America's best steakhouses, 2013
Regulars don’t need a menu at Peter Luger, the Michelin-starred chophouse in Brooklyn, where not much has changed since 1887—except the newly hip neighborhood.
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In Los Angeles, for instance, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut displays artwork by John Baldessari in a sleek room with gallery-white walls. Sure, towering seafood platters, wedge salads, and creamed spinach still make an appearance on the menus of these newcomers, but you’ll also find roasted kabocha squash, pimento cheese–stuffed bacon puffs, and lobster corn dogs.
Take your pick among these favorite steakhouses, from old-school institutions like St. Elmo Steak House of Indianapolis to Kevin Rathbun Steak, which has a speakeasy-like ambience and playful southern-influenced fare. They’re all well done—or rather, medium rare.
Carnevino, Las Vegas
(Photo: Kelly Campbell)
Vegas isn’t short on steakhouses: every casino in town has one, and they run the gamut from traditional to modern. But Mario Batali’s take on the Sin City staple is our favorite for its Riserva rib eye, which is dry aged for eight months and has a distinctive—and delicious—blue cheesiness. If you’re feeling especially decadent, opt for the black truffles, about 10 grams worth, shaved tableside. It’s gilding the lily, but hey, this is Vegas.
Also of note is the bistecca fiorentina, a massive porterhouse for two, and, of course, the house-made pasta. Start with a half-order beef agnolotti with onion ragu or Mario’s signature beef cheek ravioli.
Cut, Beverly Hills, Calif.
(Photo: Tim Griffith)
Wolfgang Puck’s contemporary steakhouse in the swanky Beverly Wilshire is a head-turner, complete with gallery-like white walls, John Baldessari art, and celebrity clientele—Eva Longoria, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Cruise have all supped here. But the Michelin-starred, Richard Meier–designed beauty doesn’t crest along on looks alone. She’s serious about her steaks, grilled over wood and charcoal, then finished under a 1,200-degree broiler. There are a slew of sauces to pair with your Wagyu, grass-fed Angus, or 35-day dry-aged sirloin; we’re partial to the smoky, juicy, salt-and-pepper-seasoned beef.