Unorthodox cuts are gaining prominence as chefs return to butchering and readopt the idea of using animals head to tail, but there’s still nothing quite like a thick, juicy steak. From deluxe dry-aged T-bones to tender rib-eyes to flavorful flat irons, here are 10 great steaks meat lovers should seek out around Philly.
A bone-in porterhouse from Creekstone Farms gets the Fiorentina treatment at Vetri’s Navy Yard spot, where either an 18- or 36-oz. cut is grilled over a wood fire, dusted with salt and pepper and finished with fine olive oil ($60/$120).
4503 S. Broad St.; 215-282-3184
Stephen Starr’s Parisian brasserie excels at simple French classics, and the steak frites is no exception. A 12-oz. Pat LaFrieda hanger steak is served beneath luxurious dabs of compound herb butter and a pile of fries just salty enough to make you keep eating them. One of the best steak deals on Rittenhouse Square ($27.50).
227 S. 18th St.; 215-545-2262
Before it’s seared over coals that crest 1,000 degrees, the colossal T-bone served by chef de cuisine Jon Nodler at this Rittenhouse bistro is dry-aged for 28 days. All 31 ounces of the Creekstone Farms beef are saturated with flavor, enhanced by a side of grilled Caesar salad and salsa verde. There’s definitely plenty to share ($93).
135 S. 18th St.; 215-825-7030
Made from the deckle of a rib-eye, the newly popular cut known as a rib cap has all the silky texture you’d expect, but even more flavor. In Luke Palladino’s East Passyunk kitchen, each 8-oz. piece of Wagyu beef is tied and air-dried for at least two weeks, then sizzled over wood and dusted with a secret salt blend. The side of Cabernet mostarda is excellent, but superfluous ($48).
1934 E. Passyunk Ave.; 267-928-4336
One of the best things to emerge from the hearth at Justin and Jonathan Petruce’s ode to wood-fired cooking on Walnut is the dry-aged strip loin, 20-oz. grilled on the bone and then sliced and dressed with a light chimichurri. The potato “chips” and baby lettuce salad in a dish on the side are also good, if you remember to eat them ($55).
1121 Walnut St.; 267-225-8232
Russian Imperial Stout is the most award-winning beer in this brewpub mini-chain’s history, and to highlight how well it goes with steak, all 11 locations are currently doubling down on their offerings. Through March 1, look for menu additions like a 16-oz. rib-eye, a bacon-wrapped filet mignon and a New York strip au poivre, all served with sides and meant to pair with a strong, roasty brew ($21.95-$34.95).
At this dining room in the ground floor of the Hotel Monaco on Independence Mall, chef Jorge Chicas treats an 8-oz. Hartley Ranch skirt steak right. His chimichurri is not overly garlicky or spiced, but just pungent enough without overwhelming the flavorful Texas beef. Yuca fries that come with are so good you’ll want to order an extra side ($24).
433 Chestnut St.; 215-923-2267
Greg Vernick doesn’t do much to the bone-in strip loin served at his popular eponymous dining room just off Rittenhouse Square, but he doesn’t have to. The 28-oz. dry-aged Pat LaFrieda cut for two is seared on the grill, lightly sprinkled with seasoning and served with a squeeze of fresh lemon over a bed of charred lettuce ($68).
2031 Walnut St.; 267-639-6644
For this much good meat elsewhere, you might pay twice the price. Chef Rebecca Krebs’ toothsome flat iron at this Old City brewpub comes fanned on top of a sweet potato-Brussels sprout hash in a Cabernet demi-glace ($18).
117 Chestnut St.; 267-314-5770
Every time chef Eli Collins gets his hands on dry-aged rib-eyes from Debragga & Spitler at this tavern on the southwest edge of Rittenhouse, he changes the dressing for the 28-oz. cut for two. His favorite so far is with a horseradish-long hot salsa verde and a side of roasted bitter greens topped with toasted garlic ($68).
1946 Lombard St.; 215-545-0350