Steak in Baltimore
I'm looking for a fabulous steak dinner in Baltimore. I've heard that the Capitol Grille is fabulous, but I'm wondering if what I've heard is true! Any recommendations for a nice steak restaurant in Baltimore would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
The Prime Rib is Baltimore's own swanky retro steak joint. The prime rib itself is the way to go. Delicious with big gratings of fresh horseradish.
What do you want in a steak restaurant? The best possible cut of meat? Quality sides? Exquisite service? Indulgent desserts?
IMO, chain steak restaurants here (and everywhere) tend to run together. If you blindfolded me and gave me steaks from Fleming's, Ruth's Chris, Capital Grille, could I tell the difference? Never. Hell, if you took off the blindfold I might not be able to tell. The Prime Rib I cut more slack. As a (much) smaller chain, it at least retains original atmosphere. If you were to pick between these four, I think the Prime Rib is the obvious choice.
Me, if I wanted a steak, I'd much rather get steak frites at Petit Louis or Timothy Dean, where you could at least sample a bit from a more innovative menu. But that's just me.
Yes, I certainly would have to agree that it depends on what you consider fabulous. Are you looking for ambience? Flavor? Expert preparation? As an example, I recently had lunch at Ruth's Chris in the Inner Harbor. We shared the petit filet mignon and the crabcakes. My dining companion loved the filet, but I found it bland -- almost tasteless -- and not cooked the way it was ordered (Pittsburghed). On the other hand, the crabcakes were by far the best I've tasted -- full of crabmeat, absolutely no cartilage, and fried (in butter I assume, like everything else) until crispy.
Paolo's, also at the Inner Harbor, makes a filet mignon that is (if I recall) around $20 and has a surprisingly tasty preparation with walnuts and bleu cheese. It is cooked expertly every time.
I think I'll most likely try Capital Grille during restaurant week.
I agree, Petit Louis and The Prime Rib are great Steak restaurants that steer (no pun intended) clear of the big chain restaurants.
If I had to make a Baltimore restaurant recommendation it would be Kali's Court in Fells Point. They specialize in mainly seafood, but they do have serve steak. They also have a great tapas sister restaurant next door, Mezze.
First, a caveat: I mention this suggestion as a "value" play. It's not swanky, and it is not the same "ultra top tier" beef as used in the big buck steakhouses.
That said, Michael's on Eastern (a couple blocks West of 95) has a Thursday night steak special. Last time I went (many months back), it was under $15 for a 48 oz. steak (your choice of T-bone, Porterhouse, or prime rib) and two sides. Call to check the details. Also, go early (around 5:00 PM) to get the best selection and the best steaks - when they're gone, they're gone.
Strangely enough, you'd expect the steak and the sides to be abysmal at that price, but in all the times I've gone there (probably 15-20 times over the past few years), I've been really surprised. It's not the *best* steak dinner I've ever had, but 90% of the time it's been really good, and the value compared to many of the meals I've had at the "upscale" steakhouses has been a win. As I understand it, the owner buys a side of beef at a time, and butchers it down to steaks himself, thus saving some bucks. The bread is also very good.
Again, it's not the "ultimate" steak dinner, but within the limitations of what it is, it's a "sleeper" Chowhound find.
re: Hal Laurent
I can, but I should note that I have a HUGE appetite. One should also note that on "bone in" cuts, the bone accounts for a good chunk of weight, as does any remaining fat around the perimeter.
I'd also note that I often go with a friend and his father, and the father's strategy is to get the steak one shade rarer than he usually would, and he takes the doggie bag home for two more meals.
The weight or the price may have changed since I was there last, too. In any event, I do want to re-emphasize that despite all the things (the weight, the price) that would lead one to expect something in the "you get what you pay (less) for" category, it's a surprisingly nice meal. It's the sort of local, independent, family restaurant that one doesn't see much of these days. They also have other specials on other days of the week. One suspects that they may use the specials as "loss leaders", because the place is usually pretty full, and casual glances around the room usually confim that the specials are not the only thing people are ordering.