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Best steak in Boston area?

I'm not much of a steakhouse person (since we do great steaks at home) but we have a request for a steak dinner for a January birthday and the grill may or may not be covered in snow. Have been to Grill 23, Capital Grille, Met (Chestnut Hill), and Mortons and none of those really seem worth the $$$$.

Any suggestions for something either less expensive (up to 50/person sans alcohol) or really worth what the above places charge?

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  1. I'm also not much of a steakhouse person, but have found Grille 23 good if you're going the steakhouse route.

    Another fun option that is slightly different than a standard steak house is Bogie's Place inside JM Curley.


    1. What about Eastern Standard? They do a very nice steak frites, and the price is not so bad compared to the big steak houses. Plus you have lots of other options if others don't want to eat steak.

      1. Bogie's Place is a small steakhouse, but I find the prices a bit more reasonable. Great room.

        1. Grill 23, Abe & Louis makes an excellent steak (& martini), Mooo. All 3 are in the top tier--Capital Grille is next. Lesser steakhouses are Smith & Wollensky & Ruth's Chris. Haven't been to Del Friscos or Mortons.

          6 Replies
          1. re: carneyvore

            What makes the Abe & Louis martini notable?

            1. re: jgg13

              Abe & Louis does a traditional martini service at the bar (i.e. generously portioned martini placed in carafe and saved in slush-filled mini-bucket to keep any remainder chilled). When I have it, which is rarely, I enjoy it very much.

              1. re: marais

                Generously, but properly proportioned? And is it a proper martini or is it a kangaroo?

                1. re: jgg13

                  A proper martini or kangaroo was never mentioned. Just a generously portioned martini.

                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    It was stated that they made an excellent martini. I wanted to know how they defined an excellent martini, in particular if what they were defining as an excellent martini was even remotely a martini.

                    1. re: jgg13

                      Late reply to this: I define an excellent martini "ordered out" as being made with gin, with more fresh dry vermouth than most specify (meaning "wet" in a 3:1 ratio) and served with either an unstuffed olive, a lemon twist or a pickled cocktail onion (which makes it a Gibson) per personal preference. Abe & Louie's will make your martini to your specs if you let your bar pro know them, and will serve it with its excellent martini service.

          2. Prezza has a great wood grilled steak with sides for under $50.

            1. I don't do steakhouses much at all, but I can say Morton's is most definitely not worth the money. Company-paid sales dinner there once...so mediocre. I was more interesting in their giant sides of veggies than in their actual steak.

              1. I too am in the anti-steak house camp, but do like steak alternatives like the steak frittes at Brassirie Jo's....that is just a damn fine steak. I like it with the blue cheese butter on top that melts and mixes with the steak juice and then soaks into the french fries...... So. Freaking. Good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: devilham

                  My wife had the tenderloin at Brasserie Jo for 36$ was a very nice plate with sides, perfectly cooked steak and high quality. Also love most of the menu there.

                  I've had great steak frites at Petit Robert Bistro in the south end and Eastern Standard in Kenmore. Both places are around 22-24$ for this dish. Eastern Standard has a great menu, atmosphere and cocktails list. Plus you get to miss the fenway crowd in January!

                2. Tango in Arlington is fun for a birthday, is reasonably priced, and has plenty of options other than steak. The only thing I've had there that I didn't enjoy was the grilled bone-in shortibs, which were pretty chewy and there wasn't much meat. The tenderloin is really good, especially with the roquefort sauce.

                  1. Boston Chop has a really good bone in filet mignon...order it with the spicy broccoli side. yum!

                    1. You don't have to go to a steak house to get a great steak. Many restaurants that only have one steak on the menu do that dish really well. I had a great skirt steak at Rendez Vous in Central Square. I also think bone-in ribeye at Bistro du Midi is fantastic if you want a more classic cut. These dishes don't come a la carte so you will spend a little less money too.

                      I would guess that if you couldn't find something you liked at any of the places you tried, you are destined to be disappointed by all Boston steakhouses (maybe all steakhouses period).

                      Good luck.


                      1. My favorite steak frites in town is at Les Zygomates. I know it's priced somewhere in the $20s.

                        1 Reply
                        1. I have recently been to Grille 23 and while it was ok I ordered the 100 day dry aged steak and it was definitely not dry aged. It had none of the fermented flavor that one usually expects from a dry aged steak. The best thing I ate was the profiterole dessert.

