What is "good" steak? For some, only restaurants that use USDA-approved steaks are the best. But there must be more to a truly "good" steak than marbling and tenderness. When compiling this list, we asked ourselves a few key questions: Do these restaurants use USDA prime grade or similarly high-quality beef? Do they prepare steaks in a unique, instantly memorable way? Are they nationally recognized steakhouses? Yes, yes, and yes.
The steakhouses on this list use more than just physically high-quality steaks. The chefs and grill masters behind these beautiful hunks of beef are passionate about steak, and they express this love by creating steak that is unique in style, seasoning, and flavor. Rest assured, finding a beautifully marbled, melt-in-your-mouth, downright life-changing cut of steak is possible. If it really does take a little ingenuity, patience, and flair to make the ideal steak, then these restaurants just may be serving up perfection on a plate. At the end of this article, you can learn more about how we chose the restaurants for this list.
The Palm Restaurant
From the '20s to today, The Palm's main passion has always been steak. Its creators, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi, understood the power of a well-cooked steak and a glass of red. Food rations may have ruined many restaurants during World War II, but not The Palm. Bozzi and Ganzi kept their customers satisfied with their seemingly endless supply of prime beef. The Palm's commitment to serving only the highest-quality prime beef has never wavered, even as the restaurant's procurement tactics and ownership have changed with the times.
Nowadays, the restaurant reigns supreme on a Mashed ranking of national steakhouse chains. The reason why is apparent after just one bite of The Palm's 12-ounce center-cut filet mignon. But the steak's lush, buttery texture doesn't happen overnight. Raised from cattle, the corn-fed beef is dry-aged for over one month so that the steak can one day be tender and flavorful. Don't be fooled by the term "dry-aging," however; when done right, your steak should be as thick and juicy as ever. By the time The Palm's center-cut filet makes it to your table, it's been primed to be as luxurious as possible -- just as Bozzi and Ganzi intended.
Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky may have made Tasting Table's list of the best filet mignons in New York City, but you can find the venerated steakhouse everywhere from Columbus to Miami Beach to London. And every time you walk under Smith & Wollensky's signature green awning, you can bank on finding USDA prime and gold-grade Wagyu porterhouse steaks. The steakhouse is known for having both classically-prepared and one-of-a-kind steak options, from its 10-ounce signature filet mignon to its spicy Cajun marinated dry-aged bone-in ribeye.
Cajun spice isn't the only unconventional flavor you'll find at Smith & Wollensky. Try the coffee and cocoa-rubbed filet if you get the chance. This may sound like a strange combination, but coffee and chocolate add a sharp sweetness to the beef that enhances its naturally earthy flavor. You already know you're going to get first-rate steak at Smith & Wollensky, and the unexpectedly delicious flavors only make your dinner more memorable. And to really set a spectacular dinner scene, you can order Smith & Wollensky's signature swinging tomahawk, a 44-ounce American Wagyu bone-in ribeye, which is prepared tableside. Talk about dinner and a show.
Black Angus Steakhouse
With locations along the West Coast and Hawaii, Black Angus Steakhouse knows a thing or two about heat. The steakhouse has perfected its aptly named Black Angus dry rub, which gives an added smokiness to the already-roasted prime rib and flame-grilled steaks. Its use of Certified Angus Beef means that its offerings of bone-in ribeye, NY strip, top sirloin, and filet mignon are not only high-quality but ethically and humanely sourced.
When you encounter meat with the Certified Angus Beef brand logo, you can rest easy knowing that it has passed the brand's 10 requirements to be considered quality meat. Of these 10 requirements, it's the marbling, sizing, and tenderness of the meat that matters the most. By the time your steak makes it onto your fork, it has gone through a rigorous and selective qualifying process. Apart from its selective beef sourcing, Black Angus' expertise comes from decades of experience. Over 60 years, Black Angus has perfected its western-style flame-grilled steaks. Serving up thick steaks with an aromatic char is Black Angus' bread and butter.
