Top Tables: Dallas Steakhouses
Dallas is knows for its steakhouses. We know steak.
A good steakhouse doesn’t tip-toe. It struts.
Here are five of our favorites.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Pappas looks like a steakhouse: Tall ceilings, soft lighting, leather chairs. The walls are dark and rich, like the dry-aged prime beef steaks and most of the 36,000 bottles of wine in their cellar, which you can tour if you ask. You can order the salmon, but what’s the point when you can have the city’s best rib-eye steak. Your waiter will tell you that the lobster bisque is a special feature that night, but he’s lying. It’s always there, like a loyal friend or a golden retriever. Order it. You won’t be disappointed.
10477 Lombardy Lane, Dallas; 214-366-2000, www.pappasbros.com
You reach Morton’s speakeasy style, down a lonely staircase then through a windowless door, but the awkward location is worth the trouble. Thick white tablecloths, leather banquettes, and serving trolleys harken back to grand steakhouses of Chicago and New York. The subterranean dining room smells like prime rib and old money. Great steaks, classic side, and, for dessert, Godiva hot chocolate cake. The bartenders pour stiff drinks. Trust them if they tell you to order the prime beef burger made from steak trimmings.
501 Elm St. at Houston Street, Dallas; 214-741-2277; www.mortons.com
The dining room of this new interloper from Houston drips with draperies, chandeliers and curvaceous art, but the real drama plays out on the plate. The star, of course, is the slow-roasted, pecan-smoked pork chop, a Flintstone cut nearly two fists tall and edged with a crispy, crunchy, spicy layer where the smoke and the fire worked their magic. Like the beef filet chateaubriand and the prime bone-in strip, waiters carve the pork tableside then return to box up leftovers. Perry’s burger, made with Akaushi beef, is a game changer. Polish sausage, sliced thin then stacked like dominoes, trucks up from Perry’s butcher shop in Houston (along with ice cream from Oscar’s Creamery). It’s worth the drive.
2000 McKinney Avenue; Dallas; 214-855-5151, perryssteakhouse.com
The Capital Grille may be part of a restaurant chain, but you’ll swear there’s nothing cookie-cutter about this Dallas steakhouse favorite. Stern portraits of the city’s historic luminaries adorn the walls of this clubby Uptown restaurant, which, with its starched tablecloths and deep booths, could easily pass for the dining room of an exclusive country club in town, which might explain why the dining room is do often filled with powerbrokers and politicos. Standouts here include Kona coffee-crusted prime strip steaks, French onion soup, and one of Dallas’s most fairly priced wine lists. Portions are generous and meant for sharing. While the setting looks intimate and grand, the dining room tends to get very loud on busy nights. Service is usually attentive and unobtrusive. General manager Greg Cavanaugh has run the restaurant since it opened. He’s among the city’s best. If something’s not right–and that rarely happens– he’ll fix it.
500 Crescent Ct., Dallas, 214. 303.0500, capitalgrille.com
Bailey’s Prime Plus
The dining room in this difficult-to-find steakhouse could pass for a sexy Manhattan version of Rainforest Café: faux trees, water features, gilded everything. Thankfully, the kitchen cooks the real deal: Allen Brothers prime steaks, crab cakes as big as hockey pucks, decadent lobster mac and cheese, sweet creamed corn scraped from the cob. The food is crazy good, and the private dining rooms are always booked, both of which help keep your attention focused on the plate instead of the décor.
8160 Park Lane, Dallas; 214-750-8100; baileysprimeplus.com
A version of this story also appeared in Modern Luxury Magazine
follow me on Twitter: @MikeHiller