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Best Steakhouse in TO

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  • Moz Sep 4, 2006 12:13 AM
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Taking a client to dinner and he has requested steak. I know this is a very subjective question but any thoughts on the best steakhouse in town?

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  1. You can get a great steak at Ruth's Chris Steak, and Barbarians or Carmen's. Bring Money.

    ...but for great steak and good value I really enjoyed the steak at La Palette in Kensington Market.

    Mouthwatering, tender and delicous.

    Casual comfortable and fun place really !!

    2 Replies
    1. re: lonestartor

      I would recommend the older Toronto Steak House's such as the Old Scott House, Zorro's or La Castile.

      1. re: foodlover99

        Much prefer Topiarys over Zorros.

    2. I would second Ruth's Chris and have also enjoyed both Barberians and Carmens. Ruth's Chris is a little more modern than the other two. I have not had good luck at Mortons though.

      1. Hy's is also up there but for a melt-in-your-mouth steak it has to be Ruth's Chris. It's really like eating beef-flavoured butter.

        1. What about Harbour 60, I have just been told that is also good, any comments?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Moz

            Yeah for sure...go for the New York strip at Harbour 60.

            1. re: Chester Eleganté

              2nd the rec for Harbour 60 or is that 3rd rec? Either way, that's my first choice for steak. Next choice would be the rib steak at Black Angus. Then comes Hy's. Barbarians & Ruth Chris were okay, Carmen's I found too garlicky and Morton's was just average.

            2. re: Moz

              100% yes to Harbour!

            3. Barberians is a bit to old school. But still very good and has a very resonable price (the steaks aren't a la carte). Ruth Chris and Mortons is more commercialized (its everywhere in the world). I would too recommend Harbour 60. The steaks are perfect and the atmosphere and service is perfect.

              1. Black angus on Bloor between royal york and islington is good...........
                There is also Le Castile on Dundas, nearign mississauga, i would not call it the best in TO., but its decent, cool atmosphere.

                1. Ruth's Chris is probably the best for the sheer quality of its beef and the preparation, but I would say Harbour 60 comes a close second. The fact that it is a local restaurant and not part of a chain, and edges Ruth's Chris atmosphere-wise, makes Harbour 60 my choice for the good ol' expense account protein- and booze-fueled bacchanals.

                  I'm a big fan of the porterhouse for two. Not quite Peter Luger's, but great nonetheless.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    Agreed, childofthestorm. Ruth's Chris was my fave steak, followed closely by Harbour 60. Service was amazing at both. Had a great time at both. Carmen's is pretty good and the least expensive/best value for your money you will find in the city I think.

                    Never been to Barabarians, no desire to even try Morton's. Heard Tulip rocks...

                  2. Here's a challenge: I don't eat red meat or poultry, but my significant other does. I'd like to treat him to a fantastic steak, but I'd like some good food for myself too. Do any of these great steakhouses also have tasty (not after-thought) fish or seafood offerings? Thanks in advance!

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: squeaks

                      The tuna is excellent at both Harbour 60 and Hy's. They also have a seafood tower at Harbour 60 that I'll need to try the next time I'm there.

                      http://www.harboursixty.com/menu.html

                      http://www.hyssteakhouse.com/menus/to...

                      1. re: squeaks

                        Just enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth porterhouse (aged minimum of 28 days) for two at Ruth's Chris downtown Toronto ($98 for meat only; old-school sides extra). I can't believe how amazingly tender it was! Their Louisiana shrimp, seared tuna, and crab cakes were also really delicious and the latter two are available in appetizer or main sizes. I haven't had much experience at steakhouses in Toronto yet, but I was shocked that a "chain" could be so good! (Although, for the price, it better be good!)

                        1. re: squeaks

                          Actually, I would suggest Tulips for their steaks and you can always have the rest of their menu which is pretty comprehesive. The steak is relatively inexpensive but still a very good cut. It's more down home eating. (Not as sutiable for a client dinner!) But for lovers menu, I find it friendly and easy!

                          1. re: cwong5

                            IMO Tulip = Frans. I know Tulip has a great following but I cannot understand it.

                            1. re: bestandworst

                              LOL. And I do go to Frans here and there too. LOL. I like my food in a relatively unrestrictive/homey environment. Too much service makes me uncomfotable at times.

                              1. re: cwong5

                                Thats what makes the world go around - keeping it so interesting...

                              2. re: bestandworst

                                For me it's the informality, and the price. Even more so when it was smaller and located a few doors west (?) It reminds me a bit of another cheapie favourite steak house, gone forever. Anyone remember it - Lindy's, about a block south of Gerrard on the east side of Yonge? You got the small tender, tasty New York strip loin steak with a roll, fries and canned peas - always canned peas - for about $6.98.

