CraveDFW: December 26th 2012

By Steven Doyle –

Beef is what’s for dinner at many restaurants around Dallas-Fort Worth. With healthier diets many are avoiding red meat, but for some reason area steakhouses are doing bumper business. Visitors to our city insist on giant slabs of beef and budget accordingly. The trend in 2012 was to retro-fit restaurants into steakhouses. This is why we lost Nana Grill atop the Hilton Anatole, which is now the very amiable and beautiful SER Steak + Sprits (pronounced ‘sear’) and soon this treatment will be performed on another Dallas classic, Charlie Palmer’s which is located at the Joule Hotel downtown Dallas.

It makes perfect sense when you operate a hotel and send dozens of cabs to steakhouses where those bodies once sat perched happily in giant hordes in the hotel restaurant. The steakhouses are getting thousands of covers each night as opposed to the hotels that were getting dozens. This is big business, and life or death for the hotel restaurant. In the case of Nana – death.

With that said, we list our very favorite places to dine on cow in our 2012 edition of the Dallas Steakhouse Round Up.

SER Steak + Spirits: The restaurant is managed by the Nana staff and has undergone a multi-million dollar transition. Still with the most amazing view of the Dallas skyline, SER offers guests prime Wagyu beef aged in house. Cheffed by the youthful Anthony Van Camp.

Still boasting an amazing wine list, which is essential at a steakhouse, SER is flanked by a beautiful open bar. Here a lone traveler might enjoy a simple plate and sip a few martinis after a long week of meetings, but the restaurant itself comes alive and now enjoys great crowds after that transition which was completed at the end of summer 2012.

The cuts of beef are perfectly grilled, using a whole cow. Extra bits of the beast are broken down for ground beef used elsewhere in the hotel. Top service, imaginative sides and a damned good steak gives this house our top nod.

Nick and Sam’s Steak House: Always a perfect evening with insane, doting service, Nick and Sam’s menu goes far beyond the normal realm of beef. There are plenty of seafood items listed on this menu and also offers the charmed deviled egg. Particularly wonderful is the caviar service.

Business guests are given preferential treatment. Close that big deal at Nick and Sam’s and you are offered free champagne that is wheeled out in a specially made cart. Beef is king at Nick and Sam’s, and so are you.

Pappas Brothers Steak House: Pappas serves a really good steak, which is important if that is what you are selling, but the house also boasts one of the best wine lists in the state along with numerous sommeliers, including two master wine stewards. The restaurant has an older, clubby feel that can often be cramped, but still a really fine steak.

Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House: Located outside the Dallas loop in Addison, Texas, Chamberlain performs up to high standards in beef. Using USDA Prime and Waygu beef, Chamberlain himself is an accomplished taskmaster in meat. A steakhouse favorite is the creamed corn, and Chamberlain brought this tradition now served at every steakhouse in the country.  Particularly fantastic is Chamberlain’s cigar room where you step back in time and enjoy a piano man and smoke amongst captains of industry.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: Del’s is a chain, but operates out of Dallas. Here corporate chef David Holben is housed in a traditional and very busy steakhouse environment. Holben is award winning and creates a beefy atmosphere that throws down a great steak and sturdy sides. In Dallas we adore Jennifer Jaco, the sommelier, who herself has garnered plenty of accolades. This is where deals are brokered up north, and regulars patiently wait for their favorite tables.

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