Ruth's Chris has been perfecting the art of steaks since back when it was known only as "Chris'". The chain may also be one of the most widespread on this list, as there are locations in 38 states and 21 countries. The reason behind the chain's popularity undoubtedly has something to do with its mouth-watering steaks, which are dependably tender and always sizzling no matter which Ruth's Chris location you're in.
Ruth's Chris uses USDA-approved prime-grade steak, so you know you're getting the best beef on the market. You can tell it's good when the steak arrives at your table and is still crackling from the 1800 F broiler. To ensure that your steak is always melt-in-your-mouth tender and dripping with butter, you eat it off of a 500 F plate. Ruth's Chris is so beloved, in fact, that when we asked our readers to tell us their favorite steakhouse chain restaurant, Ruth's Chris was the big winner with 32% of the votes. We'd trust our readers with this one -- we don't play around when it comes to finding a quality steak dinner.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse And Wine Bar
Back in the '90s, restaurateur Paul Fleming had a bold idea: to open a steakhouse that served high-quality steak at affordable prices. Nowadays, the restaurant usually offers eight types of steak, and over the last thirty years, the restaurant has broken steak-cooking down to a science. No matter which kind of steak you order, it's prepared the same way: The steak is dry-aged for 21 days, then rubbed with kosher salt and pepper. This may sound a little too simple, but Fleming's has proven that steak doesn't need to be complicated to be delicious.
In fact, all it takes for a delectable steak dinner is USDA prime beef, whether in the form of a NY strip, tomahawk, or ribeye. Most of the steak is broiled at 1600 F, which is usually a quicker process than grilling, especially in a fast-paced restaurant setting. Plus, broiling steak -- particularly less fatty cuts, like flank or strip steak -- gives the meat a firm char without sacrificing its moisture. This, plus the fact that every steak is prepared by expert chefs, means you're practically guaranteed a juicy cut of steak at Fleming's.
Morton's The Steakhouse
When you hear the name "Morton's The Steakhouse", you probably imagine a warmly-lit booth that's hazy with cigar smoke and towering with sizzling hunks of steak. Despite this classically luxurious scene, Morton's actually began as the home of the "million-dollar hamburger", not the "million-dollar steak." Nevertheless, Morton's dedication to serving up USDA prime beef never waned, and now it's known for its consistently tender, beautifully marbled steaks.
Morton's has singled itself out as "The Steakhouse," and it's clear why. Its chefs really know their way around a hunk of meat, if the restaurant's famous "secrets" for achieving a perfect cut of beef is any indication. Luckily for us, Morton's has shared some of its secrets on its website. "Look for beef that is a true red with creamy flecks of fat," the steakhouse advises. Of course, it's easier to find this specific kind of marbling when you're in a highly-regarded steakhouse with access to the best beef on the market. You may as well skip the supermarket and treat yourself to a classic Morton's steak, cigar not required.
If humans are truly carnivores at heart, then Mastro's is every meat-lover's paradise. From salty sea-fresh lobster tails to beefy American Wagyu steak, Mastro's knows its way around surf and turf. So why not put both on your plate? Mastro's Steakhouse earned its spot on Tasting Table's list of the best oceanside steakhouse surf and turf with its delectable steak and seafood offerings. From its lean-yet-juicy standard filet to its succulent bone-in ribeye, Mastro's steaks are USDA prime.
The steaks are almost always wet-aged as well, meaning they're marinated in a vacuum-sealed bag for weeks on end. This process is meant to give the steaks a fresher flavor as opposed to the deeper, richer flavor achieved by dry-aging. The restaurant's varied protein options go for $50+, but for good reason: The Japanese A5 Wagyu hails from the Miyazaki Prefecture, a region of Japan where farmers specialize in raising the famous black Wagyu cattle. Mastro's True A5 Kobe beef is also highly coveted, and is considered the most "exclusive beef in the world," according to the restaurant.