                          I also have been to Abe and Louies and I was very unimpressed with that place. I would not recommend it.

                          I would recommend Fogo de Chao. This is a high end Brazilian churrascarria where men carry around meat on swords and cut it at your table. It has great meat and a variety of meat. It is different and unique. It has great service and is really the only steakhouse I ever return to. It is a great place for something a little different. Lastly, it has an excellent salad bar to cut all the red meat.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: sekelmaan

                            I always thought of Fogo de Chao as a gimmick. I have had very little luck with salad bars at most chain restaurants. I personally like Grill 23, though admittedly there can be some issues. Still I cannot imagine Fogo is better. Anyone else share this feeling?

                            Just because I mentioned it earlier, here is a shot of the Rendez Vous steak. Looks good right?


                            1. re: hungrytommy

                              I suppose Fogo could be considered a little gimmecky. It is excellent meat and cooked exactly how you want it and many different cuts of it. If it is not cooked how you like it, they go back and get a piece that is cooked properly. I personally think that a crispy, salty slice of bottom sirloin or ribeye that is fresh off a grill and sliced perfectly medium rare is outstanding.

                              Truth be told, I don't eat at the salad bar, I get some freshly broken pieces of parmigiana and some endive leaves and use them as a palate cleanser, but as far as salad bars go it is the best one will see.

                              Is Grille 23 bad, no? It is as good as Mortons or Cap Grill and so on. It is an expense account place for douches in suits. The ambiance was horrific. Drunk guys in blazers and yelling and so on, it was like an old rich guy frat house. I wouldn't take my wife there.

                              And as far as the meat was concerned, I have been to Peter Lugers many times and every time I eat there I wonder if I am eating beef. The aging of the meat gives it such a unique flavor, call it fermented or umami or whatever, but it is unlike any other steak one will taste. And I was expecting huge amounts of that flavor when i was allegedly eating a 100 day dry aged steak and frankly, if the chef came out of the kitchen and said oops that was choice I would have been like I thought so. And that for 70 bucks?

                              I even emailed the chef and manager and asked them about it and they didn't respond. So, no. I will not recommend Grille 23.

                              1. re: sekelmaan

                                10 years ago, we used to have Brazilian bbq in the backyard of some Brazilians living in Baltimore. He cooked meat on swords, and wandered around his back yard for hours, shaving off your favourite part of the meat.

                                Fogo de Chao isn't as spectacular as the meals we had in that backyard, but it is very good. Would I waste time on a salad bar there? Hell, no. That's a distraction so you don't eat so much expensive meat. Go there and enjoy the meat, and only the meat cooked the way you like.

                                1. re: Indirect Heat

                                  Exactly Heat. I too had a group of Brazilian friends and bbq at their home was a whole new experience for me! Miss those days!

                                2. re: sekelmaan

                                  I've been to Grill 23 plenty of times and have never experienced anything I could compare to "drunk guys in blazers" or "an old rich guy frat house". If anything, I find that people are underdressed (very few suits) and that there are a lot of large "birthday" tables. I think the Kobe cap steak is very good and their wine list is hard to compete with. If your goal is a good deal, then no, you might not find it there. And I have had just so-so meals as well. But if you want a steak-house proper, it is hard to find one much better in Boston IMO.


                                  1. re: hungrytommy

                                    Grill 23 has kobe beef available? That seems unlikely but good to know.

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      I don't know if it is Wagyu or Kobe, but they call it Kobe. It is not always on the menu. Sometimes they don't have any in or they only have a little and you have to know to order it. I have had it about half a dozen times and only once was it just ok. The other times I would rate it my favorite steak in Boston.


                                      1. re: hungrytommy

                                        Sorry, I was being facetious. There's a 100% chance that it's wagyu and not kobe. Ok, 99.999999999999999999999999999% chance.

                                        1. re: jgg13

                                          And I was trying to be polite. I agree not Kobe, just called Kobe.


                              2. re: sekelmaan

                                Have you tried Oliveiras? There's several locations, and every time I've been, the place has been packed with Brazillians. On my last visit, they brought out at least five different cuts of beef, including top sirloin and hanger steak, and everything was nicely seasoned with a great char -- plus they're really good about letting you choose exactly what part of the meat you want sliced off. Huge salad bar, too.

