The Most-Over-the-Top Steaks in the Country
Not content just to fan a filet over a flame, some chefs are taking their steak dishes over the top in quantity, quality and creativity. Here are 18 of the most-insane steaks in the country.
Photo By: Jeff Green
Photo By: Logan Crable
Photo By: Daniel Ortiz
42-Ounce Chile-Rubbed Double Rib Eye at SW Steakhouse at the Wynn, Las Vegas
It takes more than an average cut of beef to qualify as Best Thing I Ever Ate. Chef David Walzog of SW Steakhouse was featured on the Food Network show for his rib eye, a massive 42-ounce double cut rubbed with chile and topped with grilled onions, jalapenos and sweet peppers.
$1,000 Tartare at Benjamin Steakhouse, New York
With three New York locations plus an outpost in Japan, Benjamin Steakhouse offers a steal of a lunch special ($39 for three courses, including a prime New York sirloin), but the star of the show here isn't for bargain hunters. The $1,000 Tartare lives up to its luxurious name, including tuna toro, California Gold uni, Alaska king crab, osetra caviar, wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, an Opus One wine reduction and, to top it all off, edible-gold leaves.
Skewered Wagyu at Azumi, Baltimore
Azumi boasts fresh fish selected from Tokyo's iconic Tsukiji Market and old fashioneds made with Japanese whiskey, but don't miss the steak. This spot offers Japanese wagyu from Miyazaki (the most-revered prefecture) as well as from Australia, but what sets it apart is an izakaya-style barbecue approach to cooking. The beef, served on skewers, is cooked over white-oak binchotan charcoal at a scorching 1,800 degrees.
Grilled Skirt Steak at RN74 Seattle
Michael Mina is a busy chef. Between running food halls in Honolulu and cooking for U.S. presidents, he has his hands full. You can find almost every type of food at one of his 30 restaurants, but his most-over-the-top steak is served at regional French restaurant RN74 Seattle. With a little help from Executive Chef Thomas Griese, Mina has concocted a grilled Meyer Ranch skirt steak topped with a veal demi-glaze, smoked pimenton de la Vera aioli, foraged wild-pea vines, Basque-style marbled potatoes and a viola garnish.
Wagyu Cheesesteak at Barclay Prime, Philadelphia
Barclay Prime strives not to be just another stuffy fine-dining restaurant, as is evident from its irreverent preparation of wagyu beef. Though wagyu is typically served in tasting portions, due to the expense, Barclay Prime uses the succulent beef in a traditional Philly cheesesteak and adds even more luxe ingredients like foie gras and truffles. Don't believe the beef is really from Japan? Just ask to see the certificate with the cow's date of birth, name and weight. And since the price tag is so extreme ($120), the house generously throws in a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
Surf and Turf Sashimi at Flight Club, Chicago
Flight Club's Surf and Turf Sashimi is listed only in the appetizer section of the menu, but it's rich enough that it deserves to be in a category of its own. Experience the raw flavor of wagyu beef, amplified by horseradish crema and yuzu crab salad, all served on top of a Himalayan salt block.
Tomahawk Ribeye, Oaxacan Style at Poca Madre, Washington, D.C.
Mexican restaurants aren't typically associated with steak, but D.C.'s Poca Madre takes a contemporary approach to the cuisine that includes much more than just fajitas. The Tomahawk Ribeye is meant for sharing and intended to recreate the experience of eating meat straight off the grill in Oaxaca. It's seasoned in the style of bistec adobado and served with bone marrow-passila de Oaxaca sauce as well as a delicious homemade salsa.
The "Stock It" Steak at Stock Hill, Kansas City, Missouri
This Kansas City steakhouse has earned accolades like being named one of the Best Steakhouses in America by Thrillist, so you can trust the chefs at the grill. They offer both wet- and dry-aged beef, a rarity even among the most-high-end chophouses, but another thing that sets them apart is their customization. Order any steak and ask them to "Stock It" and you'll receive that filet topped with blue cheese, a walnut blend (including some maple syrup) and house bacon seasoned with 10 different spices.
Tasting Flights at The Butcher's Table, Seattle
The proprietors of acclaimed steakhouse The Butcher's Table want you to try their Japanese beef — so much so that they offer their Mishima Reserve full-blooded Japanese Black wagyu in tasting flights. For those looking to try different fat grades, the Manhattan-cut New York and filet mignon offer four-ounce portions of 4-star, 5-star and Ultra quality. The other option is to explore different cuts of the cow, with four pieces of 5-star beef, including the eye of rib, New York strip, cap of rib eye, and filet mignon.
