Best steak in DC?
Price not an issue. Must be in NWDC -- not burbs (AFAIK only Ray's would be in the running). I am excluding Prime Rib because it is too formal (don't want to put on a jacket). Also I am not a huge S&W fan. So choose from...
Charlie Palmer's? Palm? Caucus Room? Sam & Harry's? Morton's? Capital Grille? Bobby Van's?
Please defend your choice. Only consider (in order of importance): 1. quality of steak, 2. quality of sides 3. quality of service
Thanks in advance.
I doubt you will find a steakhouse in DC that will have great meat, sides, AND service. You will probably have to settle on two-out-of-three. I had an excellent dry aged porterhouse at Capital Grill and the service was attentive without being annoying. The sides (creamed spinach, baked potato) were good but I've had better elsewhere. Pretty sure they don't require a jacket or tie.
I found The Palm crowded, the service indifferent, and the steak just okay.
I would recommend Capital Grille as well. I think that is the best meat you will find in D.C. I like Charlie Palmer, but more for their appetizers and the view of the Capital. They probably have better sides, too. I have found the service at CP to be less professional than CG.
I have never liked any of the Palm or Morton's steaks I have eaten. Bobby Van's is just a short step up from Outback. Haven't been to the Caucus Room or Sam & Harry's.
I haven't been to a lot of the places recently, but my 2 cents:
If Rays is in the running I think their steak is absolutely excellent, the sides are good, but not excellent and the service is never outstanding, but normally not abismal, but you may have to refill your own wine glass, etc.
I think the steak at Charlie Palmer's is good, but I haven't been there in a while so memory is lacking on exactly how good it was. Their sides though are excellent. Their side of mushrooms is outstanding I can remember how good that was till this day. I remember our service being good, but their have been some very bad reports on it lately and very good reports on service lately, so I don't know what to tell you on that, ours was very good.
I don't really like Morton's downtown their steak quality doesn't seem as good as the others to me. BF loves the Palm, but he normally goes with one of his buddys as guys night so I have never been. I don't like Bobby Vann's steak quality or atmosphere compared to other places.
And I like Capital Grille a lot, but it has been so long the only thing I could remember to do your comparison is their coconut creme pie which is hard to find in this area, but I love and miss. So that is what I really remember, sorry.
My wife and I ate at Sam & Harry's last night. I've preferred Cap Grille but this was extremely close to that experience if not better. I had the bone-in filet and it was very, very good (juicy and flavorful though not at all cheap); my wife had the regular filet and it was also tasty. The creamed spinach was as good as any I've ever had though the chipotle mashed potatoes were just okay (a little too creamy for my taste). We had a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola zinfandel that was a great complement.
What was sad was that they were half empty; all the construction on the street has really hit them hard. But it did make the service very friendly and attentive. So start giving them more business!