For those of you that know me personally you know how much I love a big slab of medium rare beef on my plate.
To me there’s no better food than an inch and a half plus thick ribeye that’s been rubbed and grilled to perfection. No sauce, please.
With that in mind, this is my kind of top ten list. From MSN’s City Guides section, the top ten U.S. Steak Houses:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: Gruet Steakhouse
When the winemakers at Gruet Winery decided to create Albuquerque’s best steakhouse, they didn’t miss. Gruet Steakhouse mixes an American love of beef with the French sensibilities of the owners, Laurent Gruet and Farid Himeur, who have been making French-style sparkling wine, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in New Mexico since the 1980s.
ATLANTA: Kevin Rathbun Steak
Finding a 100-year-old Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce bottle, authenticated by the raised letters and the JDS on the bottom, referencing its first U.S. importer, John Duncan, was just one of the lucky strokes that preceded the opening of Kevin Rathbun Steak. Revived and renovated, the early 20th-century building retains its old touches, such as its textured brick walls.
AUSTIN, TEXAS: Finn & Porter
Executive chef Jeffrey Cummins (formerly of Napa Rose) is producing food good enough to make this a fine-dining destination for locals as well as traveling foodies. The porterhouse steaks have solidified Finn & Porter’s reputation, being some of the best Austin has to offer thanks to 28 days of aging and the kitchen’s expert grilling.
BALTIMORE: The Prime Rib Restaurant
Sexy black lacquer walls, a leopard-print carpet, a white, Lucite-topped piano complete with tuxedoed player teasing out jazzed-up standards — we get giddy just thinking about this place. Huge sprays of flowers fill the wall’s arched niches. And the vivacious clamor of a tony crowd, part power brokers, part romancers, greets us like the happy sound of ice cubes clinking in two-fingers of bourbon.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.: Mastro’s Steakhouse
An import from Scottsdale, Ariz., Mastro’s embraces classic steakhouse traditions as warmly as it welcomes the moneyed clientele that frequent this bustling eatery. A relatively sedate dining room occupies the ground floor, while a lively bar scene — downright boisterous by buttoned-down steakhouse standards — awaits upstairs, along with additional dining space.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.: Peter Luger
For over a century, carnivores have been traversing the Williamsburg Bridge to the Brooklyn side to sample consistently excellent steaks at Peter Luger. Established in 1887, the steakhouse delivers plus-size porterhouse steaks prepared in a method that has not changed since the first day they fired up the grill. Start with a tomato and onion salad, doused with steak sauce — the sauce is there strictly for the salad and for dipping rolls into, and should not be allowed to touch the delectable meat.
CHICAGO: David Burke’s Primehouse
This hotel restaurant near the Magnificent Mile offers contemporary fare like the pretzel-crusted crab cake with poppy seed honey and lobster bisque with green apple essence alongside a lobster stick. But the focus is squarely on steak. Try “South Side” filet mignon or “Kentucky” rib-eye, the latter state acting as the source for all of the top-tier meat served here.
DENVER: Elway’s Cherry Creek
Walk in, turn right at the serene water wall and you’re smack-dab in one of Denver’s most popular local watering holes. Strewn with multiple TVs tuned to sporting events, a baby grand piano and a sports memorabilia display showcasing star Bronco quarterback John Elway’s impressive career, it’s a lively gathering place for singles on the prowl, pin-striped business executives and couples who enjoy the live music.
GREENVILLE, MISS.: Doe’s Eat Place
In these parts of Mississippi, Doe’s is a legend. And the word is out, far beyond the town of Greenville. Real foodies make the trek to this family-owned, bona fide holdout (circa 1941) inside an old grocery store. Since the original Doe’s debuted, a few other branches have opened up, but none pass muster like this one. Steaks aged for 21 days are cut daily. On checked tablecloths, indulge in the no frills filet mignon, juicy rib-eye and T-bone.
LAS VEGAS: SW Steakhouse
Wynn Las Vegas visionary Steve Wynn has his initials written all over this vibrant steakhouse. To reach it, diners ride down a regal winding escalator and enter its spacious foyer furnished with plush chairs and couches and a dazzling bar. They are then seated in the elegant dining room or on the patio facing Wynn’s Lake of Dreams backed by a lush forest with a calming water wall on which a light show is presented at 9 p.m. nightly