Fogo De Chão
Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian rodizio steakhouse, meaning that waiters will continuously bring skewers of meat to your table until you (or your stomach) have had enough. Fogo de Chão is truly one of the best restaurants to gorge yourself on everything from the NY strip to fan-favorite picanha. It helps that Fogo de Chão is one of the only restaurants in the U.S. where you can find picanha, or sirloin cap, that has been prepared in the traditional Brazilian churrasco style. This cooking style gives the picanha a uniquely smoky flavor. This is only one of the reasons why the restaurant's meat is so delicious, however.
Fogo de Chão only uses USDA choice or higher-grade steak, so you know you're getting some of the best picanha around. Mashed had the opportunity to speak to Fogo de Chão's Southeast Area Director Rudimer Bonfada, and he vouched for the expertise of the chefs behind the picanha. "Our gauchos go through such rigorous training, even how to salt the meat on the grill," he said. "It's all done by eye. They develop such an expertise to get to that level."
The Capital Grille
Who among us hasn't dug into a gloriously juicy filet mignon or perfectly charred seared tenderloin at The Capital Grille? A celebration wouldn't be as satisfying without a visit to the beloved steakhouse. There are Capital Grilles all across the U.S., and chances are you'll be able to find a mouthwatering array of high-quality steaks to choose from. On Tasting Table's ranking of the most delicious dishes to order from the Capital Grille, the restaurant's bone-in ribeye steak was victorious. You'll want to sink your teeth into the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye the second you lay eyes on its zesty seared crust.
Other beloved steak dishes include the lush seared tenderloin, which is almost as buttery as the poached lobster tails placed on top, as well as the classic filet mignon, which is 10 ounces of pure prime beef. Perhaps the restaurant's secret weapon is its in-house butcher. You can order steak grille boxes as a gift or just as a luxurious present to yourself, as the cuts are chosen by the aforementioned in-house butcher and shipped alongside The Capital Grille Signature Steak Sauce.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse boasts at least 11 types of steak, (12 if you include the Wagyu meatballs), at its 20 locations across the U.S. You know it's good since it made Tasting Table's list of the best steakhouses in Dallas, Texas. At Del Frisco's, the steak drips with almost as much luxury as the restaurant's ornate decor -- "almost" being the operative word. This luxury can be attributed to the restaurant's highly selective steak procurement process. In addition to classic cuts like filet mignon and bone-in ribeye, Del Frisco's also serves a 6-ounce A5 Japanese Wagyu steak for $160. Trust us when we say this steak is well worth the price.
One of the most sought-after types of steaks in the world, Japanese Wagyu is exclusive, beautifully marbled, and pretty much as high-quality as steak can get. Don't worry: Del Frisco's other steak offerings are equally first-rate, as its beef is USDA prime-grade. All of this considered the high prices are probably starting to make more sense. And when it comes to steak, do you really want anything less than the best?
High-class dining usually comes with a high price tag. So when the creator of Texas Roadhouse, Kent Taylor, first sketched his version of a high-class steakhouse on a cocktail napkin, he didn't include exorbitant prices. Instead, the steakhouse chain was dedicated -- and still is -- to providing hungry customers with a wide variety of steaks for every taste. From your dad's beloved porterhouse t-bone to your mom's bloody prime rib, there's something for everyone on the menu. Even your picky little brother will be thrilled with Texas Roadhouse's Road Kill, which is really just chopped steak served with melted cheese. Best of all, these steaks have all the elegance of a high-class steakhouse without the crushing prices.
The chain prides itself on serving solely homemade foods, and its steaks are hand-cut by an in-house butcher. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Texas Roadhouse's Dallas Filet nabbed the winning spot on this ranking of the restaurant's steaks. After all, it's everything we love about Texas in a 6 or 8-ounce filet: It's tough on the outside but tender on the inside, with a light sear that locks in the steak's natural flavor. Bless its heart.
