I had rib steak at both places (Barberians 16oz-$33; Harbour 60 no size provided ($45.95). They were both very good and both big enough to take some home. The one at Harbour 60 was a bit larger in size, but the size difference was not nearly big enough to account for the 40% difference in price. In addition, the steak at Harbour 60 comes with nothing else, while Barberians offers a choice of potatoes.

      As far as wine goes - there is no comparison. Given the generally high wine prices in Toronto restaurants, Barbarians offers reasonbable value and an extensive wine list with a range of prices for every budget and taste. Harbour 60's wine list is also quite large but it has less of a range and features lots of trophy labels at outrageous prices. Even for "moderate" wines, prices are high. For example - a featured wine was the Penley Phoenix Cabernet 2001 for $84. This wine retailed to the public for about $29 on consignment, the licensee price was probably a few dollars less.

      I have attached the URLs for both restaurants so that you can see their menus.

      In closing, if food and wine are the most important elements of your planned evening, Barberians offers value for money.


      1. Based on a recent (today) review of THE STRAND by (, I'd give it some serious thought. 5-stars all around? When was the last time that happened?

        Sounds incredible.


        1. Try Tom Jones Steakhouse.

          1. I have been to House of Chan many times - great steak - no ambiance. RuthChris is always high quality, and service is always friendly.

            I recently went to Morton's. It was quite variable (3 steaks at the table were not done right, and the meatr quality overall left something to be desired). When you are paying the prices that they charge at a steakhouse like Morton's (basically the same at RuthChris or House of Chan), you expect them to get it right.

            I would go with RuthChris (if you like a "sizzling" plated steak).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Steven

              A warning about Ruth's Chris for those who's not been there - because of the way they sizzle the steak in front of you, you will quickly smell of grease. In fact, the smell was too much for me because after you finished your steak, you will still smell it because the other tables would be having the same sizzle - the smell was just too much for me. Don't know if they have improved. It was years ago.