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steak frites?

  • c

i am on a quest to catalog every restaurant in boston that serves steak frites. in the end, i hope to determine 1) the best incarnation, as well as 2) a good version to satisfy an impromptu steak frites craving on a ~$15-17 budget.

standards for measurement:

1) tender, high quality meat

2) thin frites striking a balance between crispy and starchy. no other forms of potato allowed! (boiled, mashed, in stews, etc.)

3) bonus points for outstanding sauces, vinaigrettes, accompaniments, and so forth.

i've had it at two places:

aquitaine - $26 - my current #1. link below to old review on it buried in a longer post.

firefly, an american bistro - $15 - i was hoping this would serve as my cheap steak frites option, but the dish disappointed. steak was a little tough, frites were overcooked, and their jalapeno butter came plopped on the steak, straight out of the freezer and hard as a rock. it was mediocre - not terrible - but it doesn't satisfy the craving, and i wouldn't seek it unless out of other options.

so where else can a guy get steak frites in this sun-forsaken city?

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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  1. West Side Lounge (Cambridge, between Harvard and Porter on Mass Ave) has had a pretty good steak frites with hangar steak, but apparently they've just switched it over to a rib eye. Haven't tried this version but their food in general is pretty good. It's in the $15-18 range.

    3 Replies
    1. re: newhound

      You've got a lot of eating ahead of you! I don't get them often, but I understand Central Kitchen's version is good; dante's menu says theirs are "crazy good," FWIW.

      1. re: tatamagouche

        Just had the Central Kitchen steak frite on Saturday night and it was delish as usual - one of my favorites in town (although it is usually chow-husband ordering). Comes with a really good blue cheese butter, crispy thin frite, and a dressed watercress salad. The price is $26 and I believe it is a rib eye.

        1. re: tatamagouche

          I'm not much of a steak frites kind of guy, but I though Central Kitchen's was great. (I ordered it only because it looked so good at adjacent tables.)

      2. Some places that I think qualify in the greater Boston area:

        Les Zygomates in the leather district. http://www.leszygomates.com/ for a menu.

        Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro http://www.beaconhillhotel.com/bistro...

        Pierrot Bistrot Francais on Cambridge Street http://www.pierrotbistrot.com/le_menu...

        Enjoy your research!


        1. I like most things about Aquitaine, but the truffle oil on their steak frites is not an asset, in my view.

          Check out Chez Henri, Brasserie Jo, Beacon Hill Bistro, Petit Robert Bistro, Pierrot Bistrot, and Les Zygomates. I haven't tried Eastern Standard Kitchen's version, but I imagine they're worth a try.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I've had the grilled skirt steak at Petit Robert Bistro with the bordelaise sauce (you can also get bernaise or poirve) and have really liked it. The reviews I have heard of late of PRB haven't been great but I did really like it the last time I was there (about 6 mos ago).

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              As you've supposed, Eastern Standard's version is excellent.


            2. My hands down favorite is at Lumiere in Newton. Usually hanger steak (the traditional cut- also called onglet in french), always perfectly cooked and seasoned and served with thin, crisp fries and a bit of beautiful red wine sauce. Ate 1/2 dozen different versions in France last year and none came close to this one. Same thing goes for the service. It's worth the trip to Newton

              3 Replies
              1. re: Zapatero

                Highly second Lumiere. My wife and son both ordered it. The steak here was stunning the time we went.

                1. re: Zapatero

                  Thirding Lumiere; I had a special non-flank some years ago, aged for a ridiculous amount of time - one of the beefiest, iron-est steaks I've ever had. I found one of the owners irritable, but I'd go back enthusiastically.

                  Lumiere Restaurant
                  1293 Washington St., West Newton, MA 02465

                  1. re: Zapatero

                    Maybe I shouldn't post this, but: my 13 year old son, who is definitely not a 'hound (he's not really even an eater!) loves the steak frites at Lumiere. That's one of the few upscale places he won't complain about because he knows he'll get a good meal there.

                    Lumiere Restaurant
                    1293 Washington St., West Newton, MA 02465

                  2. Navy Yard Bistro's is decent.

                    1. oh man, now i'm excited - especially for lumiere and brasserie jo's "classic parisian steak frites."

                      by my count, i've got 12 to check out, excluding permutations (au poivre, bordelaise, etc).


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: coookie

                        Please report back when you've finished trying them all. :)

                      2. I've "spoke" to cookie on the boards, and she directed me to this thread. Any updates people would like to share? I did just have a fabulous steak frites at Aquataine in Chestnut Hill. The time before I had it there, it was just ok, but this time it was amazing.
                        How about the Met Club in Chestnut Hill? Anyone been there?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: CookieLee

                          I'm also obsessed with having and comparing steak frites. wash sq tavern used to be my fave (their red wine reduction sauce pooled under truffled fries and brocollini made it excpetionally good), but their old chef has since moved on to the abbey and i had a very poor experience with the dish recently. haven't tried the abbey's new rendition. so, as of now, i'd say franklin cafe is tops for me: their description: "Classic Steak Frites: Port Demi Glace, Roquefort Butter | $19"
                          but there are plenty of places i have yet to check out.

                          1. re: CookieLee

                            I like the steak frites at Sel de la Terre. Sometimes it's hangar; sometimes it's ribeye. The red wine shallot reduction is delicious, and I particularly like the rosemary frites.

                            Sel de la Terre
                            774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

                          2. I'm also a fan of steak frites at Aquitaine Bis, but they got a little pricey for lunch, which is when I'm usually there. I switched to the prime rib au jus sandwich. It comes with the same frites (minus the truffle oil, which I agree doesn't do anything for the frites) and a generous helping of very good, pretty rare roast beef in a toasted roll with a tasty jus. That works for dipping fries as well as the sandwich, which you can get with or without horseradish creme freche.

                            Aquitaine Bis
                            11 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

                            1. The steak frites at Russel House Tavern is delicious. Scelfo has long been known for his excellent crispy fries, and they pair very well with the perfectly cooked steak. Big portion too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: yumyum

                                I was just there last night. I took the rec from my thread of where to dine in Harvard Sq. It was great advice, and we'll be going there again. I saw the steak frites on the menu, and also saw it served, and it looked great. We shared the 20oz ribeye, which was fabulous. Next time, the steak frites!