You don't have to be a steak expert to see that LongHorn Steakhouse is doing something right. The Tasting Table staff took it upon themselves to rank popular LongHorn Steakhouse menu items, and lo and behold, the dish that reigned supreme was the restaurant's robust Outlaw Ribeye. A whopping 20 ounces of flavorful marbled steak, the Outlaw Ribeye's use of proprietary char seasoning brings to mind a crackling campfire and a grizzled cowboy. For a less fiery flavor, try Flo's filet. The soft, tender filet nails its role as the star of the plate, and the colorful cast of characters surrounding the star -- lush lobster tails or fragrant grilled shrimp, to name just a few -- serve to compliment the steak's rich flavor.
Every steak has a signature kick that is achieved by the restaurant's use of premium beef and the real-life Grill Masters hired to cook it. When so much effort goes into making the perfect cut of steak, we can see why LongHorn considers all of its steak dishes to be "legendary."
Black Rock Bar & Grill
Black Rock Bar & Grill takes customer satisfaction to daring levels. Instead of lavishing steak with luxurious spices and marinades, this steakhouse lets the Certified Angus beef do all the talking... and we mean that literally. When your steak arrives at your table, it's practically still mooing. That's because it's up to you to cook your own steak at Black Rock. Whether you order the filet medallions or the 6-ounce sirloin, your steak will be served atop a scorching hot 755 F volcanic rock.
If cooking your own steak over a dangerously hot volcanic rock isn't your ideal relaxing dinner, you can still request a made-to-order steak to be professionally prepared. Cooking it yourself, however, does help to ensure that every bite of your steak is sizzlingly satisfying and prepared to your exact specifications. At Black Rock, steak isn't only a food — it's a dining experience.
Stoney River Steakhouse And Grill
Some steakhouses have fully embraced the benefits of a bloody steak, and Stoney River is one of them. This restaurant hardly ever cooks its steaks more than medium-well. Red meat can be a rich source of protein and iron when eaten in moderation. So Stoney River may be onto something with its "rare steak only" philosophy. Its high-quality preparation method, which favors rare and medium-rare steak, preserves the meat's natural juices.
Whether they order the coffee-cured filet mignon or the "cowboy cut" ribeye, customers have come to expect a thick cut of meat that's flecked with fat and seared to perfection. The restaurant's use of a Montague broiler, which broils the steaks at 1,600 F, gives the meat its seasoned char. But don't let the tough exterior fool you. All it takes is a knife and fork to be greeted by a rich, red interior swimming with juices and bursting with flavor.
Houston's: A steakhouse for lovers... and lovers of steak. It's the ideal setting for those in need of a romantic evening, a bottle of wine, and a delectable, juicy steak. You won't find large, boisterous parties of 12 here; instead, you'll find a quiet atmosphere that's perfect for a couple in search of some alone time. Houston's steakhouse pampers its guests with an extensive, varied wine menu. Even more selective are the steaks, which are USDA prime and prepared in unique ways depending on the location.
At the restaurant's Atlanta location, you can order fall-off-the-bone Knife & Fork Barbecue Ribs. In Memphis, you can chow down on the tangy Hawaiian ribeye, which is soaked in a pineapple-soy-ginger marinade before it's served to your exact specifications. New Jersey's Berger County location offers USDA prime French dip au jus on a toasted French roll. Variety may be the spice of life at Houston's, but when it comes to the beef's high quality, the restaurant's standards never waver.
When choosing which establishments to include on this list, I searched for chain restaurants and steakhouses that are nationally known, highly reputed, and offer diverse and memorable dining experiences. By reading each restaurant's website as well as reputable news articles, I determined that almost every restaurant on this list uses USDA prime-grade beef or Certified Angus Beef, which are two nationally recognized and trusted rating systems. I referred to reputable reviews and rankings from Tasting Table and Mashed articles as well as my own experience as a steak-lover on a budget to narrow this list down.
If a restaurant's USDA rating wasn't printed on its site or in reputable news articles, then it made the list based on its unique offerings and positive reputation. After a vast search that included each restaurant's website and menu, as well as the expertise of the Tasting Table staff and myself, I ended up with 15 restaurants that range in location, steak preparation method, price point, and overall uniqueness.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.