It's not all about steak here, but that's what Manhattan dares to do in competition with the big-name chains like Fleming's and Ruth's Chris breathing down its neck. And with much better prices. The family-owned fine steakhouse has earned its chops, so to speak, with restaurants in New York City, Miami and beyond. Start with the iceberg wedge salad to go along with the addicting soft rolls embedded with crunchy bits of cooked onion. You can order an eight-ounce filet or porterhouses for two to four. There's also a grilled T-bone veal chop, braised grouper with citrus sauce, Dover sole, grilled tuna steak, lobster tails, and lobster ravioli for entrees. For dessert, try the chocolate soufflé a la mode.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: This family-owned operation holds its own - and then some - among the steakhouse giants around it.
Chelle's expert tip: The kitchen cooks the 20-ounce New York strip with the bone in for utmost flavor retention, then filets and slices it before it arrives at the table sputtering hot.
At Inn on Fifth, this restaurant excels at sophistication and personality. The staff goes beyond the extra mile to make your dining experience. They have solid help from the kitchen, which produces the namesake prime steak and creative seafood dishes. Starters such as the spicy tuna tartare with avocado and crispy wonton shreds and six types of sushi including the signature tempura shrimp and beef carpaccio roll are perfect for sharing. Order a craft cocktail from the sexy bar while you are at it. Walls of wine bottles or walls of glass looking out onto a courtyard: your choice. Top entrée picks include filet mignon with Maytag blue cheese crust and pudding-like sea bass with champagne truffle sauce.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Six different sizes and cuts of fine beef plus lamb and pork chops put the "prime" in the restaurant's name.
Chelle's expert tip: The ten-layer carrot cake is an architectural and gastronomic wonder easily shared by two.
Part of a small, Texas-based chain of restaurants, it is anything but cookie-cutter. The dining room seems oversized at first, but its popularity fills the warm, welcoming space at the back of Inn on Fifth most nights. They come for their fix of various varieties of crab, lobster, grouper topped with crawfish and shrimp, miso-glazed sea bass, grilled Faroe Island salmon, sweet and spicy Pacific yellowtail, plus fine steaks and chops. Beef cuts include filet mignon, ribeye with or without bone in and New York strip. The signature Filet Oscar Royale adds caviar to the typical crab, asparagus and béarnaise Oscar topping.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Truluck's prepares its fine steaks masterfully and is a favorite of local beef- and seafood lovers.
Chelle's expert tip: Don't miss the stone crab: Truluck's owns its own nearby fishery. It's that fresh!
It shines at fine beef aged 35 days in an on-premise aging room, but do not dismiss Ario as just another high-priced steakhouse. High-priced it is, but you get what you pay for - exquisite quality. Sit at the display kitchen counter to see chefs at work - a cross between surgeons, artists and magicians. The totally original ice-fire décor of Ario carries the illusion of magic. Then there's the magic in your mouth. Homemade sunflower seed rolls with cinnamon and citrus notes served with butternut squash butter. Charred Portuguese octopus with ink aioli and fried green tomatoes. Miso cod with watercress puree. Bone-in filet mignon and wagyu ribeye. Lamb Presse with yogurt and key lime. Passion fruit créme brulee. Sigh!
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Its dry-aged steaks live up to its tagline: "a serious steak from a serious steakhouse."
Chelle's expert tip: The charred octopus appetizer with fried green tomatoes: Don't miss it.
From the dynamic Venetian-born Chef Fabrizio Aielli and his wife Ingrid, owners also of Sea Salt and Barbatella, comes this newcomer to Naples' rich Italian scene. Away from the other two's downtown locations, Chef Aielli here can work his magic in a more affordable vein, aside from the wonderfully house-aged Nebraska and wagyu cuts of meat. Freshly made pasta, imported charcuterie, ravioli stuffed with Osso Bucco, and dishes such as pork Milanese with burrata, tomato and crispy artichoke put the "Italian" into its name. The menu, however, strays wide of steak and traditional Italian with simply grilled fish, paella, wagyu or Calabrese sausage burgers and a wonderfully charred octopus. If you can't decide between the Venetian doughnuts and carrot cake for dessert, order both.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Dorona house-ages fine wagyu and Nebraska meat and custom cut it for your plate.
