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Searching for Steak house recommendations

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I am traveling to DC in a few weeks and I am trying to find a top notch steak house. Places I've been to in DC include Ruth Chris, Morton, Capitol Grill, and BLT. I'm looking for something new that offers fantastic steaks, good appetizers, and good sides. However, I'm leaning away from the "traditional" steak houses like Ruth Chris and Capitol Grill. Any thoughts?

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  1. Ray's the Steaks

    4 Replies
    1. re: mmusiker

      Second, third, fourth Ray's the Steaks!!

      1. re: FoodieGrrl

        Or Ray's the Classics, right? Doesn't it have a bigger menu and take reservations, but the same steak?

        1. re: mselectra

          The new location of Ray's the Steaks, opening at 2300 Wilson Blvd (Court House Metro) this week, is a little more like Ray's the Classics (in downtown Silver Spring, MD) than the old RTS location (which is closing for a few weeks before reopening with a new theme). The new RTS will have a somewhat more expansive menu, and will take reservations.

          And I'll fifth, sixth, whatever either Ray's location. Better steaks than any of the major steakhouses, at 2/3 the price, and INCLUDES the sides. Better starters, and a thoughtful and very inexpensive wine list. You absolutely can't beat Ray's for quality or value.

          1. re: DanielK

            I would give anything (well, almost...) if RTS could have a full bar. There's just something about having a martini before a steak that makes it complete. *sigh*

    2. I'd prefer something in the District. Any recommendations?

      4 Replies
      1. re: jrhaynes

        Steakhouses in the District tend to be traditional. You've been to the nontraditional BLT, and the one not on your list that I like best -- the Prime Rib -- is VERY traditional.

        I think Charlie Palmer Steak would qualify (my experiences there have been mixed, as are the reviews overall, though some really love it), as would the new Bourbon Steak (no firsthand experience, but I think you'll find at least one or two reviews here). Personally, I'd take a chance on the latter.

        1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

          Bourbon Steak was great. I think its exactly what you are looking for.

          1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

            Another vote for Charlie Palmer Stewk, although I haven't been to Bourbon Steak yet. We had wonderful service, along with extras (an extra twice-baked truffle potato, free dessert--all during restaurant week). It was a wonderful dining experience, and has been enjoyed during non-RW as well.

          2. re: jrhaynes

            Oh.....you will need to try Prime Rib at least once in your life....

            Also, check out Bobby Van's, Sam & Harry's or Bourbon steak......

          3. The Prime Rib or the Palm

            1 Reply
            1. re: dining with doc

              the Prime Rib would be the complete OPPOSITE of what they are looking for. Its the most old fashioned and stuffy restaurant I have ever been to. Thats not to say the food isnt good, just not right in this situation.

            2. BOURBON STEAK. Went for birthday dinner on Saturday night. Absolutely outrageous. 3 types of duck fat fries come out of the kitchen right when you sit down. A delicious harbinger of things to come. Cavatelli with mushrooms, crispy chicken oysters and black truffles was a phenomenal app, as was the foie gras. Best tasting prime ribeye I have ever had. Pork 3 ways entree was also excellent. Try it - you will not be disappointed.

              2 Replies
              1. re: freckmoto

                the truffle sticky buns werent bad either :)

                1. re: freckmoto

                  Am curious about the bar at Bourbon Steak. I haven't been to the Four Seasons since they changed from the Garden Terrace. Are the restaurant and the bar both on the main level next to each other, or have they changed things? How's the atmosphere? Thanks.

                2. I know the chain joint is not the usual first choice but Ruth's Chris is the boy.

                  I have been to Rays the Classic and they are great, just like so many other steak houses, but they do not do it like Ruth's. It takes more then just prime dry aged beef to make the taste!

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: 1FASTMF

                    >> I have been to Rays the Classic and they are great, just like so many other steak houses, but they do not do it like Ruth's

                    You're right - Ray's doesn't melt a stick of butter on top of the steak right before it comes out of the broiler - they let the meat speak for itself.

                    1. re: DanielK

                      Well, you CAN get them to hold the butter. But they'll look at you like an idiot. That's why people come to Ruth's. It's like going to Mcdonalds and getting a salad.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        We now know Paula Deen's chowhound screenname, or a loyal fan of the pund of butter per dish theory :) It must be an acquired taste, I really hate all the butter, but people who like it REALLY like it.

                      2. re: DanielK

                        >>You're right - Ray's doesn't melt a stick of butter on top of the steak right before it comes out of the broiler - they let the meat speak for itself.<<

                        ...and it is NOT as good...unless one is seeking the mid 1900's Eastern European style meat-n-heat dinner

                        1. re: 1FASTMF

                          Each to their own, I suppose. The best steak I've ever had at Ruth's Chris is not as good as the worst steak I've ever had at Ray's.

                          1. re: DanielK

                            >>Each to their own, I suppose. The best steak I've ever had at Ruth's Chris is not as good as the worst steak I've ever had at Ray's.<<

                            So Ray's still uses open flame - it is not possible to properly cook a steak over open flame. That is how Outback and Burger King does it.

                            1. re: 1FASTMF

                              >> it is not possible to properly cook a steak over open flame

                              Really? What is the proper way to cook a steak, then? This is the best way I can think of to get a proper char - broiled steaks don't develop a good crust.

                              1. re: DanielK

                                To Cook a steak: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5955...

                              2. re: 1FASTMF

                                is that why i like my junior whopper so much? they cook it like ray's? ;-).

                        2. re: 1FASTMF

                          yeah, a pound of butter on the plate usually does the trick!

                          1. re: elegantelliot

                            Butter rules - might even make your car run better too! :)

                        3. BLT is a very cool place with good steaks. If you will be eating with someone, you can share for the Porterhouse (made for 2) and you will be happy you did. Capital Grille is good but it's a chain and usually regarded as a good safe choice in major cities when you're not sure where to go; same goes for Ruth's Chris. Morton, in my opinion, is junk. Overpriced and not nearly as good as all of the other places you mentioned. I would highly suggest The Prime Rib also. It originated in Baltimore years ago and they have since opened one in DC and Philadelphia with no further plans of expansion. It is my staple place to go for steaks. Definitely a guys place, if you are into that sort of thing. The sides are fantastic (favorites: creamed spinach, potato skins) and the service is top-notch.

                          So I guess all in all, I would recommend either The Prime Rib or BLT. One thing I will warn though, BLT's sides kind of let me down. The only time I go back is when I just want a steak and a fun, lively atmosphere. If I want the full course meal, I always go to The Prime Rib where I can focus on the food and people I am with.