At steakhouses, carving into the prime cuts of meat is just one half of the experience, with a variety of side dishes available to fill the rest of your plate. It's tempting to brush off french fries as a suitable sidekick to your bone-in slab of beef, but plenty of chophouses on the scene elevate them to sleeker heights that could be considered as sophisticated as any dish of grilled asparagus or creamed corn. Belgian steak frites have to be the most famous pairing of steak and fries, being a signature entrée cooked across European brasseries or lounges.
Compiling the steakhouse chains that we think make the best french fries -- and the absolute best ones to boot -- essentially amounts to personal opinion, at least most of the time. From pub-style wedges to crispy shoestrings overflowing out of cups, french fries come in many different styles. In order to create an honest roundup, we found it exceptionally helpful relying on feedback left by real customers on Yelp and Tripadvisor, since they've spent the money and can tell us straight up whether or not the spuds were, well, duds. So let's look at the golden choices that many guests swear by.
Smith & Wollensky
Based in the Big Apple (aka the chophouse capital), Smith & Wollensky's upscale lounges have populated the East Coast and international hotspots such as London to Taipei. Pairing a dry-aged T-Bone or marrow-soaked filet mignon with the truffle french fries is the sort of indulgent touch we'd look for from this steakhouse institution. "The fries were crisp with pillowy centers, not the least bit greasy" according to a Yelp reviewer who visited the Chicago location. From the dining room in Wellesley, Massachusetts, another diner reported on Tripadvisor that the fries were "incredible" in addition to the superbly cooked steak they savored as the main.
Steaming hot and salty, these fries are great for sopping up the succulent juices while the umami funk of the truffle variety upgrades an already indulgent experience. In any case, the potatoes are sliced into hefty spears and fried to a rich golden brown hue. While there are razor-thin shoestring fries and heftier wedges elsewhere, Smith & Wollensky offers a happy medium.
Not into the mushroomy aroma? That's one knock against truffle fries, even though they are a common style that steakhouses tend to fall back on. Thankfully, the standard hand-cut fries can't miss, especially for $10.
Wolfgang's Steakhouse was established by Wolfgang Zwiener, not Wolfgang Puck. It's natural to mix Zwiener up with the Austrian culinary mogul; after all, the former worked for one of the choicest chophouses in all of New York City for decades. But that's another list for another day. We're talking about the fries, and when it comes to the reviews from restaurant-goers published on Tripadvisor, the classic salted variety from Zwiener's establishments happens to come "highly recommended."
How so? These are true steak fries, and they're very hearty and filling. They're carved over an inch thick with a battered exterior that's ballerina-light and airy, perfect for sopping up peppercorn sauce or Heinz ketchup. New York Magazine highlights the establishment's cottage fries as a must -- these shingled spuds resemble a cross between potato chips and baked wedges. Truthfully, customers appear to enjoy both types of fries. But whether ordering a delightfully large Porterhouse or the lunch menu's signature hamburger (notably boasting hand-ground sirloin beef per The Burger Review), traditional frites can't fail.
To sample them yourself will require venturing to the East Coast. Most locations of Wolfgang's Steakhouse, save for Massachusetts (Boston) and New Jersey (Somerville), are in Manhattan. The company also operates several international locations.
Morton's The Steakhouse
Side dishes aren't a concept that Morton's The Steakhouse takes lightly, not when its signature sides are such a huge deal. The smoked gouda and bacon au gratin potatoes or the Lyonnaise potatoes (a fried potato delicacy descended from the French region of Lyon) possess more pomp and circumstance, but sophistication aside, many of us sitting down for our reservations would be wise to opt for the restaurant's matchstick Parmesan and truffle fries, a true staple.