                                1. re: Bob Catt

                                  That place, Lindy's, gave myself and 3 friends free dinner one New Year's Eve. We were teens walking the Yonge St strip for our NYE fun. The owner came out and invited us in. Just us. I guess it was his idea of a celebratory gift. It was amazing.
                                  There's a place around Yonge & St. Clair called Senior's Steaks I've been meaning to try. It has a similar vibe. Perhaps a Hound that's been there might tell us what it's like.

                                  1. re: Googs

                                    There are threads on here about Senior's. They have very good steaks and have been around for years. I don't think they have changed the inside of the place since the 70's but it's worth a visit for the steaks.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      No comparison between Lindy's and Senior's. While Senior's hasn't been redecorated in this lifetime, they served very good food for a very long time. (Warning: I haven't eaten there in a while. People tell me it hasn't changed, though this is, essentially, hearsay.) As of, say 10+ years ago, I would have placed Senior's food as more or less equal to the food at Barberian's for much less money. (I'm prepared for flames, but I stand behind this statement.) As to vibe, the storefront at Seniors is a deli/greasy spoon. The steak place is upstairs.

                                      I'm not a fan of the Tulip, but their steaks are decent quality and, for what these steaks are, they aren't really cheap. It may have a similar look to Lindy's, but it's also a different kind of resto. Their diner food is very cheap, but not their steaks.

                                      Lindy was a neighbourhood institution, but they sold extremely cheap, tenderized steaks. Great value for money, but edible only sometimes. Targeted mainly to student budgets and the less fortunate folks who tended to hang out in the area and were still able to pay for a meal. I remember having a big steak at Lindys for about a buck in the sixties, but it wasn't very good.

                                      1. re: embee

                                        embee wrote:
                                        Lindy was a neighbourhood institution, but they sold extremely cheap, tenderized steaks. Great value for money, but edible only sometimes. Targeted mainly to student budgets and the less fortunate folks who tended to hang out in the area and were still able to pay for a meal. I remember having a big steak at Lindys for about a buck in the sixties, but it wasn't very good.

                                        You've described Lindy's to a tee (T-bone?). I wasn't a student - I worked nearby but didn't have a lot of spare cash to spend on restaurants let's say - so Lindy's worked well for me.As for the the steaks, yes they could be iffy, but the staff was willing to do something about it. At least once I complained about a tough steak and the server apologized, took it to the kitchen and a few minutes later brought me a replacement steak which was tender and delicious. The staff were old pros and they made you feel comfortable there, even if you didn't look well-heeled. I always made a point of tipping them well for that kind of attitude and service.

                                        1. re: Bob Catt

                                          About Senior's, I did walk in one day to the spoon level (didn't know about the secret steak floor). It was exactly that promise of a good greasy spoon a la Brothers that I found compelling. The room was as it should be. No gilding of the lily. Didn't read about it here until later. Now I have to go. Thanks Embee. Hope it brings the same memories to you too, Bob Catt.

                                          1. re: Googs

                                            Senior's remains unchanged, and serves really delicious steaks with the trimmings, a Greek salad to start and a limited range of desserts and wines in a convivial, no-bs atmosphere. I wouldn't call it the equal of Barberian's, but it is very good of its type - the sort of place every neighbourhood would love to have - and about half the price of the downtown steak palaces !

                                2. re: cwong5

                                  Hi !
                                  About the Tulp restaurant.Before 1948 or there abouts it was called Tulip.At about that time it was taking over by Mr.Diamond and he run it a few doors east till the 1990 when it was sold and it moved to the new location.For your info.My first steak there cost me 1.75$ in 1969.That why it is an institution in the Beaches.Stay away from the breakfast.The potatoes are of the coarse variety(.Piggyfood)
                                  Otherwise it is good food for the price.For a big Burger try any of the Wimpy's.
                                  Rotund

                              3. The Octagon in Thornhill is THE BEST. This Summer I have been to Mortons and Harbour and in the past been to Ruths and Barbariens and The Octagon is the best. Good value, not cheap though and in a cool octagonal building... very classy. Carmens is good too.

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: jkm

                                  and i found the food at the octagon uninspiring, service was RUDE, the food overrated.... shall i go on... and that was the good things i can say.

                                  I had to return my steak as it was not done to what i asked for. as a steak place one would think they know how to cook it.

                                  AVIOD

                                  1. re: galambo

                                    Agreed - the main thing I remember from the Octagon was the absolutely appalling service.

                                    1. re: galambo

                                      The Octagon's steaks are definitely overrated! They're not bad, but they don't justify the prices they charge. Too expensive for something which is really no more than ordinary.

                                      1. re: EB_TO

                                        soory, but the last time i went, it was plain BAD.

                                        asked for pitsburg style (something a steak place should be able to do) and sent it back twice.

                                        DON't GO THERE

                                        waste on money

                                        1. re: galambo

                                          < pitsburg style >

                                          what is this?

