Worth the Splurge: America's Most-Expensive Steaks
It's no surprise that steakhouses charge incredible prices for their most-luxurious cuts, but most chefs and beef lovers will tell you that they're worth every dollar. Here are some of the best high-end steaks in the country — enjoy them medium rare.
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Prime One Twelve, Miami: Kobe Ribeye
Prime One Twelve claims to be the first modern steakhouse in the US — a serious distinction — but they're not all talk. Since 2004, they've served Miami dishes like Kobe beef dumplings that would lead to chin-scratching from old-school chophouse maitre d's. They continue the Kobe experimentation with hot dogs ($28) and hamburgers ($30), but the most-luxurious thing on the menu is certainly the Japanese A5 Kobe at $230 for a 35-ounce bone-in rib-eye. However if you'd like to save a few bucks (and put on a few extra pounds), go for the Porterhouse for two, at $125..
RPM Steak, Chicago: 42-Ounce Mishima Tomahawk
There are plenty of steak options in Chicago's River North neighborhood, but RPM sets the bar for quality and variety of beef. For traditional meat-and-potatoes types, it doesn't get much better than a 28-day prime dry-aged New York strip, cut by hand at Master Purveyors in the Bronx. But the most-luxurious cut on the menu is the monstrous 42-ounce Mishima Tomahawk. It features American wagyu raised in Tacoma, Washington; it's brushed with beef butter to add even more intense fatty flavor, and will put a $215 hole in your bank account.
Cut, Beverly Hills: Tasting of New York Sirloin
Wolfgang Puck needs no introduction. His name is as synonymous with the growth of American fine dining, and the original location of his Cut steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire may be one of the most-extravagant experiences in his empire of dozens of restaurants. The most expensive steak on the menu is naturally their pure-bred Japanese wagyu from the Miyazaki Prefecture at $26 an ounce, but for our money, the better value is their Tasting of New York Sirloin, still a hefty price tag at $140, featuring three preparations of sirloin, including a USDA Prime dry aged for 35 days, American Wagyu from Snake River Farms and a two-ounce slice of that $26-per-ounce Miyazaki beef.
Knife, Dallas: 240-Day Creekstone Rib Eye
John Tesar doesn't joke around when it comes to steaks. The three-time James Beard semifinalist teamed with Chef Adam Perry Lang to master a unique white mold dry-aging method that avoids the funk that can come with black mold and brings out a natural sweetness. As at most top steakhouses, you can find plenty of 24-day aged cuts here, but there's nowhere else you'll find anything quite like Knife's ridiculously marbled 240-day Creekstone rib eye ($80 per inch).
Barclay Prime, Philadelphia: Wagyu Ribeye
These days, people want to know where their food comes from, including their steaks. Plenty of steakhouses will tell you their meat supplier, but it's a rare restaurant knows its cows by name. Barclay Prime in Philadelphia can tell you the date of birth, name, family and weight of each cow. Naturally they offer plenty of prime dry-aged options, but the most-decadent of the lot are the wagyu options, available in an American eight-ounce filet from Snake River Farms, or two A5 Japanese wagyu offerings: a New York strip for $125 or ribeye for $195.
Jeffrey's of Austin, Texas: Center-Cut Tenderloin
Jeffrey's paved the way for fine dining in Austin back when it opened in 1975, and it received a facelift from one of the city's hippest restaurateurs in 2013. It's continuing the tradition of excellent steaks, with the help of a grill burning local live oak (plus a 1,200-degree broiler). The hulking cuts like rib eyes and porterhouse are always crowd-pleasers ($165), but there are few steaks more buttery than a masterfully prepared tenderloin. Save room for sides like grilled broccolini and wood-roasted leeks by opting for a petite 8-ounce center-cut tenderloin wagyu filet — a bargain at $45 — farmed just two hours away at Beeman Family Ranch in Yoakum. Or if you're feeling frugal, hit up the Monday Steak Frites Night at Jeffrey's sister restaurant, the neighboring Josephine House.
Prime at Bellagio: 12-Ounce Wagyu
The Bellagio fountains are one of Vegas' biggest attractions, but the star of the show at the Bellagio may just be the steak at Prime. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten conducts symphonies on the plate, with an appropriately Sin City-level price tag. Their A5-Certified Kobe Beef is available in filet, New York strip, and ribeye cuts, and costs anywhere from $360 for eight ounces to a jackpot-mandating $720 for a 12-ounce cut.
