Steaks are big business.
More than 900 million steaks were consumed over the last year in American restaurants, according to The NPD Group/CREST. The Daily Ticker asked chef Allison Fishman-Task -- host of “Blue Ribbon Hunter” on Yahoo! and author of the upcoming book “Cooking Light Lighten Up, America!” -- to rank the best steakhouses in the country. With thousands of places to choose from, Fishman-Task selected four venerable steakhouses: Keens, Peter Luger, Bern’s Steak House, and Ruth’s Chris (RUTH) plus one newcomer to the scene: Chicago Cut.
These steakhouses not only delivered delicious, juicy steaks, but also the right touch of ambiance and local flavor, elements that are nearly as important as the actual steak, says Fishman-Task. At Peter Luger, the Brooklyn staple that's been serving steaks for 125 years, “surly waiters” take orders from customers sitting in stiff wooden chairs, and this austere approach has become almost as legendary as the food Peter Luger serves. Chicago Cut Steakhouse, located on the Chicago River, may only be three years old but its ultramodern take on the traditional steakhouse has won over locals and steak connoisseurs, says Fishman-Task. Chef Bill Rodgers of Keens, located in midtown Manhattan, impressed Fishman-Task with his “starry-night” steaks -- bursts of fat sprinkled throughout the cut to flavor and lubricate the meat.
For people seeking a great-tasting steak a little closer to home, Fishman-Task says there is one telltale sign for separating the good steakhouses from the mediocre.
“You know it’s a good steakhouse if there’s a dry aging room,” she explains. “Definitely go for the dry aged steaks. The steak loses some of its water content but develops impeccable flavor.”
Wholesale beef prices reached a record high in May, according to government data. We compared the cost of an 8oz. filet mignon at the five steakhouses that made our list. The results were remarkably consistent, ranging from $38-$42. (Note: Peter Luger does not serve filet mignon.)
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