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Best Steakhouses and Steaks


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Product is the starter. Some do wet aging, some do dry aging. Completely different taste, so pick your poison. then there is wine list, where some are corporate lists (Mortons, The Palm, cap Grille, but they do have a reserve list that is produced outside of corporate) and then there are those that are done in-house such as Rays.

The service is what sets them apart.

Preference, Cap Grille Tysons or DC. Gordon leigh and Bill Butler run tight ships and are quite personabe.

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If you are just going for the beef, look no further than Ray's the Steaks (or, if you're in Maryland, Ray's the Classics). Best cuts of beef at the cheapest prices you will find in a legitimate steakhouse in the area.

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Agree on Ray's, but otherwise, and for purely emotional reasons, the Palm always retains a place in my heart. I was taken at the age of four to the original Palm in NYC -- and the rest are but faint replicas -- as the 3rd generation of my family to dine there. My Grandfather hung out there when it was still a speakeasy (the name came from the fact that the speakeasy front was a funeral parlour with a potted palm in the window). My old man, coming back through Manhattan to visit his folks in NJ when he was in College, used to stop in at the Palm for a meal and a game of gin rummy with Walter Ganzi, one of the owners. Sometimes he would crash on a table overnight if he missed the last train to S. Orange. I just have too many of my fondest childhood memories tied up with the Palm to ever be dismissive. The waiters there when I was a kid were so old that they could tell me about my dad when he was the same age as I was at the time. My dad used to claim that the first thing he asked for when he woke up after a tonsilectomy was the hashed browns from the Palm.

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Generally, I look at beef, wine service, sides, and service - roughly in that order. For me, Charlie Palmer Steak and BLT come out on top for DC, Rays by a landslide in VA. I think that the three above are the best combinations of quality beef, a non-corporate / offensive wine list (see Ruth's Chris / Morton's / Palm / Cap Grille). Of the chains (and I realize that BLT and CPS have more than one local), I guess I would take Cap Grille, but there is no uniqueness there whatsoever.

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I tend to stay away from steakhouses these days, the prices are pretty astronomical when wine is included (400 or 500% markups!). And, unlike a place like Komi, I can make a good steak at home, I can't make what Chef Monis is making.

With that being said, I like Ray's the Steaks for the wine list alone and the fact that you get mashed potatoes and creamed spinach with your entree, it is not another $7.00 or more. It is the best value, by far. But, if money was no object, I would have to say that I prefer Charlie Palmer. Can't put my finger on it, but I have had more enjoyable meals there than at Ray's. So, between these two, I think that it depends on your price point.

Other than those two places, I like The Prime Rib, but it has been a while since I have been there. Same with Bobby Van's, not sure if it is as good five years later. Ruth's Chris is my favorite for the bigger chains, the butter gets me every time, but it is still a step below the others. The Palm has a good burger for lunch, we used to go once a week in Tyson's. Capital Grille was always OK for me, so was the District Chophouse, and I never liked Morton's. Never been to BLT Steak.

Overall, I would pay to go to Ray's or Charlie Palmer, and BLT Steak so that I can check it out, but I will let someone else pay for the other places.

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I can't believe I'm asking this on my own website, but what are everyone's preferences for a really good steak right now? A friend wrote me and asked, wanting to take his wife out for her birthday, and I gave the obvious answers, but I'm wondering if there's a non-steakhouse that's doing a really good steak dish right now that I'm not thinking of.

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I think Ray's is a terrific value and will always be one of my favorites because it's the only steakhouse I've been to that sells the calotte (rib eye cap), which is probably my favorite cut of beef. I always call ahead to make sure they have it (dont think its on their menu anymore and don't think they have large quantities typically).

Also, I recently was at Bourbon Steak, decided to try something new, and was very impressed by their wagyu flat iron steak. Also one of the least expensive steaks they have on their menu, though a smaller cut (10oz).

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There are not many that can stand the test of time. Morton's has been sold off and too streamlined, not to mention crazy expanded menu. Capital Grille is hit-or-miss for me. 

Bring your wallets - no particular order:

DC Prime (NoVa) Ashburn off Route 7

GARs recent addition (NoVA) Tyson's area - Randy's Prime

The Palm - (NoVa and DC) always sort of corny but good service, steaks and drinks.

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I've never been to the Palm at Tysons, so if you are literally limiting to NOVA I can't offer a suggestion for a good "steak house".  There are loads of places that can do decent steak.  But, in DC there are many steak houses, the foremost are Charlie Palmers, Bourbon Steak, or BLT.  I am emotionally attached to the Palm in DC -- it was the first Palm to be established outside of NYC, and etc.

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:33 PM, DanCole42 said:

Now that Ray's has moved on, what's a good steakhouse experience in Northern VA for two bros to bro it up with some meat?

Specific to Northern VA:, and in no particular order:

DC Prime (Ashburn)

Randy's Prime (Tysons) - new, and GAR so will have it's proponents... and detractors ;)

Capital Grille (Tysons) - hit or miss for me, but good service

Palm (Tysons) - maybe the "best" of the bunch - in particular, Smitty is a great bartender and the bar is always lively/ fun. 

Eddie V's (Tysons) - sleeper. Good Ohio based chain.

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:47 AM, Keithstg said:

Specific to Northern VA:, and in no particular order:

DC Prime (Ashburn)

Randy's Prime (Tysons) - new, and GAR so will have it's proponents... and detractors ;)

Capital Grille (Tysons) - hit or miss for me, but good service

Palm (Tysons) - maybe the "best" of the bunch - in particular, Smitty is a great bartender and the bar is always lively/ fun. 

Eddie V's (Tysons) - sleeper. Good Ohio based chain.

Very similar to DC Prime in Ashburn is Eddie Merlot's, a smallish chain.  They have pretty decent promotions from time to time (1/2 priced wine seasonally Sundays and Mondays, All-you-can-eat crab in the spring, etc.) and steaks are nice.  If you enjoy carrot cake, bring a few friends and try theirs...

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