Chandlers, Boise, Idaho: Bull’s Eye Wagyu Ribeye
Seven nights a week the sounds of live jazz ring out in Chandlers' dining room, but you don't come to this downtown Boise, Idaho, spot just for saxophone solos. It's all about the steaks, which include the full meaty spectrum, from Chairman's Reserve to USDA Gold American Wagyu, which is a steal at $95 for a 12-ounce "Bull's Eye" ribeye. For the most-luxurious option, go for their certified Japanese Wagyu in five- or 10-ounce filets that run for triple-digit market prices.
Alexander's Steakhouse, San Francisco: Sanuki Wagyu
Wagyu is a huge trend in the beef industry, and Alexander's Steakhouse is one of the best places to try the luxurious Japanese meat. It offers wagyu raised in 10 different Japanese prefectures, each with a unique flavor profile, but the chef's current favorite is the Sanuki. The cows are raised on the island of Shodoshima in the Kagawa prefecture and finished with a diet of olives, which gives the meat a high acid content that transforms the fat into something closer to olive oil. Alexander's is one of the few steakhouses in the world to serve it, but with that rarity comes a luxe price tag: $225 for just 3 ounces.
Stripsteak Waikiki, Hawaii: 35-Day Dry-Aged Porterhouse for Two
Chef Michael Mina's Stripsteak pays homage to the Hawaiian Islands with dishes like sake-and-hamachi poke, but the main course is obviously the steak. For those looking for an ultimate bite, it doesn't get much better than the Kagoshima Prefecture A-5 Wagyu with red yuzukosho and ponzu, but at $32 an ounce it's a delicacy that's best enjoyed in small portions. Big appetites should go for the most-luxurious cut from the broiler, a 35-day dry-aged porterhouse steak for two ($185).
Bazaar Meat, Las Vegas: Kobe Ribeye
Spanish-American chef Jose Andres was recently named one of the 100 most-influential people in the world by Time Magazine and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work, which doesn't make his steak taste any better, but you'll know the hefty price is going to a chef with a conscience. His Spanish-style bone-in ribeyes cooked over oak stand out from the rest of the Bazaar Meat menu and clock in at $98 per pound of Washugyu Angus from Lindsay Ranch, Oregon, but the most-luxurious cut is the A5 Kobe ribeye from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, at $50 an ounce, cooked on an ishiyaki grilling stone with a side of mustard.
El Gaucho, Seattle: Chateaubriand for Two
El Gaucho has taken over the Northwest, with locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Portland, and coming soon to Vancouver, thanks to a steak program that focuses on the very best of American-sourced beef. You'll want to come thirsty thank to a top-notch wine list and the private select barrels of Maker’s Mark that fuel one of the most-expensive Manhattans money can buy ($24), but don't forget the appetite — their tableside-cooked Chateaubriand for two features a 20-ounce center cut of tenderloin for $135.
Epic Steak, San Francisco: Wagyu Flight
San Francisco's Epic Steak doesn't hold back. In-the-know diners kick off time there at the upstairs Quiver Bar with views of the Bay for the Holy Cow! Happy Hour, before heading down to get serious with some seriously decadent meat, in six-ounce portions. Their Wagyu Flight is the beef experience of a lifetime — essentially a tour across Japanese prefectures to taste the diversity of their meticulously raised cattle. The Imperial Wagyu uses cows who've developed for at least 400 days, Miyazakigyu A5 has the tightest marbling of the lot, and their Snow Beef A5 comes from the northern-most point of Japan in Hokkaido, raised in freezing conditions which result in an extra-low melting point. It'll set you back $180, but it’s a trip across Japan on a plate.
Old Homestead, New York City: A5+10 Japanese Wagyu
Every steakhouse seems to claim they have cuts of beef you won't find anywhere else, but few are on the same level as Old Homestead. Their "prized wagyu" comes from exclusive auctions that no other restaurant outside of Japan is permitted to attend, as bid on by the restaurant's owner who travels to Japan alongside an interpreter. The marbled beef looks almost pure white, with a grading beyond the A5+10, the highest possible score. A 12-ounce cut will run you $350, but in addition to the beef, you're also paying for history — the restaurant was founded in the meatpacking district over 150 years ago in 1868.
Babbo, New York City: Grilled Rib Eye for Two
Proving that you don't need to go to a luxury steakhouse for a high-end chop experience, Babbo's 3-star New York Times review means you can trust anything that comes out of its kitchen. Beef lovers will want to go with the grilled rib eye for two ($140), served with an heirloom-tomato panzanella and luxurious aceto Manodori vinegar glaze.
Craftsteak, Las Vegas: Dry-Aged 22-Ounce T-Bone from Double R Ranch
Craftsteak is one of the best places within view of the Vegas strip to order... a strip steak. Both American and Japanese wagyu are offered here, but you can't go wrong with the dry-aged 22-ounce T-bone from Double R Ranch in Washington state.