                                          1. re: orangewasabi

                                            same as Chicago Style. Charred on the outside and very rare (blue) on the inside.

                                            1. re: deelicious

                                              true... i have tried using both terms and depending on who they use one or the other.

                                              as for 'very rare'... i have it medium rare most times

                                      2. re: galambo

                                        Octagon take a pass one of the worst stakes I have ever eaten and golly G are they ever expensive

                                      3. re: jkm

                                        The Octagon is THE BEST?? Classy??

                                        I won't even bother.

                                        1. re: Fwagra

                                          In my experience the steaks were good (haven't been to too many high end steakhouses) but the sides were pretty awful. I found the service to be overly attentive to the point that it bordered on being annoying. I doubt I'll ever go back on my own accord.

                                      4. House of Chan - Eglinton & Bathurst. NOT cheap but top quality.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: crepechef

                                          House of Chan definately has great steaks - but I found the service lacking. Typical rushed Chinese restaurant service/atmosphere.

                                          Decor is interesting - 1950s style chop suey house. I always thought these sort of places only existed in the movies...

                                          Sides need work - hosin sauce on everything?! Ewww.

                                          Also I don't know why they insist on serving overpriced chop suey... it weird in a campy sort of way ;-)

                                          1. re: mshe

                                            Walked in to HOC, sat down & walked out for the following reasons.

                                            Extremely dark. As in, I couldn't see across the table. And we even came in from the dark evening outside.
                                            Very crowed-elbow room seating.
                                            No windows.
                                            First thing that was placed before us was a puce-colored sauce & some darker (dare I say evil) sauce. As opposed to say, water.
                                            Lots of loud people. Not good if you are looking for a romantic time.

                                            Sad wine list for a place that's supposed to carry good steak.

                                            Overall it may just be because we were looking for a relaxed, well lit dining affair, or our own childhood nightmares of 70's chines-canadian dining, but we just couldn't stay, and went to Sky Ranch instead. Much better!!

                                        2. Agree with Black Angus. Best in the city IMO. Bring $$$.

                                          1. I love Black Angus. It's a real Temple of LDL but I only visit once a year, occasionally more often with friends. It's less cliched that the oldies downtown but delivers the goods in terms of booze and primo beef.None of these places' pleasures come cheap but who eats there every week?

                                            1. Well, it is not the best, but I love Senior's at Yonge & St Clair for the kitsch value. It's affordable too.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ognir

                                                Seniors excellent choice

                                              2. Harbour 60 is melt in your mouth heaven, my favourite steak in the city for sure, but never been to Ruths Chris.

                                                1. I have been going to Senior's for years and have always enjoyed their steak and also their ribs. I generally get the filet and get it to take out (the place if far from fancy). They will wrap it up for you with all the trimmings. I think they are superior to the Black Angus by the way.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Aardvark

                                                    I've never had a bad meal there, man. I'll go back as long as they are open. (But yeah, do not go there for fancy.)

                                                  2. I was at Le Castile tonight... had lobster and steak was amazing... I think its cool how they have the outside patio with fire places at every table.

                                                    1. Has anyone been to Gladstone's in Toronto?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: mench

                                                        Gladstone's has a great weekend brunch in that everything is freshly made with good flavours. Nothing exotic on the menu.

                                                        I have not been for dinner, but can say the bigger dining room is very much like a tavern.

                                                        I would say dinner would be worth trying unless of course those on here have experienced otherwise.

                                                      2. Harbour 60 Underwhelmed!!!
                                                        Went Saturday September 30/06.Iwill start with the bread basket:No variety consisted of chunks of bread better suited to a Swiss Fondue.
                                                        Smoked salmon appetizer: Large portion swimming in olive oil
                                                        Caesar Salad Too astringent and one sliver of Reggiano on top requested a replacement. Got the same thing I guess the waiter simply reached into the fridge and got another preplated Caesar prepared earlier in the day.I would have expected a high end restaurant such as this to prepare to order a classic version (coddled egg,rubbed anchovy and fresh garlic etc). if not at the table then at a nearby sevice station.
                                                        Ordered Lamb chops Medium rare no Washington State as the on line menu claims but from Colorado.Got Seared more blue than rare.
                                                        A La Carte Veg : I ordered fresh asaragus :Got a large portion but I would have expected a cheese or plain hollandaise sauce topping offered.I could go on but you get the picture.
                                                        By the way the current menu prices are 10%higher than what is stated on line.
                                                        Our waiter Miguel was gracious and knowledgable.
                                                        To summarize; Overpriced and way overrated.and the yet theplace was busy at at 9 pm. Dunno why.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: annfran

                                                          Go to Ruth's Chris. Very consistent.

