Taste: In Search Of: Great Steaks
This fall brings a glut of new steakhouses to Center City — Butcher & Singer, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Union Trust — and as many boasts about their signature slabs. (Expect to hear more about Union Trust’s Flintstonian long-bone rib chop.) But it’s going to be pretty hard to top the great steaks we’ve already got.
Err on the medium side of medium rare to get the most out of Nineteen’s handsomely marbled 36-ounce prime-grade rib eye for two — the most flavorful cut on the market, and a bargain at $75. Leftovers make for an awesome steak-and-egg brunch. Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street, 215-790-1919, nineteenrestaurant.com.
New York Strip
We thought the Gachot & Gachot rib eye was our favorite at Barclay Prime — until the restaurant added the impossibly marbled Tajima strip from Australia. This heavenly 16-ounce cut of short loin (don’t even think about adding sauce) costs an eye-popping $90. 237 South 18th Street, 215-732-7560, barclayprime.com.
Ignore the béarnaise-smothered filet and the filet Oscar on Old Homestead’s old-school menu and proceed directly to the juicy, butter-soft $52 bone-in filet. This round cut from the tenderloin is the most tender but least flavorful of steakhouse cuts, so get it as cool-centered as you can take it. The Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, 609-385-1877, theoldhomesteadsteakhouse.com.
Also known as a top blade steak — as in the shoulder blade — the flat-iron is almost as tender as the filet, but meatier. Try the newly popular steak at Table 31, where the relatively inexpensive ($24) cut is charbroiled quickly in a 2,000-degree oven. Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard, 215-567-7111, table-31.com.
From the steer’s prized short loin, Rae’s decadent porterhouse for two, sourced from Pennsylvania’s Four Story Hill Farm, is a $180 carnivore’s delight. The more-than-two-pound steak is served with natural jus and bourbon butter, but the velvety meat, with its well-charred crust, doesn’t need any flavor boost. Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, 215-922-3839, raerestaurant.com.
After the butcher removes the hefty porterhouse from the short loin, he’s left with the t-bone, a flavorful cut (thanks to all that bone) that shouldn’t be overlooked. Prime example: Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops’ meaty milk-fed veal t-bone ($32), sauced with a red wine/shallot reduction and served with haricot verts. 1617 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-8088, brandywine-prime.com.