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23 comments on “Top Steakhouses in Dallas

  1. Thank you for including my restaurant in your Top Steakhouse Issue. Your recognition of our efforts to bring quality food and service to the Dallas area is much appreciated. We count it as a real honor.

  2. Probably one of the most honest, informative, and comprehensive reviews I’ve ever read. Thank you.
    It’s a great help.

    @Matt: The link is the paragraph at the top in blue.
    Just click on it.

  3. I agree with Al. It is an honor to be included on your list. You have always appreciated the Great Steak Houses we have in Dallas. As many of our out of town visitors find out and all of our locals know, Dallas has a bunch of Great Steak Houses!

  4. Great read! I enjoyed the breakdown. Too bad some of those in the 11-20 place did not score in the top ten because of no brainers- good wine and service.

  5. Thanks for providing all the detail Nancy. With your rankings, I re-weighted the variables according to my preferences (don’t drink wine, don’t care as much about salad, etc.) and come up with scores that work for me. Now I just need to start making reservations.

    1.Nick and Sam’s (+1)
    2.Ocean Prime (+1)
    3.Al Biernat’s (+2)
    4.Pappas Bros (-3)
    5.Morton’s (+1)
    6.Bob’s (-2)
    7.Dallas Chop House (+4)
    8.Del Frisco’s (+1)
    9.The Place at Perry’s (+1)
    10.III Forks (-2)
    11.Baily’s (-4)
    12.Chamberlains (+1)
    13.Steve Fields’ (-1)
    14.Kirby’s (+1)
    15.Ruth’s Chris (+1)
    16.The Capital Grille (-2)
    17.Sullivan’s (+1)
    18.Eddie V’s (+1)
    19.Palm (-2)
    20.Perry’s (–)

  6. To everyone at D, thank you for recognizing Al Biernat’s as one of the best Steakhouses in Dallas. I’m proud of our entire staff for the hard work it takes day in and day out to produce such a high score on Nancy’s impressive report card ranking system! It’s an honor.

  7. Great article, Nancy. I’ve always been partial to Pappas Brothers, so it’s nice to feel validated.

    On another note, anyone that has ever had any vintage of The Prisoner knows that it’s a ridiculously assertive blend. That’s why I love it, but I would never recommend it to someone looking for something that is different and not a typical California Cab-type wine. Also, Orin Swift basically can’t keep his bottles in Texas because they’re flying off the shelves so fast, so recommending that as something “different” and “weird” is a little lazy.

  8. Al Biernat’s and Pappas Bros were my favorites for #1. Glad to see one of them get the crown, though obviously Al and his incredible team deserve that #2 spot.

  9. The average score on the wine is much lower than any of the others. Is Dallas just that much in the dark about wine? How about another article (I will volunteer to help out) where you find the 20 best (yes, “best” is a very moving target)or maybe the most affordable wine list.

  10. I love steakhouses and was looking forward to this article. I came away a bit unimpressed with the scoring. The wine criteria was silly in my opinion. First, a $75 limit at a high end steakhouse removes most of the wines. Second, it shocks me that you would give a high score when a restaurant delivers you a Pinot or Malbec to meet the “big/bold wine” request. I also did not like the use of shrimp cocktail to assess quality of appetizers. I don’t recall the last time I ordered shrimp cocktail at a nice steakhouse. Would have been interesting to simply order the best selling appetizer at each restaurant.

    Overall, I did agree with the first two columns of scores for steaks. Those seemed pretty spot on.

  11. Please add Arthur’s Prime Steaks & Seafood to the list. THey are heads and heels over some on the list…

  12. Agree with Beau on the wine. I wouldn’t think Pinot for big and bold.. I don’t think $75 knocks out a lot of places though, because these days there are a lot of good wines in that range from other places around the world. Kudos Nancy, for not wanting a California Cabernet that you can buy at the grocery store for cheaper.
    I see the shrimp cocktail comparison as an appetizer, because it is something that all places have, but a featured appetizer or best seller would have been a nice mention.
    For the steaks, not sure if I agree or not on Nancy’s scoring. She mentions on a few of the places, issues such as gristle or not being prepared correctly, however they still got higher scores than others. Not being able to prepare my steak correctly or it being dry would knock down the experience for me. For the Sullivan’s that is choice, is that the reason it received lower steak scores? It was my understanding that all Filet is pretty much the same, prime or choice because it is such lean meat. The USDA grades off of the marbeling.. Which Filet has very little. I’ve been to Sullivan’s before and while I didn’t have a bone in steak, I thought their filet was up there with any of the other steakhouses.
    This just means I’ll need to pull a Nancy and try out all of these places, some for the 1st time and some for the up-teenth time and grade them myself.

  13. Beau, you say “Second, it shocks me that you would give a high score when a restaurant delivers you a Pinot or Malbec to meet the “big/bold wine” request.” My request was the opposite. I asked for something lighter than a bold Cal Cab.I used shrimp cocktail because, after reviewing all of the menus, I realized I could find one at each restaurant. Plus, it was interesting to compare shrimp sizes, costs, and presentations.The $75 price range may seem cheap in a steakhouse but in my spiel to the wine “person” I made it clear I was looking for something unusual and funky or off the beaten path and I think any wine list should offer good value wines at $75. I am writing a follow up story on the horrors I encountered trying to buy wine from uneducated or semi-educated waiters.

  14. Hey Nancy,

    Thanks so much for this article…I found it really interesting and very informative. It inspired my wife and I to do a version of this over the course of 2012. 1 steakhouse a month: 1 app, 1 steak, 1 side, and 1 dessert.

    Random question…did you go to just 20 restaurants or 22? At the top you said you had 44 steaks, which seems like 22 restaurants but then you also said you had 20 shrimp cocktails (which would obv seems like 20). If you went to 22, you don’t have to say which 2 didn’t make the cut, but I was just curious if this was the entire list of the places you sampled.

    Thanks again!

  15. fun list- Al B. gets my vote and looks like it really took top place overall but for ambiance…which I am unclear as to the criterion.

    How did Al get an 80 on ambiance and N&S a 98?!

    Guess its just different strokes, but that seems like an outlier.

  16. I have eaten at most of the places on the list and have no big gripe with the rankings. I do, however, have a big problem with the selection of a filet being used to grade these restaurants. Any true steak fan knows that a filet is the least marbled, least “beefy” cut that is also the least improved or changed by either dry or wet aging. In a blind tasting it is almost impossible to tell a prime filet from a choice. (I know, several of us have tried it). And, before everyone starts screaming, I am fully aware of the popularity of filets. I just know that a “Best Of” list that largely compares filets isn’t a true test of great steakhouses. The restaurant’s best strips would have been a much better test. Al and Bob know I am correct, too! Thanks.

  17. Nancy, I designed and was the architect for both Pappas Bros. and Ocean Prime. I would love to talk with you about your findings in both. Please contact me at email provided. We are very proud of our work and always want to make it better. Your insight will be helpful. Thanks for the high marks.

  18. Great read. Any restrauteur can learn from the comments on service. Three hours will ruin just about any meal (unless it is 18 courses). A waiter who freezes in order to let a conversation come to a natural pause is worth their weight in fillet.