Best place for steak in the Triangle?
I understand that the Angus Barn gets much of its reputation for service (and the wine list), not the food, so...where else in the Triangle can one get high-quality steak? I'm most interested in the quality of food, rather than the whole dining experience. I'd be curious to hear folks' opinion of places in Chapel Hill, Durham, and the Raleigh area. I've lived in Chapel Hill for ten years, and aside from the very occasional good steak at Acme in Carrboro, I am at a loss on this question.
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You must try Bin 54...they used dry-aged beef...only the very best ingedients...best i have seen in the triangle...it is in Glen Lennox shopping center on 54.
Angus Barn is way, way overrated IMHO. It's true that the service in the wine cellar is terrific, but other than that it's just regular table service. I've never had bad service in the upstairs, but there's nothing particularly memorable about it either. The steaks are fine, but I've never left feeling like I've had a fantastic meal there. The wine cellar, on the other hand, not only has terrific service, but pretty one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Unfortunately the food is average at best.
Bin 54 has good steaks, but I think it's their side dishes that are really spectacular.
Capital City Chophouse (near the airport) used to be a favorite of mine, but the last few times I ate there it wasn't quite as good. They used to have some really nice appetizers (good oysters rockefeller, and a really nice beef tips app -- I think it was seasoned with orange and cumin, if I remember right), and solid side dishes. I used to love their steaks -- great flavor, texture, and always cooked correctly, even for large parties. I haven't been there in a couple of years, so I can't say how they are now. In any event, stay away from their key lime pie. Nothing in nature is that green.
Ruth's Chris has been the locale for some of the most disappointing steaks I've eaten, and their sides are even worse.
Overall, I think the best steaks around are at Sullivan's in Raleigh. Great steaks, some really nice appetizers, and nice sides. The atmosphere is nothing remarkable, but I'll take great steak over great atmosphere any day.
I vote for Bin 54 as well. As durhamois says, the sides are outstanding but the steaks themselves should not be overlooked. Great quality, cooked over a wood fire. The space is much smaller than every other steakhouse around which I think is a good thing. They also serve Hanger Steak which is a cut I love and will set you back a whole lot less than the more fancy ones.
I've been to Sullivans on a number of occasions and invariably end up being pissed off or let down about several things. The quality of the steak itself, the poorly executed sides, the fact that the wines are insanely overpriced for what they are. Mind you, I do have friends who have had much better experiences there, but I just haven't been so lucky.
It really depends on how you play it. You can get the hanger steak (which IMO may be the tastiest cut regardless of price) for the low 20s. Of course, then you need to do the sides and such, so even going that way, it's hard to spend any less than $40-$50 in food. As for the wine, they, like every steakhouse, have a ton of super high priced reds. However, it's not like you can't find something good for less. That's actually one of the things I like best about Bin, the wine list isn't just a who's who of big name cabs. It's been a while since I saw the list, but I recall, in particular, a bunch of really good spanish reds at basically affordable prices. Don't get me wrong, it's not like they're giving these things away, but you don't need to spend $100/ bottle to find something good to drink.