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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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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        3 Replies
        1. re: detlefchef

          I'm curious about Bin 54, but was wondering how expensive it really is. Are we talking $50-$100 a plate?

            1. re: SenorSuarez

              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.

          1. Angus Barn isn't good at all

            1. allways felt that the Angus barn was an upscale red neck joint

              1. I eat beef only once in a blue moon, but Bin 54 was excellent the time I tried the steak. I can heartily recommend their seafood dishes, if you happen to be with someone who isn't interested in meat. I was surprised at how well prepared they were, given that the focus there is on the meat. The sides are also excellent.

                1. Prime Only, in my opinion, makes a great steak. Love the Nags Head location and the one on Leesville Road in North Raleigh, and I haven't yet tried the new one downtown.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Suzy Q

                    I'm not much for eating steak out. Like detlechef I prefer to order things I can't make at home. That is why I have a problem with It's Prime Only. Were I to have steak out, I would want something I can't buy myself, restaurant quality, dry-aged USDA Prime beef. The problem with It's Prime Only is that it's just a name. They *do not* serve prime meat. It's something called Sterling Silver beef. That isn't a USDA grade so it could mean anything. I believe that in this case it is USDA Choice, one grade below Prime. It may very well taste good but I resent the restaurant leading you to believe that they are serving something they are not. You may notice their website never claims they are actually serving USDA Prime beef. I feel that if they are so willing to mislead their customers in that respect I don't know that I can trust them in general.

                      1. re: piner

                        Thank you for the web link, they do list their beef as being made up by both USDA Choice (even though they clam to be at the top of that rank) and USDA Prime.

                        They also list restarants in the triangle that serve their beef as Brier Creek Country Club Raleigh, Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse, Carolina Ale House/Briar Creek , Hudson's Oyster Bar and Grill , and Tavola Rossa, but not Prime only.

                        If Prime only does serve this brand the name is misleading because it is not guaranteed to be USDA Prime.

                        1. re: chazzer

                          According to Cargill's website, Dreamburgers and Cloo's Coney Island also serve Sterling Silver. I think it's "exclusiveness" just went down in my estimation.

                          1. re: rockycat

                            And Cargill is the giant industrial processor of beef. Sure this is the top level of industrial beef but it is still industrial beef.

                            1. re: brokegradstudent

                              the butcher shop, 'red and white' in durham sells sterling silver beef. worth checking out a strip to see what its all about. i've purchased it a couple times for grilling.

                  2. One place that has great steaks, but tends to get overlooked quite a bit here is Jimmy V's in MacGregor Village in Cary. Every time we go there, we have very good steaks, cooked exactly to order. Service is very good as well. Restaurant is now totally non-smoking. Reasonably priced; one of the better values for steak (dining out, anyway) in the area.

                    1. I am in need of suggestions because I am at a lost...

                      I am planning to propose to my girlfriend this October. So the best atmospher for a celebration dinner is what I am seeking. There are a number of resturants I am considering. Here is my list and let know you best thoughts and opinions.

                      BIN 54
                      Bonne Soirre
                      Fearrington House Restaurant
                      Fairview Dinning Room
                      Saint Jacques French Cuisine

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: emhgso

                        I can't tell you about any of these but Bonne Soiree - and I'd HIGHLY recommend it for your occasion. The food is fantastic, the service is formal yet personable (and not stuffy at all) and the restaurant itself is small, well-appointed and pretty quiet. If you tell Tina, who is the hostess and wife of the chef, about your plans I'd bet she'll make sure your occasion is extra special.

                        1. re: emhgso

                          Yeah, as much as I like Bin 54 (although I think it has gone downhill a bit in the last few months), I do think Bonne Soirre has engagement dinner written all over it. Good luck!

                          1. re: emhgso

                            Gonna have to go with Fearrington House here. Ok, so the food is *not quite* as stellar as it was 15-20 years ago, but the place still has all the atmosphere, all the panache it ever did.

                            You should be able to expect to return whenever you want for years and years as well, seeing as how it has withstood the tests of time.

                            1. re: fussycouple

                              I agree, Fearrington House definitely has "the look." Yes, there is better fine dining in the Triangle these days but the restaurant is class all the way and will make for a memorable experience.

                              1. re: fussycouple

                                Good point - if you think you'll be nostalgic for the place later this is something to think about too. I just found out that the restaurant my husband and I had our wedding reception dinner at 20 years ago closed at the end of May and I was a bit bummed, as I will be visiting my home town again in the fall and had hoped to stop by. Can hardly blame the owner though - she's 87 and that restaurant had been a fixture in the area for a looong time - she said she thought it was time to relax a bit. :)

                            2. I'm so happy to see so many people steering you away from the Angus Barn. It is so overrated. the food is not good, the service is just adequate and I personally don't want to spend that kind of money while I eat off a checked tablecloth in a BARN!

                              I agree with the recommendation for Sullivan's. We also really like Peak City Grill in Apex. Nice steaks, interesting appetizers and desserts. The service can be slow, but I think it's because they want you to relax. If you are not in the mood for a leisurely dinner, let them know!