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Jan 19, 2010 11:22 AM

I NEED to know WHERE I can find the BEST STEAK in NAPLES, Florida!

I know, I know, this has been discussed more than once...

BUT! I have read it all and I am still having a difficult time deciding!

Seriously, help me out guys. I want the latest and GREATEST.

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  1. Chops (city location). The best steak and much better than Capital Grille (price wise and quality)

    1. Naples Chops is great. It is not a traditional "me too" chop house, which I appreciate. I think if I see any more creamed spinach, I'll scream. LMF

      1. I believe Prestons, a small family owned steak house in Naples has the best steak. It's a very simple menu but they use great meat and have wonderful salads and sides. They cook on grills with briquets and hardwood charcoal. It's pricey but worth it.

        1. I read these replies and I’m sorry but I have to chime in here. Chops has good food, but the best steak in Naples? C’mon. The menu is nice, but this is not the best steak in town, not by a long shot. This is a place you go to on 5th Avenue for a trendy night on the town, not to tear into some steak. Plus there are few places in Naples that pack the people in like Chops does. I've been to Preston's once, and unfortunately they had some sort of plumbing problem that left the place with a very offensive odor (about two years ago?). The food was tasty but I was tainted by the smell. Again, not the place I would point someone to looking for THE steak in Naples. Although I did appreciate the friendly staff.

          For a truly awesome steak dinner in Naples, here are your real choices:

          1) Shula's: The highest quality beef in town with a broad array of choices at your disposal; real men long for this place, it is the steak mecca of Collier and Lee Counties.

          2) Cloyde's: The anti-Chops. I think there are defibrillators on every wall, and they certainly won't be winning any trendy awards. Looks like a place your grandpa would love. But hands down the best filet I've had in Naples over the last few years. I was blown away.

          3) Truluck's: Known for their crab but they boast a truly excellent filet, I think the best on 5th avenue. And hands down the best service staff in Naples (when you can get a table). I am always impressed after dining there. Would choose this place over Chops seven days out the week, but make a rez about 3-4 days in advance.

          Bottom line: go to Shula's.

          Oh, and avoid Andre's. I love the way they sear their meat, but I've heard some things that I won't repeat about the place and needless to say I will never go back.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Native_Naples

            My favorite spot is Capital Grille for a combination of top service,warm ambiance and very good to excellent steak quality. that triad has me hooked! Their sides, like lobster mac 'n cheese and truffle fries are tops. Very good wine selection for a steakhouse. If someone said they'd treat me to a meal, that's where I'd go for a steak.

            Some steaks at Preston's have been tastier than Capital Grille's, some on a par. Problem is, service is not a wonderful, and ambiance is dated and cramped. It's a bit high priced for the steaks. (RevrendAndy, I'd go there with you and the Mrs. to try them anytime)

            I've not been to Chops in a year. . I''ve never had a less than very good meal there. They could be my #2 spot for steak.

            Flemings has been good to excellent over one or two years ago. It was in its prime under the former proprietor, then it took a dip. I've not been there in a year.. Worth a try.

            Shula's has never impressed me. I last ate there 2 months ago with a large group, and people said they'd never go back-mediocre service and average steaks . It's at best a good steak, but not as wonderfully tasty as Capital Grille, Chops or Prestons. I've eaten a Shula's over a dozen times in 6+ years. Their huge potato and other sides don't do much for me. Even if someone wlse was paying, I'd choose another steakhouse. Past its prime.

            Andre's never impressed me. Peter Luger copycat that NY'ers say misses the mark.

            Trulucks-I enjoy their seafood very much, and some items have come down in price-that will bring in more customers. Quite a few places on 5th Ave have lowered prices, as Mercato's 10 restaurants have stolen 5th's business. Trulucks is one of my top few seafood choices. I've never had reason to order a steak there.

            Cloyd's has had a pretty view and ok steaks. Yes, it has the oldest clientele, matched only by numbers of oxygen cylinders at George and the Dragon. The Pate family sold it a while back, I'll give it a while to find it's niche.

            As I live here and have a grill, (not yet a smoker or true BBQ set up) I buy Wagyu steaks at Jimmy P's and sear/grill them with salt and pepper, served with caramelized onions, a red wine reduction or anchovy butter, and grilled aspargus or other sides during the season. I prefer to dine out in the off season. Not eveyone has that opportunity-also there's lots of half price specials!

            1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

              Shula's is the only steakhouse in town that serves premium black angus. I'm not a culinary expert but I can certainly taste the difference.

              Yep, Capital Grille is spot on, but you can get that in any town right? Been to one, been to em all. When you can't get into the Capital Grille (which happened to my wife and I a few weeks ago), Flemings is an excellent alternative and its right across the road. They are owned by the same chain as Carrabas, but the food is excellent and the service is surprisingly top notch.