                                                        2. I know there are a few Argentinian restaurants in Toronto like Sky Ranch that serve their steaks grilled Argentine style. God, how I wish the government of Canada would allow importing Argentinian beef into Canada.

                                                          Anyone whose tried Argentinian beef steaks will agree that they are the best steaks on the planet. Enough said, I wish some day soon we'll be able to buy Argentinian beef or at least have gourmet restaurants serve this specialty.

                                                          My mouth's watering again because I remember in South America just how delicious and ORGASMIC in taste these steaks really were. Honestly, it's not a MYTH. Argentine steaks are AWESOME and just out of this world!!! :)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: YummyYummy

                                                            I think Baby Beef on St. Clair sells it. By the side.

                                                          2. I went to Ruth's Chris for lunch yesterday (my first time there) and was distinctly underwhelmed. The seafood gumbo had been overcooked and was disintegrating - and not in a good way.

                                                            My ribeye was ok, but not more. I love a bit of marbling but 30% of the steak was fat. Same with my business associate. I had ordered mine medium rare, it arrived more medium. The potato gratinee was both bland and overcooked at the same time. Really disappointing. My associate had the steak with the blue cheese topping which was tough and grey.

                                                            Service was great and knowledgeable, wine was very good.

                                                            In my opinion the food was nowhere near the quality that I am used to from Barberians. My first and last visit.

                                                            1. How about Tom Jones Steakhouse....I heard it's good. Personally I've never been there before but planning to in the New Year :-)

                                                              1. I like Bardi's the best.

                                                                1. Best stake and the best value is The Place for Stake at Sheppard and Bathurst. It's an institution that has been there for 35 years. Order the filet they bring you two fillets which is impossible to finish smothered in mushrooms and sweet peppers and did I mention that you get with that a fabulous salad and onion soup strubs dill pickles and baskets and baskets of garlic bread. Can't beat it and yes I have been to Ruth Chris. Not in the mood for stake try the grilled salmon in garlic sauce unbelievable

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Mr.D

                                                                    Don't take this the wrong way but 'too large to finish' and 'smothered in mushrooms and sweet peppers' doesn't say good steak to me. It says 'cheap meat that needs to be masked with a strongly flavored accompaniment'.

                                                                    1. re: andreas

                                                                      suggest you go there and try it and then pass judgement the mushrooms and peppers is the way I order it and its fabulous. An establishment does not survive for 35 years because the food is inferior. Never once have had a bad stake there and I have been a customer for over 10 years

                                                                  2. Harbour 60 is an insult to any intelligent diner. I don't mind spending higher than average for quality but these guys are unbelievable when it comes to charging. Very few wines that are under $100 and I was charged $23 for a single mixed drink.

                                                                    You can get equal quality at The Black Angus (admittedly a little out of the way in Etobicoke - don't even mention Barberians - they're not even close).

                                                                    Despite what some people say this is not a high end place but they have high prices that probably approach or exceed the highest end restaurants in this city. Nothing pisses me off more that a restaurant that deliberatey gouges their customers and get's away with it.

                                                                    1. T-Bones on Eglinton Ave East just a little east of Midland Ave. is the best place to go if you're on a budget and craving steak. They sell New York striploin, ribeye, t-bone steaks and other typical grilled food. I usually get the 12 oz. strip with fries, salad and bread for $9.99. You can also get 16 oz steaks with all the fixins for $11.99 and double steak dinner for $20.00. Its just as good as any steak I've eaten at any lower end chain restaurants (ie: Kelsey's, Jack Astors). Amazing prices.

                                                                      1. I went to Mortons last night for the first time (business dinner) and I was extremely happy with the food, the wine and the service.

                                                                        I wasn't looking forward to the show and tell of the meat before we ordered, but I actually ended up trying a new cut because it looked so good on the presentation board.
                                                                        I like my steak Pittsburgh style ( rare in the middle, almost burned on the outside). When the food arrived it was perfect. Excellent baked potatoes, great asparagus.

                                                                        I am a huge fan of Barberians, but the steak at Mortons was better, in my opinion. We ended up spending about $200 per person at the table, so cheap it wasn't. Thankfully I was invited, otherwise both my wife and my bank manager would probably have words.

                                                                        1. Via Allegro (Queensway across from Sherway Gdns) has amazing steaks...not cheap, I think around $45 for a Filet, but better than Morton's, Ruth Chris', Hy's and Harbour IMO. Also a good selection for vegetarians (pasta, risotto if not vegan and a superb mushroom soup) - not to mention the exceptional wine list...but again, not cheap

                                                                          1. Was just in Toronto and have to agree with Ruth's Chris having a great steak, despite being a chain! A great cattle palace!

                                                                            1. Veni Vidi Vici on College has the best steak on the strip! Served with a great spicy grape sauce unlike anything I've had elsewhere and garlic mashed and steamed bok choy - delicious!