If you like staring at beautiful cuts of meat as if they were the culinary equivalent of the Mona Lisa, go and visit Michael's on Simcoe's many social media accounts. If you have too much money burning a hole in your pocket and you have an equal hole in your stomach, then it is an excellent place to sup. A celebrity hot spot during TIFF, this is the place for melt in your mouth steak that will likely elicit grunts of delight. Go for USDA Prime Angus or Japanese kobe beef. Warning: the latter can set you back $528 for 24 ounces. What else are expense accounts for?
Recommended for Steakhouses because: A picture perfect meaty menu, and the opportunity to run into a carnivorous celebrity.
Courtney's expert tip: The in-house baked bread is addictive, but try your best to save some room for the star of the show: the meat.
The Keg mansion is certainly the best Toronto location of this chain of North American restaurants. The gothic heritage building was built in 1868, during a period of great wealth in Toronto. It has had some renovations since, but apparently retains some of its history in the form of ghosts. You can visit this location on one of Toronto's ghost walks, or go to feast in a stunning atmosphere. The rich appetizers impress, such as Baked Brie or Scallops and Bacon. The prices are impressively lower than average for prime cuts of meat such as Filet Mignon or Manhattan Cut New York. Some cuts have inventive toppings, such as pecans and goat cheese that complement rather than overshadow the steak.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: One of the more romantic choices, the gorgeous mansion is worth seeing even if you don't want to dine.
Courtney's expert tip: You can add a blue cheese crust to any steak for $1. This information is not on the menu, but it may just be the best $1 you have ever spent.
The Fifth & Terrace inspired and offers some of Toronto's finest ambiance. Catch a vertically opening vintage freight elevator to the loft space, which will offer relief from cold winter weather or even oppressive summer sun. You can cozy up with a fancy red wine next to an impressive fireplace, or dine alfresco on the gazebo terrace. Tuck into your choice of gorgeous steak, or sample the mixed grill which will give you the chef's daily selection of three types of grilled meats. The wine list is extensive, and live jazz music often echoes in the background. Incroyable, as the French would say.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The fantastic experience provided by the scintillating atmosphere is further accentuated with flawlessly executed food.
Courtney's expert tip: If you are visiting Toronto in the summer, dining alfresco at the Fifth is a must. Although more informal than the rest of the restaurant, the terrace gives the mood of a gorgeous patio in France. It is open year round but truly shines during the warm months.
This gem of a restaurant lies within walking distance to the night life on King Street West. The Shore Club on Wellington is upscale and impressive, with a warmth that could heat up the iciest Toronto day. The decor pays tribute to art deco ocean liners, and the main dining room exudes elegance. With high ceilings and esteemed artwork, it is worth having some time to let your eyes wander beyond the food. When it comes to the food, however, The Shore Club is a great place to go for variety. Not only are the beautiful cuts of meat (such as Porterhouse and Filet Mignon) cooked to perfection, but the seafood is much more than an afterthought. Try the salmon wellington, which surprises with the sweetness of papaya. Or go whole hog and have the steak and lobster. Don't you deserve the best?
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Shore Club provides a five star experience. Scrumptious food, stylish service and no pretension. It is a superb way to get your steak fix.
Courtney's expert tip: If you are driving, you can use the valet service at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The valet bill of $15 will be added to your bill at The Shore Club for convenience.
There are many things that Canadians insist are best when home-grown. However, steak is not necessarily one of them, and this American transplant has attentive service and succulent steak. Underneath the Hilton, and a stone throw from the Delta Chelsea, it is a traveler's dream. The filet mignon has been described as "melt in your mouth delicious." The Porterhouse for Two can be a romantic experience, or you can go all out and try to master the Cowboy Steak, which is an impressively daunting 22 ounces. The steaks are cooked at 500 degrees Fahrenheit and arrive at the table sizzling. The sides are generously proportioned, and rich enough to bring a vegetarian home happy.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Cuts of meat are seared to perfection and the underground location supplies romantic lighting that makes the steak look like it could model.
Courtney's expert tip: Look out for Ruth Chris deals during Toronto's Summerlicious and Winterlicious months. It is one of the rare times when you can spend under $50 for a three course dinner.