              Personally I'm content with Wynn's or Fresh Market steaks for my own grill. Jimmy P's has great cuts but after my third or fourth visit I found myself completely put off by the obnoxious attitude of the owners. They've grown a reputation around town for being jerks - I think they are trying to pull a "soup nazi" thing by badgering their customers, but it wore thin on me immediately. I gladly took my business elsewhere and never looked back.

            2. re: Native_Naples

              so at Shula's, does the menu still come on a football? My husband has never been, and I might take him there for a surprise. He lives for NFL football.

              I've had their steak, but it has been some years and I was in Fort Lauderdale (in a Sheraton).

              1. re: LilMsFoodie


                I've not seen it on a football here in years of dining. I''m sure they could trot out such a menu for husband's surprise.
                Shula's has a 48 lb steak for robust appetites, and thousands have polished em off! One guy has eaten almost 180 of the steaks!

                Black Angus "premium" is NOT certified USDA prime quality, or "USDA choice" grade/quality beef. IF it was that fine quality, they'd mention it. Black or "Bland" Angus is just a breed of beef, with hyped marketing. Maybe Shula's beef is the less expensive "select" or possibly USDA "Standard". Anyone can make up a "grade", patent it as Shula's supplier cleverly has, and fool naive customers into thinking it's "better" then USDA "prime", or even lesser "USDA choice". Slick trick, Shula's.

                1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                  What?? First of all, I find it hard to believe that you've been to Shula's a dozen times and you think they are serving USDA standard. Secondly, beef producers established the CAB (certified angus black) designation, and all CAB beef is either prime or choice grades only. In fact, the requirements of the CAB designation goes far beyond that of the USDA. The final result represents the top 6.5% of all US produced beef. Shula's, whether you want to believe them or not, claims that their premium CAB cut represents the top 1%. I'm pretty sure that Ruth's Chris markets prime beef, and I think, but I am not sure, that the Capital Grille has a prime cut on their menu. Chops most certainly does not.

                  And yes, you can see the menu on a football but they have regular menus as well.

                  I will have to give Preston's another shot. In all fairness they had some major plumbing issues going on when I visited.

                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                    Went to Shula's (Hilton Naples) Friday night for husband's birthday. Service nice, but not special. Room and ambiance was very traditional steakhouse, which I liked. Excellent deals on wines over $100 bottle which was good as their lesser wines were not so special and the wines by the glass, way overpriced.

                    The steak was truly awful. We both had porterhouse medium rare. They were cooked precisely as ordered but had poor flavor. The texture was very chewy and greasy. Lots of fat in the meat, which I expect, but this is not prime beef and it is not aged in any way that I could tell. We ate about 1/2 and took the steaks home in a doggy bag. Looking at the meat in the light of day, they were full of gristle and big globs of fat. The flavor and texture was poor. I love cold steak but couldn't eat this one.

                    Dry chocolate cake was brought to the table unordered as part of the birthday "presentation".

                    What I liked: the jazz combo in the bar is very good. We might go back just to listen to them sometime and elbow our way through the seniors who pack the bar on Fridays.

                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      When I hear "Shula's "Certified Angus Black" then remember it's taste, I can only think of "The Emperor's New Clothes" story, and it becomes "Emperor' Shula's New (CAB) Steak".
                      Sorry you had to pay for Shula's underwhelming steak's taste and chewiness. Ugh.

                      I agree on the music- Bob Zottola''s jazz is very good, and can also be heard at several other places in town. /

              2. I have to agree with Insatiable Appetite, especially about Shula's. Angus beef isn't prime but you are being charged prime prices. I thought the steak was good, but not great, and the sides and salads below average. I like Chops for seafood more than their steaks. I love the seafood at Trulucks but have never had their steak.

                I revisited Prestons a few weeks ago and still believe they are the best steak in town, along with a wonderful caesar salad and great skillet potatoes. Capital Grille is a very close 2nd but offers better atmosphere.

                7 Replies
                1. re: RevrendAndy


                  Good to have you participate in Chowhound, welcome! People are gonna agree or disagree on things, with Chowhound. , It's fun to have all points of view contribute on matters of food taste and quality, service and othe aspects of a restaurant experience.

                  I am skeptical of big companies claims, unless independantly verified. For a timely example, Toyota until today claimed that their sudden lethal accelerators were sticking mainly because of floormats jammed against them. It took deaths of four people in a river , when the Police and Toyota reps together opened the vehicle, to see that floormats were in the trunk, for Toyota to somewhat reconsider It took the death of a highway patrolman and his family, calling 911 to say his accelerator was controllable and brakes useless, before Toyota finally, finally took heed to many, many compaints an deaths. Now they are insisting that the accelrators give a magical "warning" before sticking. Uh-huh. So on Ford Piontos, Toyota accelerators or even steak statistics, I queston a corporation's positon and numbers.

                  Where can I find (?Google) the source of the quote that CAB has the top 6.5% of all US produced beef.