Smoked Prime Bavette with Shishito Salsa Verde at Loro, Austin
Loro is a dream collaboration between barbecue legend Aaron Franklin and beloved Texas sushi pioneer Tyson Cole. Their bavette steak starts off cold-smoked, then receives an extra burst of flavor courtesy of brisket fat that creates a sous vide effect and supercharges the steak with umami. Then it hits the grill, where it's cooked over charcoal made from post oak — perhaps the only traditional thing about this very special steak.
Korean Barbecue Feast at Cote, New York
Diners love Korean barbecue because it gives them a rare opportunity to cook the meat themselves. With a grill in the middle of the table, servers typically deliver raw meat that sizzles as it becomes medium rare right before your eyes. Cote applies a steakhouse mentality to that concept, offering not just marinated galbi short rib, but beef certified as USDA Prime and American wagyu. For the best deal, order the $52-per-person feast.
The Carnivore at GT Prime, Chicago
The Daily Meal called GT Prime one of the 50 top steakhouses in America, and this Chicago institution excels not just at beef sourcing, but also in terms of old-fashioned gluttony. Those looking for a unique experience should opt for The Carnivore, four 8-ounce cuts of beef filet, venison, bison and American wagyu. Sure, it's meant for sharing, but that doesn't make The Carnivore any less extreme.
Wagyu Katsu Sandu at B&B Butchers and Restaurant, Houston
Japan exports some of the most-succulent beef in the universe. It's most often enjoyed in small portions, cooked quickly over binchotan charcoal and served in delicate rare bites, but the chefs at B&B Butchers have rewritten the wagyu cookbook by taking an A5 sirloin (the highest grade of marbling) and deep-frying it in panko crumbs, then serving it between two pieces of buttered and toasted white bread. The $120 price tag might just make it the most-expensive sandwich in the country.
Silver Butter Knife Steak at Murray's Restaurant, Minneapolis
Since 1946, Murray's has been a staple of the downtown Minneapolis dining scene, thanks to not just the quality of its meat, but also the lengths to which this place goes to turn a steak into a special occasion. The Dijon brandy peppercorn-crusted New York strip sirloin and blue cheese-crusted filet are impressive, but Murray's is best known for the showmanship that goes along with its Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two, a 28-ounce sirloin that's carved tableside.
The Big Texan at The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
They say everything's bigger in Texas, and of course that also applies to the steaks. Back when The Big Texan opened in 1960, beer was a quarter and on Fridays a $5 fee earned cowboys an all-you-can-eat feast — whoever finished the most meat won back his money. The tradition continues today, but with a few more rules (and a higher entry fee of $72). The meal must be completed in one hour, you're not allowed to stand up, and no one's allowed to help. Entering the hall of fame is naturally the goal, but if you don't finish all 72 ounces there's still a nice consolation: You can bring home the leftovers.
Duck Fat Zabuton Steak at Scout PNW, Seattle
At hip-hop diner Scout PNW inside the Thompson Seattle hotel, Chef Derek Simcik takes an innovative approach to his beef, dry-curing it in a method similar to that used for prosciutto. Duck fat caps one side as it ages for two weeks, then it's cooked sous vide for three days, making it one of the richest and most-tender steaks in the country.
6 Pounds of Top Sirloin at Kelsey's Steakhouse, Valparaiso, Indiana
If you're looking for the most-insane steak eating challenge in the U.S., look no further. Kelsey's gives diners one hour to demolish a whopping 6 pounds of top sirloin, along with a side, soup or salad, and one piece of bread. Winners receive a $100 gift certificate, a comped meal and, most important, a souvenir T-shirt.
Beef Wellington at Swift & Sons, Chicago
Consistently ranked as one of the best steakhouses in Chicago, of course Swift & Sons serves filet mignon, dry-aged Kansas City strip and Japanese A5 strip loin, but its most-over-the-top steak dish is an often forgotten classic: beef Wellington. Served on a wooden cutting board and sliced tableside, the 12-ounce medium-rare tenderloin (meant to serve two) comes topped with foie gras, mushroom duxelles and spinach, all encased in a golden pastry shell.