With cozy golden lighting, solid wood furniture and a grand piano providing background music, Jacobs & Co does not miss a detail. Situated in downtown Toronto, the service, food and atmosphere is consistently top-notch. Jacobs & Co showcases its dry aged beef in the middle of the dining room in a climate controlled glass case. Chef Danny McCallum is incredibly proud of the fresh food that he serves, with the steaks aged, butchered and portioned on the premises. They have a french frier that only uses duck fat to make the most crisp and addictive french fries that you have ever tasted. They also supply Canadian flavour with poutine on the menu, but it is classed up with fois gras chicken gravy. This incredible food has nothing to hide.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The dry aged beef is a cut above the rest, and the main problem is how much stomach space you have to fill.
Courtney's expert tip: The sommelier will be happy to help you to make an informed decision about what to choose to wash down the meal. It is worth considering calling in advance to help you to navigate the extensive wine list.
With 78 locations worldwide, Morton's may not be the most unique steakhouse experience. However, there is a reason it has been dubbed the Rolls Royce of Steakhouses. The decor in Morton's is sleek and modern. Located in Toronto's chic Yorkville neighbourhood, the white linen tablecloths inspire a classic fine dining experience. The staff will go through the details of each cut of meat if you are a steak neophyte. Even though the steak may be the highlight, appetizers such as lobster bisque and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella come highly recommended. The USDA prime aged beef is outstanding, and deliciously succulent. That white tablecloth may not stay immaculate for long, but it will be worth every bite.
The waterfront in Toronto is a prized location, and this restored 1917 Harbour Commission building offers a stunning backdrop for some of the best steak in the city. There are three levels of dining on offer, with baroque inspired decor. Harbour Sixty is dripping with opulence, from tall candlesticks to marble countertops and freshly ironed tablecloths. The lovely ambience works well to match the high-quality standards of the food. The steaks are well-seasoned and juicy on the inside. The side dishes are often infused with gourmet ingredients, such as lobster mac and cheese and truffle mashed potatoes. Should you have room for dessert, the Coconut Cream Pie is dreamy.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Both the food and the clientele are upscale, with portions often big enough to feed several people.
Courtney's expert tip: This is not a restaurant to go to in jeans. The dress code is business casual, and jackets are encouraged.
Tom Jones is the place to go to if you have reached an age where you already are starting to say "I remember the days when..." Those days will be back in a flash with stained glass windows, warm woods and waiters in tuxedos. One staircase doubles as a bookshelf, and you can almost imagine gentlemen talking shop with fat cigars, long before green juice counted as dinner. It is dark and cozy, begging you to spend 15 minutes to watch your waiter make your Caesar salad at the table. The portions are quite generous, and the Chateaubriand is worth capping off a special occasion. Located in the Bay and King financial district, this place requires a pretty penny, but is class all the way.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Put on your freshly ironed shirt. You will be awarded with impressive cuts of meat and an award winning wine list.
Courtney's expert tip: Visit the Conclave Room to view pictures of Toronto in the 1800s. Hint: there isn't a Starbucks in sight.
You can excuse Barberian's for having a slightly dated atmosphere (and website). The restaurant opened in 1959 and some of the patrons have a long standing history, equating Barberian's with celebration for more than 50 years, which certainly bodes well. Barberian's has a simple charm with artwork by the Group of Seven hanging on the walls. All of the steaks are aged on the premises. There are a myriad of steak sizes and proportions, and the chef's quiet confidence shines through from the first bite. If you are not in the mood for steak, rack of lamb with mint jelly and salmon also get rave reviews. If you have a special occasion, consider renting out the Wine Cellar at Barbarians. Housing 20,000 bottles floor to ceiling with the fragrance of fresh cork, it is an unforgettable space. Ask to visit before you sit down for dinner.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Barberian's is guaranteed to impress, whether it is an esteemed colleague or an admired date.
Courtney's expert tip: Consider going to Barberian's after a night at the theatre. They have a wonderful after-theatre menu, which includes cheese or beef fondue for two. Enjoy the free pickled vegetables, which some claim are even better than the incredible steak. Plus, you don't get a lot of free at most steakhouses.