                  Where is the independent source that Shula's "premium" mix of prime and choice somehow is allegedly elevated to the top 1% of all US beef?

                  Why doesn't Shula's let people know that their meat is allegedly prime or choice, and hides under the non USDA category of "CAB premium "?

                  Capital Grille is clear that they are not serving prime, and their USDA choice is darn good to excellent. This is where a superior cook's talents and steak aging come into play. This is Where Shula's lags behind. Like I pointed out earlier , it's their TRIAD of "service, for a combination of top service,warm ambiance and very good to excellent steak quality' that gets my #1 vote for Naples. Shula's doesn't beat them on any leg of that triad, IMHO. AS Rev pointed out, Shula's salads and sides are below average. Consistently below average over the years for me,too, and I've eaten several times at every good steakhouse in Naples with other chowhounds/foodies..

                  Maybe if Shulas followed customers tastes, and served better tasting steaks than black angus "premium" mix of grades, they'd get a higher vote from customers. Proof-, they'd be one of Naples customer's top choices,
                  Now, they are the only the fallback:place to end up when Capital Grillle, Flemings and Prestons are filled by picky customers who "pass" on the taste of black angus "premium", and Shula's sides .

                  Naples' people clearly vote with their taste buds, feet and especially wallets.
                  Customers fill the top three''s parking lots, and they don't even read your or my opinions.
                  I still think Shula's offers a good experience, that's why i try it twice a year-,I just feel that other steakplaces are better.

                  Aside from steaks, have you tried some of the "ethnic spots? What are your likes and dislikes?

                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                    Google CAB and Angus and 6.5% and you'll find info. Just understand that CAB is a brand of beef, USDA Prime is a government designation for the quality of a cut. All CAB beef is either prime or choice. What's holding back Shula's is not the quality of their product, its the location (in a hotel lobby) and price. The place is a great destination for a guy's steak dinner. Whether you believe the company or not about the beef quality is your prerogative, but they always point out the top 1% thing when you are watching the server show off all the cuts they have available (notwithstanding the connection between big bad Toyota and a 4 or 5 location FL restaraunt chain!). And I believe Capital Grille's delmonico is labeled prime, but that was after one or two makers marks.

                    One place that I did not mention was the Strip House. I've eaten there twice, both times steak, and I found the atmosphere, food and service to be up there with the best in Naples.

                    I was thrilled to hear that Fernandez di Bull (sp?) was opening in north Naples. Always loved that place and we treck to old location about three or four times a year. Flaco's gets my engines going too. A coworker of mine has mentioned a place on 951 (Collier Blvd) near Golden Gate City called Senior Tequilas which he claims is spot on. I'd normally be skeptical, but he's a NYC transplant and he's got good taste, so I've been meaning to check it out.

                    1. re: Native_Naples

                      Yep, there's no shortage of good steak places in little Naples!
                      I've seen the 46 or so ounce monster steak at Shula's and cringe-people eat it all at one sitting!

                      Fernandez is solid good Cuban. I also lke Marcos in the industrial area, too (lunch only). I miss the hole in the wall Cuban places in Miami-aaah the garlic and tastes! Havana's on Immokalee has good oxtail as well as regular plates.
                      Senor Tequilas looks good, I'll check it out when I lose some weight first!
                      There's also a Mr. Tequila (or something close) Mexican where Ditka's was on 41. No relationship between the Senor and the Mr. Tequila. Food is good.

                      I think youll flip over Peruvian cuisine Inca's Kitchen on 951 right by Senor Tequila.
                      Prices are nearly all under $15 for big portions. Try the lomo huancaina appetizer, and the big soup bowl, then ramp it up for a main...mmm good!
                      I wonder if all beef becomes prime after 3 makers marks...I can't recall...

                      1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                        I've totally forgotten about Strip House. Before I knew of Preston's and prior to Captial Grille, I felt this was the best steak in town. They were pricey but had the absolute best potato dish-goose fat potatoes. Good caesar also. Looks like a bordello in there but they offer a fine product, just behind Preston's and Capital Grille in my book.

                        1. re: RevrendAndy

                          My best steak in the past year has been at Preston's with Capital Grill a close second. Chops serves up a really good food but I don't think their steaks are as aged & pampered as the first two. For the Record, I usually follow IA's plan and either get a non-Kobe prime from Jimmy P's (never got a 'tude from the guys there) or the holy grail of steaks from Bryan Flannery in No. Cal.

                  2. re: RevrendAndy

                    Reverend Andy, I follow your posts and recommendations. I respect and value your opinion. I agree completely Prestons is excellent, and pricey. I am afraid I do not share your endorsement of the Capital Grille, sorry!

                    Capital Grille
                    5197 Big Island Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32246

                    1. re: Writeher


                      I respect your opinion. I know Capital Grille is a chain but I've found their food and service to be quite good. I'm curious about your dislike of the restaurant.

                      Capital Grille
                      5197 Big Island Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32246