What exactly makes them "the highlight of the meal" as one Yelp review put it? That's easy. Arriving in a huge haystack infused with truffle, herbs, and sharp Parmesan, these fries are supremely crunchy and airy, with a skinny shape that's engineered for non-stop snacking. On top of that, they're plenty versatile with the variety of prime meats and glorious appetizers. Did we mention they're discounted on the steakhouse's happy hour menu? Nothing screams "power hour" quite like a succulent filet mignon sandwich with $8 fries on the side. "I can't even find an adjective to explain the wonderful-ness of these fries," one Yelp reviewer raved, while another praised the way Morton's fries had a crunchy texture that still contained a fluffy center.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Potato-lovers are in luck at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, as just about any spud -- scalloped, creamed, or baked to perfection -- can top off a sizzling chop of your choice. At one point the steakhouse chain served stick-thin shoestring fries, but somewhere along the way a shift occurred to the classically cut julienne fries found on the menu today. Who can tell the difference when they're exceptionally crunchy and seasoned just right?
Now, "julienne" sounds like a person's name, which is something we're used to seeing among main entrees from chophouses (Steak Diane comes to mind). In this case, though, Ruth's Chris is referencing the slicing technique utilized across an array of vegetables, and most popularly potatoes. Carving them this way makes them noticeably slimmer, with a thinner width associated with the kind that comes with your Big Mac. And as you might expect, the shape is part of the reason why these fries result in such a dark golden hue and snap with every nibble. A reviewer from Cleveland.com enjoyed the "nice crispness" of the potato strips while also praising the lack of oiliness that kept them crunchy while they ate.
The Palm, claiming 20 chophouses to its name, is centered around Italian cuisine. Luxurious dishes like the veal chop parmigiana are served alongside pastas and pizzas, and when choosing a side, there's no reason not to try green beans with pancetta or black truffle risotto. But allow us, if you will, to offer a counterpoint with the Italian herb hand-cut fries, a flavorfully fragrant take you'll be wishing every eatery jumped on.
Even though the menu doesn't describe the seasoning blend per se, our instincts fall back on the staples of Italian cooking -- basil, oregano, rosemary, and sage, to name a few -- that evokes a fragrant note on top of the ample coating of salt. These fries are delightfully crispy with uneven edges, giving one reviewer on Tripadvisor room to speculate that the eatery chops them on-site: "I can tell you that the french fries served here are the freshest and best french fries you will ever taste in NYC." Another Yelp commenter was just as wowed by the beef as they were by the fries, calling them "to die for." Midtown Manhattan is where you'll find the original restaurant, but other locations are scattered around the U.S. plus Mexico.
Just because Outback Steakhouse is a bit campy (just count how many times the menu says "barbie" and "G'day") doesn't disqualify the Australian-themed eatery from contributing to the wealth of yummy fry options. The restaurant is also much more accessible than most high-end dining establishments serving steak, and it's beyond bargain-friendly. Two varieties of fries are available to choose from. There's the highly seasoned Aussie fries, and then there's the appetizer that's hot on everybody's lips -- the heavily loaded Aussie cheese fries drenched in cheese and bacon.
Now, it isn't complicated that people like melted cheese, especially when bacon and potato wedges are concerned. Yet Outback one-ups its take on the junky snack in a few key ways. First, it tosses on cheddar and Monterey Jack in order to keep the taste sharp and the texture gooey. Second, it uses good-sized fries, solidly firm with a tender potato filling. As "fabulous" as they were to one Tripadvisor commenter, the enormous 2,620 calorie count could be a deterrence if you plan on mixing and matching other side dishes with your main course, so do keep that in mind as you dine.
When making your own french fries, Kennebec potatoes are an excellent choice to have on hand. Besides achieving a crackly crunch when fried, these potatoes have peels that aren't as tough as russets. This results in a hearty yet airy fry that tastes delicious with the peel left on. The majority of carnivores will find Steak 48 unapproachable, as only six major cities have a location. But when you're in Beverly Hills or Houston, dropping the $100 that's required to even rest your rear in a chair just might be worth it so you can try the fries using the prized Kennebec potato to achieve a stupendously good starter.
