Feature

Philly finally becomes a ‘five-cow’ town

The two best steakhouses in Philadelphia.

New York has Peter Luger and Chicago has the original Morton’s, but what did Philadelphia have? asked the editors of Phillymag.com. Not much. This is “a cheesesteak town, just never a plain old steak town. Until now.”

Nearly three-dozen steakhouses currently make their home here. Some belong to chains. A few aspire to be “the signature steakhouse we never had.” We visited all the contenders, keeping in mind that “a classic steakhouse isn’t just red meat; it’s red wines, too.” These were the only two to merit our highest rating—five cows.

Barclay Prime
What you simply must get at “the city’s most stylish steakhouse” is not the signature $80 tajima Kobe-style filet, but the crunchy potato skins layered with truffle butter, melted truffle cheese, scallions, and salty lardons. Although the Kobe imported from Australia is fabulous, so are the other cuts. This is also the only place in Philly—“or the world”—that could get away with selling a $100 Wagyu cheesesteak. The comprehensive wine list strikes a nice balance between “big-ticket brands and quirky surprises.” 237 S. 18th St., (215) 732-7560

The Capital Grille
Perhaps lured by the Parmesan truffle fries, the city’s power players have made the Capital Grille “their new clubhouse.” The steaks are well-charred but pink within, the service is polished, and many of the private wine lockers around the bar are engraved with Esq. or M.D. A dry-aged 24-ounce porterhouse priced at $45 is the restaurant’s signature dish. The wine list also offers “terrific choices in Zinfandels under $100.” 1338 Chestnut St., (215) 545-9588

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