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Oct 17, 2008 07:18 AM

Steakhouse in Philly?

I'm surprising my husband with a trip to Philly for his birthday and he's a huge steak person. I'm looking for a romantic place to take him. I've heard mixed reviews on both Capital Grille and Barclay Prime. Both seem pricey, which I don't mind, but I'm wondering which is the most consistent for the price.

Any insight on either of these (or others) would be appreciated!

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    1. re: chowchowchowder

      Chima is probably the worst reviewed Steakhouse in Philadelphia. Go to Capital Grille if you want classic service and a nice, relaxing meal. Go to Barclay if you want to have steak in a more young, modern setting with less conventional preparations.

      1. re: chowchowchowder

        I have seen nothing but horrible reviews for Chima since it opened. Perhaps chowchowchowder can enlighten us as to where these rave reviews might be found, but I doubt it. Both of the two you mention are very good. If your husband has never been to a 'churrascaria' (Brazilian steakhouse), Fogo de Chao is good and is a much different experience than your typical steakhouse. Avoid the Prime Rib (the restaurant, not the cut).

        1. re: Buckethead


          Just curious, what don't you like about Prime Rib? It's my favorite of all of the steakhouses.

          1. re: artgary

            I just wasn't particularly impressed with any aspect of my one (and only) meal there. The steaks were underseasoned, the apps and sides were nothing special, and neither was dessert. Our service was friendly but inattentive. I wouldn't say I hated it, but for the money, I expect a lot more.

            The main reason I say to avoid it is not that I think it sucks or anything, but, like a lot of people who post on Chowhound asking for recommendations, the OP is only going to be in town for a short time. I think our city has a lot better to offer. If someone lives in the city, goes out to eat a lot and loves steakhouses, I wouldn't discourage them from trying the Prime Rib. But if you're just visiting, you can do a lot better.

            Also, the OP mentioned that her husband is a big steak person, so I figure he's probably been to places like the Prime Rib (or better) dozens of times. But not everyone has a churrascaria handy, or a Barclay Prime.

        2. I went to Barclay Prime for the first time last night and found it to be fantastic. The Kobe sliders were divine morsels of goodness. We shared oysters from both east and west coast-- both fresh, served with migionette and cocktail. For dinner, we shared the tajima kobe porterhouse ($265) and I think it was one of the best steaks I've ever had. Also had halibut, which was prepared wonderfully. OH - and great banana creme pie for dessert.

          Service was great. Couldn't find a single complaint.

          1. I prefer CG over BP. We've had too many chewy fatty steaks from Barclay. (Others may argue this but we had to take BP off our business dinner list.) The kobe sliders there are really good though.

            Tell your husband to try the Porcini Rubbed Delmonico if you try CG...its amazing! Oh and get some Lobster Mac n Cheese too.

            1. I've been to Barclay Prime and Capital Grille. I feel that Barclay Prime is by far the better restaurant for food, decor and service. I took my husband to Capital Grille for his last birthday and we were both disappointed.

              2 Replies
              1. re: DaisyM

                Our trip is the first weekend in November so a new place may be a bit of a gamble. If I'm going on reviews of ambiance, it sounds like CG is the more appropriate choice for the occasion (I've heard BC can be loud in all it's attemps to be "hip") since I'm going for good steak and a romantic, classic experience. Does that sound right or am I off-base with BP?

                1. re: andiface20

                  BP was incredibly noisy the one time we went Largely due to the very loud music with heavy bass they play. They refused to turn the music down explaining that it was their "atmosphere". The bar area was much quieter but we will probably not return.

                  IMHO non of our steak houses are fabulous. We do go to the Palm on occasion but there are lots of other restaurants that serve great steaks without the steakhouse hype.

              2. When is your trip? Stephen Starr has another entry in steakhouse scene -- Butcher and Singer -- scheduled to open in about a week. If you're adventurous, you might want to give it a try.