The Best American Cities For A Steak

steak

Photo: Photo courtesy of Strip House New York

In a country obsessed with beef, a new generation of renowned butchers and restaurants is redefining what makes a great American steak city.

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This story was originally published by Food & Wine.

Chicago

Chicago's Union Stockyards were the centre of the American meatpacking industry for the first half of the 20th century and helped perpetuate the Midwestern city's legacy as a steak town (even if the shameful stockyard conditions depicted in The Jungle led to national food safety initiatives). Founded in 1893, famous Allen Brothers built a strong reputation and still supplies legendary steak houses like Gene & Georgetti as well as Chicago-founded Morton's. The new Butcher & Larder, opened by former chef Rob Levitt, is now in the spotlight for being the city's first shop dedicated to butchering locally sourced whole animals.

Where to Eat: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse sources Black Angus beef from sustainable farms in the Upper Midwest and ages superb filet mignon, sirloin and porterhouse steaks for 40 days. The porterhouses at Chicago Chop House and Tavern on Rushare also among the best in the city.

Source: Food & Wine

New York

From dry-aged porterhouse steaks at the iconic and often-imitated Peter Luger in Brooklyn to the crispy-edged côte de boeuf for two with marrow bones at Keith McNally's chic Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village, there's no dearth of outstanding steaks in the nation's financial capital. Even non-steak house restaurants use cult butchers like Pat LaFreida, Lobel's, DeBragga and Master Purveyors, and call out their names on menus throughout the city.

Where to Eat: There are so many steak houses (more than 140 in the Zagat guide) that it can be hard to choose. F&W's top picks include Keens, Minetta Tavern, Palm, Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Sparks, Strip House, the Old Homestead and Wolfgang's.

Source: Food & Wine

Las Vegas

Vegas has never wanted for great high-roller steak houses. In the 1950s and 1960s, Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., were regular customers at the Golden Steer Steakhouse, the oldest steak joint in town. Today, there are over 25 steak houses on the 4.2-mile stretch known as the Vegas Strip, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Where to Eat: Celebrity chefs' steak spots rule, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Prime, Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico, Charlie Palmer Steak and Carnevino, the Italian-leaning restaurant from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. At Carnevino, NYC meat guru Adam Perry Lang heads up the dry-aged-beef program by selecting the hormone- and antibiotic-free beef that's served in the restaurant. As an extravagent feature, sommeliers reverently cart old vintages of wines like Barolos, Brunellos and Super Tuscans to the table and decant them into exquisite handblown Movia stemware.

Source: Food & Wine

Houston

Fort Worth

Dallas

Omaha

Washington, DC

Lunch is more than a meal in this city, where restaurants cater to politicos and are often the setting for legislation negotiations. Power lunch spots include the many steak houses just steps from the U.S. Capitol Building.

Where to Eat: The Caucus Room is a popular bipartisan choice: It's owned by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, prominent Democrat lobbyist Tom Boggs and Ed Mathias from the Carlyle Group, the third largest private equity firm in the world. Superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's J&G Steakhouse and Charlie Palmer Steak have discreet private dining areas and serve many congressmen and senators every week. Restaurateur Michael Landrum's unpretentious spot Ray's the Steaks in nearby Arlington, Virginia, is a low-key favourite of locals.

Source: Food & Wine

San Francisco

San Francisco has had a surge of chef-butchers and butcher shops that focus on humanely and locally raised meat. Former San Francisco chef Nate Appleman is credited with starting the chef-butcher trend at A16 and SPQR in 2009, and today Ryan Farr of 4505 Butchers is one of the most sought-after butchering instructors in the city. The nationally recognised Niman Ranch network also started here and now includes independent farmers throughout the U.S.

Where to Eat: Although many of the city's fine dining spots emphasise locally raised and grass-fed beef, traditional steak houses are still popular. Since 1949, House of Prime Rib's servers have been dramatically carving portions of well-marbled meat tableside from stainless steel serving carts. San Francisco superstar chef Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak is also a favourite, offering fabulous Angus and American Wagyu steaks that are sourced from sustainable and organic farms like Bassian Farms in nearby San Jose and Idaho's Snake River Farms, respectively.

Source: Food & Wine

Atlanta

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