The Best Steakhouse in America
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of steakhouses in America, of every stripe. There are clubby dining rooms loaded with brass and mahogany; expansive, no-frills chophouses; cavernous Wild West temples to beef where everyone’s wearing a Stetson; power broker-filled clubhouses; and modernist steakhouses that turn all the conventions on their head. To compile our recent ranking of America’s 50 Best Steakhouses, we examined more than 200 of America’s leading steakhouses with strict criteria: Is the meat sourced reputably and USDA Choice or Prime? Is it dry-aged, and if not, is it as high-quality as can be? Is it served at the proper doneness without fail and with a touch of ceremony? And is it revered by locals and out-of-towners alike? We also considered the overall steakhouse experience. In the end, one restaurant came out on top, for the second year in a row: Wolfgang Puck’s CUT, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Puck has reinvented the steakhouse with this restaurant, located in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (and there are now spin-offs in Las Vegas, London, and Singapore). The traditional red leather booths and bucolic paintings have given way to a cool white interior by rationalist architect Richard Meier and a series of pieces by conceptual artist John Baldessari. In place of iceberg wedges and grilled swordfish, look for warm veal tongue with baby artichokes and roast Maine lobster with black truffle sabayon. Oh, and the steaks? Not the usual four or five choices, but a total of 17 cuts and places of origin, from Australian filet mignon to Illinois bone-in New York sirloin to genuine Japanese Wagyu ribeye from Miyazaki Prefecture. What Puck has done here is nothing short of mind-blowing.