Indeed, diners give them the thumbs up for the impressive ingredients that bump up the elegance. A trifecta of Parmesan, goat cheese, and coarse sea salt procured from the English town of Maldon tops every steaming-hot batch, which is, of course, sizzled in truffle oil every time. The savory taste took one reviewer by surprise, writing, "I didn't know french fries could taste that good" (per Tripadvisor).
An asterisk on the menu indicates that these fries are safe for gluten-free consumers, although the steakhouse chain makes sure to clarify that the kitchen isn't 100% free of cross-contamination.
Billed as a "Northern Italian Steakhouse," Davio's exemplifies the region's strong flavors through the lens of an old-school American brasserie. Combining these culinary traditions is what gets you the Parmigiano fries, an incredibly delicious showing capable of giving the Spinach Alla Romana a run for its money. For one reviewer who decreed Davio's the champion of chophouse spuds, what succeeded was the ratio of cheese, salt, and the umami aroma that, although not everyone's cup of tea, shines here. You also get a heaping plateful, as one visitor confirmed on Yelp by writing "my boyfriend's stomach is a bottomless pit, but even he couldn't finish the fries after devouring his burger."
Now, Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan are closely linked, with both being robustly flavored hard cheeses rendered from cow's milk. But to actually be considered the real deal in Italy requires the cheese to be manufactured in the regions of Parma and Reggio Emilia. That, in addition to a rich truffle-spiked aioli unveiled at the table, puts Davio's at an advantage for creating a memorable-enough side item. So go on, indulge.
The Capital Grille
At this point, it's safe to say Parmesan truffle fries aren't going anywhere, least of all from the menus of classy establishments attracting well-dressed diners for tasteful gastronomical indulgences. The Capital Grille, with 60-plus locations catering to the classier elements of red meat, manages to create a stand-out side from a well-tread flavor pairing.
Paying customers have nibbled on these mouthwatering fries with steaks, hamburgers, and seafood, and regardless of the entrée, the savory crunch is consistently on-point in all contexts. The "sensational steak and fries" is what drew one Tripadvisor diner to share their glowing impression with the internet at large, while on OpenTable, another visitor called them the "best hamburger and fries in New York City."
The basic gist? Taking a glance at the menu and photos from social media tells us a lot about the glorious treat that's in store for our taste buds. The fries are cut to regular proportions, cooked in truffle oil, and then sprinkled with just enough grated Parmesan cheese to spike every mouthful with a salty kick. They're available on their own for $11, or coupled with The Capital Grille cheeseburger and the miniature tenderloin sandwiches with herb cheese that elevates these lunchtime staples with some flair.
Sometimes, a good french fry can be truly outstanding without swimming in buckets of cheese or aioli sauce. Mastro's serves french-fried potatoes" that are worth keeping on your radar for a quality side portion that will enhance the beautifully prepared beef on your plate. Since the steakhouse chain doesn't disclose much beyond the price of the dish ($14), we had to rely on outside feedback to give us the full scoop. Turns out, they're seasoned with truffle as a Tripadvisor comment revealed, and as a result, they're positively scrumptious. As an appetizer, the razor-thin sticks are plentiful, so they're a perfect way to break bread with a large group.
Mastro's masters the upscale twist on surf and turf selections, so searching for a proper course to enjoy this side with will come easy. Pairing the golden-brown fritters with a succulent cut of Wagyu is probably the norm, yet a quick glance at the menu attests the steak frites template that's endured throughout time is popular, but far from necessary. Non-red meat offerings, such as the herb roasted chicken or monstrously proportioned rack of lamb, say, would taste just as splendid as any filet mignon.