Chelle's expert tip: Dorona resurrects the almost-lost art of tableside Caesar salad, presented with impressive panache.
"Excellence" describes Sails Restaurant from start to finish. From start: Owners meticulously sourced decor items such as a Greek marble bar in the shape of a sail, dishware, and the finest seafood and steaks to create a modern European coastal setting and cuisine. Guests select their own fresh seafood, its poundage and its preparation: wood-grilled, salt-baked or seared a la plancha. Artistically presented seafood towers, crudos and tartares launch a memorable experience. Courses of seafood salads, house-made pasta, fine steaks and global entrees ensue. Try the Peppered Tuna Rossini with seared foie gras, black truffle and charcoal-roasted onions; or prime tomahawk rib steak with garlic confit. An exacting wine list and decadent, modern dessert menu are the final excellence icing on this lovely cake.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Steak is a specialty, with cuts from strip to bone-in rib eye.
Chelle's expert tip: Order a seafood tower, layer upon layer of shellfish and fish, for two to share for starters and the deadly sinful chocolate Grand Marnier souffle to finish.
Chops City Grill has two local locations - one on Fifth Avenue South and a second in Bonita Springs. Both underwent multi-million dollar renovations in 2021 that enrichened their decor with velvet banquettes, silver-threaded drapes, deep wood tones, intimate chef's tables, a long exhibition kitchen and an imposing bar. The quality of the steaks continue the sense of extravagance. Wagyu from Japan, Australia, Idaho and Ohio take center stage. Creative side dishes break out of the steakhouse mold with 30-plus rotating selections such as popcorn-creamed corn and fresh pumpkin ceviche. Chops' name is a double entendre for its fine steaks and its chopstick (Asian influence) fare, and seafood continues to get its due on the latest menu.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Chops sources the highest grade of meat and sells it at the most affordable prices possible in today's market.
Chelle's expert tip: From 5:30 to 9, take advantage of two-course special with wine for $39 per person.
Jimmy P's grew out of a popular long-standing butcher shop selling the finest in prime meats. The restaurant brings those steaks to the table for lunch and dinner, including Wagyu cuts and Kobe craft burgers and hot dogs. Specialties include the bone-in ribeye, filet mignon with lobster tail and seared grouper. On the lunch menu, you will also find deli sandwiches, salads, and chicken wings. Other dinner specialties include Berkshire pork ribs, coq au vin, stuffed marrow bones and charred octopus. Dark wood and brick set the warm, clubby tone. Jimmy P's has opened a second restaurant in Bonita Springs.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: This has long been one of Naples' favorite places to find top quality meat and more.
Chelle's expert tip: For added decadence, have your steak topped with truffled goat cheese butter.
Nothing beats a dinner out at the Ritz, where service, setting and culinary excellence combine to foment an experience that transcends mere eating by miles. The Grill excels in fine steaks but also knows its way around seafood. Dry-aged cuts include New York strip, ribeye and Delmonico, plus filet mignon, veal chop and Colorado rack of lamb. Why not splurge further and add a side of foie gras or half a lobster tail? Non-steak signature entrees run the gamut from duck breast and Atlantic salmon to classic Dover sole meuniere. Despite its formality, the atmosphere feels relaxed. Live music, usually light piano, frequently entertains. Note: The Grill is currently closed until December 2021.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: It regularly ranks among Florida's top restaurants and excels at fine cuts of beef.
Chelle's expert tip: It's known for its dessert souffle - the Grand Marnier is best. Don't forget to order it early in the meal as it takes some time to bake.
The Continental is what foodies term a "meatery," a step above standard steakhouses. Its niche is two-fold: name-ranch steaks and craft cocktails. The steak takes center stage, however. It occupies one page of the dinner food menu, divided among the restaurant's four beef providers. Each touts its own connoisseur-level characteristics. Yet The Continental is clearly no ordinary steakhouse. Owners break the mold with their menus, but also with the restaurant's design. The dining room, which shows the telltale opulence of a typical steakhouse, opens onto the courtyard, where a convivial bar, bougainvillea-framed setting, cabanas and live dinner entertainment make this something wholly other.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Continental breaks out of the steakhouse setting mold but excels in bringing connoisseurs exclusive, signature steaks.
Chelle's expert tip: If key lime blackberry pie is on the day's pie menu, don't pass it up.