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Which Steakhouse? Which Steak?

I'm thinking of taking my husband to a steakhouse for his birthday. We never go, so I'd love some opinions on which ones folks are liking these days, and also which steaks are best at each place. My instinct is Barclay Prime, but that's only based on the vaguest sense of what I've heard. So, have at it. Tell me what you like and why.

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  1. I like to go to Rodizos and eat all of them <g>. Truthfully, since I can now get Prime steaks at Costco, and have a wood-fired grill, I am getting ever less-likely to go to a steakhouse.

    I never order filets, as they are really a lean cut (no marbling even for Prime) so I will save those for when my doctor says "No red meat at all ." A filet can only really be saved with a good sauce, but I think it is not a good choice at a steakhouse.

    You can't go wrong with a Ribeye at any good steakhouse and if you REALLY like a little tender filet, you can always get a Porterhouse, and nibble the tenderloin before you chow down on the strip.

    I have never had a bad steak at Mortons, or Ruth's Chris, or The Palm or the Capitol Grill.

    Barclay Prime is a more intimate setting.. beautiful room compared to the cavernous chains. Some steak houses have begun offering dry-aged beef as a "specialty" rather than the default. If I pay money for a steak at a restaurant, I expect it to be both Prime AND dry-aged.

    3 Replies
    1. re: phillyjazz

      Would it surprise you to know that Capital Grille serves USDA Choice meat and not Prime?

        1. re: gfweb1

          There's nothing wrong with Choice meat. It's a pretty inexact science the USDA uses to grade, so a carcass with a Choice-quality ribeye may yield Prime-quality strips (and vice versa.) Generally, though, Prime is a better statistical bet. Also, Angus declines to submit to grading, but is almost always high-choice / prime equivalent.

    2. I've been to Capital Grille, Ruth Chris, The Palm and Barclay Prime. IMHO, the best meal was at Barclay Prime. The service can be a bit over the top (you are offered a selection of steak knives), but it is warm and friendly and a lot of fun. I think it is a good place for a birthday dinner.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DaisyM

        Butcher and Singer isn't bad either. In the old Striped Bass space, it is a classic steakhouse. The only dry aged meat on the menu is the porterhouse which is usually for two.

        1. re: DaisyM

          personally, i love that they offer you steak knives. not everyone likes the same thing. last time i went to barclay i was able to try a knife that i had never used (and loved it). it is now on my shopping list for me, so it was a great way to try something new for free.

          as meh on stephen starr as i am, i do love barclay and butcher and singer. b&s is defintiely chop-housey and if you go there, order the delmonico steak. if you go to barclay, order the t-bone if they have it or the strip. both places do amazing potato sides - mashed potato hash browns at barclay and stuffed hashbrowns at b&s (that are beyond amazing). both do good salads and lobster dishes too.

          1. re: mazza3

            I'm going to give Butcher and SInger a try. That 1940's chop house concept appeals to me! Thanks for the tip on the hash browns they sound great!

            1. re: mazza3

              I was at BP recently and got to try the rib eye, strip and bone-in fillet. All were excellent, but the whole table agreed the ribeye was the best--so much flavor. It is heavily marbled and even a bit fatty so stay away if that does not appeal to you. I haven't tried any of the steaks over $50 (the Kobe-like ones from Australia) so I can't speak to those. Whatever else you get, get the truffled mac and cheese as a side.

              I also got to try the $100 cheesesteak, and it was f'ing amazing. It does come with half a bottle of champagne, but I am not sure it is worth $100 on my own dime. However, for a special occasion it is pretty awesome. Apparently it is not on the printed menu anymore, but if you call ahead and ask, they'll be able to make it for you.

          2. I really enjoyed Barclay Prime. I found it to be a fantastic modern interpretation of classic steakhouse. If I remember correctly, the meat selection was interesting too, offering not only various cuts, but also from various sources (or perhaps I'm thinking about some of the specials?). Sides were inspired as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: urbanfabric

              It's a close call between Cap Grille and Barclay Prime but I have to give the edge to Barclay Prime. Kansas City Strip is my steak of choice there. Get the creamed spinach also. Best in the City.

            2. Hi Hungry. I'm curious where you ended up going. My husband has requested a steakhouse dinner for his birthday, and I'm at a loss to know where to go.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rocknroll52

                I had decided on Barclay Prime, but then my husband got sick and we had to cancel. I'm still hoping to get there one of these days.

                1. re: rocknroll52

                  If you're looking for some more info on Barclay Prime, here's a link that I commented on awhile back. I loved it, and we have since sent my in-laws there as well!

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/657552