Another contender to tempt fry connoisseurs offers lounges from coast to coast as well as in Europe and Canada. STK Steakhouse's Parmesan truffle fries cost a mighty $19, but unlike other chophouse chains charging equally high prices, the preparation here is unique. They aren't the spidery strands gathered in a steel bouquet; they're stout and battered, making them mistakable for French toast sticks if you weren't looking carefully. On top of that, STK Steakhouse presents them in a geometric tower that often earns comparisons to a popular stackable board game -- expect in this case, these fried potatoes will disappear, and not by toppling onto the floor.
Contrary to the overpowering aromas brought by the garnishes, Nashville Scene praises the flavors, finding they complement each other without either end overdoing it. Looking at the menu, we'd say Happy Hour is the best opportunity for first-timers to grab a taste, and that's because enjoying these tasty nuggets with one of two burgers -- the Lil' Brg or Lil Shroom Cheeseburger -- amounts to $6. That's almost as good as it gets for swanky steakhouses, don't you think? One visitor on Yelp found the "crispy but filling" potato wedges incredibly irresistible. "I couldn't stop eating them," they raved.
In theory, "do you want fries with that?" is an acceptable question for a steakhouse to ask, especially when they're as exceptional as the ones from Ocean Prime. The Parmesan truffle fries consists of the crispiest hand-cuts teeming with earthy truffle oil and a webbing of the classic Italian cheese and herbs. Spending $18 per portion guarantees a hearty dish that'll beef up any of the eatery's various meat cutlets and catches on top of any of the mouthwatering appetizers. Better yet, select sandwiches like the Maryland crab melt will feature them automatically when you request fries as your side (other options on the menu: a house salad and French onion soup).
Though locations are sparsely scattered across the country (20 at the time of writing), chances are high that trekking to one will be worth the time. The steaks will blow the usual budget chophouses out of the water, and the fish is, by far, some of the finest. If you ask, those are both excellent excuses to order the fries! The hefty crunch and strong flavors could complement any dish. One glowing review on OpenTable read, "The scallops and the parmesan truffle fries are a must!"
Charlie Palmer Steak
Spending oodles of cash on a luxurious feast from Charlie Palmer Steak makes $12 for fries look like a drop in the bucket, doesn't it? The CP Fries, a fitting companion to the signature CP Burger, gets our vote. One OpenTable customer frequenting the Reno outpost commented on the "best fries in town!" for what many have described as a perfectly salted and crackly taste that's reminiscent of fast food. Comparisons to the Golden Arches have been drawn, but don't be mistaken, as the gourmet approach casts aside any notion that you could realistically get freshly fried fries from a drive-thru window.
Of course, what's a communal pile of fries without some sort of tangy sauce for dunking them? Every order arrives steaming from the fryer and flanked by two different dipping sauces — a spicy chipotle aioli jazzes up a yummy (albeit sort of uncreative) tomato catsup. A few of the menu's entrees also feature fries on the side -- they include a crispy falafel pita wrap, the grilled chicken club, and of course, a brasserie-approved steak frites consisting of an incredible New York strip awash in a sumptuous pan sauce.
Whether with a French dip dripping in au jus or a vibrant salad, salty stringy fries with an extra snap always hit the spot. Those in the camp of the skinnier the better should book a spot at Hillstone Restaurant immediately. Its fries are made out of Kennebec spuds, so you get the golden finish that browns like a dream, and the eatery doesn't cheapen the deal by opting for frozen spears, either. "Their super thin shoestring fries are also my favorite!" a positive Yelp review states. "I look forward to them every time."
Hillstone is sort of unusual as a chain, and that's due to the regional differences between brick-and-mortars: outside of Washington, D.C., it's called the Woodmont Grill, while in parts of the East and West coasts you'll see it's called Houston's. As long as we can snag delectable fries, though, we're frankly unconcerned with the storefront's name. There's a vast array of dishes and cuisines that emphasizes a casual twist on the stuffier sit-down establishment, so pair the fries with whatever your appetite yearns for. Sushi? Steak? Tuna tartare? The world's your deep-fried oyster.
Read the original article on Mashed.