                                1. re: sekelmaan

                                  I don't believe Grill 23's 100 Day Aged Ribeye is dry-aged, or advertised as such. As much as I love funky dry-aged flavor, I think about two months of true dry aging would be as much as I'd want, anyway (although I'd be willing to try the Eleven Madison Park 140-day some time!).

                                  It's a wet-aged steak, but a great one, IMO.

                                  As for the Kobe cap, another favorite of mine: No, it's not Japanese A12 Wagyu (given the 10-ounce portion, it would have to cost $300 at least). Pretty sure it's an American cow grown Wagyu style. That said, the marbling is rich and luxurious, and as big an eater as I am, 10 ounces is plenty on that steak.

                                  As for the OP's question: If your budget is $50pp, Grill 23 is probably too expensive, and sounds like you want a steakhouse dinner not just a good steak. Give Bogie's Place a try—I think it'll be perfect.

                                2. Tosca in Hingham serves a really great steak. The broccoli rabe and parmesan truffles "tots" are pretty great too. Crazy prices but I guess comparable to the big steak houses. Well over $50 per person


                                  1. I agree with hungrytommy, not having to go to a steakhouse. For example; Rosetti's in Winthrop has a couple of good steak options on their menu. For a steakhouse, there's also Frank's in Cambridge for a moderdate priced steak.

                                    1. I love prime rib roast and had the best I ever tasted @ Abe & Louis several years ago. Actual USDA Prime grade aged meat. Many high end steakhouses use USDA Choice grade for Prime Rib roast and Filet.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: zackly

                                        I also had a nice meal including a good porterhouse @ DelFrisco's in the new waterfront area.

                                      2. I have been to all of the high-end steakhouses in this city and they are all similar and they all offer good quality meat, nothing earth shattering (there is no Peter Lugar's here) or particularly creative. That being said, I have found that Morton's has the most dry-aged gammyness if that is what you are looking for. I too was underwhelmend by the 100 day aged steak at Grill 23.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ScotchandSirloin

                                          Oh for an order clams casino at the Beef and Ale and a steak from Scotch and Sirloin! Had it not been for real estate wars, the Hilltop would have never had a chance against those landmarks!

                                        2. all of the places you mention have good steaks; i do not think that you are going to do better here in Boston.

                                          1. Not recommending this (unless you want to make it a big joke), but I've been to Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse. What a BIZARRE place! The animal decor on the wall will move and talk, and if you tell the waitstaff that you have a birthday guest, they will sing you a horrible song. I think the steaks were passable, but not the best in the world.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: phreddo

                                              It's the only interactive Canadian-themed restaurant I know of -- and the steaks were always nicely cooked and nicely priced. Not the best in the world, no, but it's fun.

                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                I am not sure they are in business anymore (at least around here, but I really think the franchise/chain is kaput), a casualty of the shit economy of the last decade, but when it was in business, it was a decidedly surreal dining experience for sure!

                                                1. re: devilham

                                                  As far as I know, the one in Braintree is still open. I was there about a year ago, and they were doing decent business, though several of the animatronic animals weren't moving around anymore. I've never had a bad steak there, really, but I have memories of ordering a salad once and getting the only greasy salad I've ever eaten.

                                            2. What about Boston Chops? Its slightly cheaper than Grill 23 but a very good value.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: verka

                                                I only ate at Boston Chops once, but didn't car for it very much. The steak was tough and slightly overcooked. The sides were just ok.


                                              2. Best steak I ever had in Boston was at the new Legal Harborside, upstairs. Pricey, but quite worth it.

                                                1. Flemings has always been my go to place as well as Abe and Louis.

                                                  1. Agreed on the poor value offered by steak houses. I love the steak frites at Aquitaine Bis in Chestnut Hill.

                                                    1. For the "Not a Steakhouse" thing and something different I can recommend the Tip Tap Room. I had a phenomenal Antelope Filet there that was out of this world. They offer a game special everyday (check out their facebook page to find out what it is) to go with their regular menu.

                                                      For the Steakhouse thing, it's very pricey, but I really enjoy Pellana's in Danvers.

                                                      1. For a non-steakhouse, Toro for the hangar steak as well as the bone marrow....