Where to Find America’s Best Prime Rib
January 5, 2017
Don’t believe that perfect prime rib is better than a great steak? Try one of these
Where to Find America’s Best Prime Rib
When we compile our annual ranking of America’s 50 best steakhouses, there’s a reason we don’t consider restaurants devoted to prime rib: Because even though it might be a close cousin, prime rib isn’t a steak; it’s a chop, a wholly different dish that’s worthy of praise in its own right. If you’re looking for a world-class prime rib, these 10 restaurants are the ones to visit.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, New Orleans
Photo by Ed U. via Yelp
This French Quarter institution serves a great steak, but their prime rib is unlike any other in the country, and decidedly New Orleans. Available in a 12- or 16-ounce cut, it’s rubbed with honey and a proprietary Creole seasoning blend before being slow-roasted and served with horseradish cream.
Nina N./ Yelp
Going strong inside Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall for more than 180 years, Durgin-Park serves flawless versions of classic American fare, including steamed lobsters, chowder, chicken pot pie, baked beans, and prime rib. Made from Prime aged beef, it’s available in three sizes: the 10-ounce Boston cut, the 16-ounce Yankee Cut, and the ginormous 32-ounce (that’s two pounds!) Durgin cut.
Gallaghers Steakhouse, New York City
This New York legend is best-known for its in-house dry aging room where all of its meat — including the prime rib — spends some time before heading into the kitchen. Whole USDA Prime ribs of beef (the same cuts that go into the restaurant’s popular rib-eyes) are dry-aged in this room, and that funky, minerally dry-aged flavor permeates the final, perfectly cooked product.
House of Prime Rib, San Francisco
For prime rib lovers, this Dan San Francisco institution is the Holy Grail. Packing in crowds every night of the week since the 1940s, House of Prime Rib is devoted to one thing: really, really good prime rib. Whole ribs of Midwestern corn-fed beef are hand-selected by the chef, dry-aged on premises for 21 days, slow-roasted in a blanket of rock salt in accordance with an old English recipe, carved tableside to your specifications after being wheeled over whole inside custom-built steel carts, and topped with a generous ladle of jus. It’s available in four sizes, and every order is served with a big salad bowl (also prepared tableside), mashed potatoes and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, and horseradish cream.
Keens Steakhouse, New York City
Yelp/ Andy T.
New York’s largest prime rib is also its most jaw-droppingly beautiful and delicious. The deep-brown crust, the near-miraculous way that it’s bright pink from end to end, the rich reduction drizzled atop it, the intensity of flavor and tenderness from the dry aging… it’s an absolute showstopper (a smaller version is also available during lunch). Keens is the only New York steakhouse that requires three visits to fully appreciate it: Once for the porterhouse, once for the mutton chop, and once for the prime rib.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Los Angeles
There are four U.S. locations of Lawry’s The Prime Rib, in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, and Las Vegas, but the original — going strong in Los Angeles since 1938 — is the one to visit. It’s upscale, elegant, and old-fashioned, and as soon as you enter you’ll see the hallmark of a great prime rib spot: the steel carts. Prime rib is available in five sizes and includes salad, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and whipped cream horseradish. There are plenty of add-ons, including lobster tails, giant baked potato, béarnaise sauce, and shrimp cocktail. No matter what, make sure you sprinkle on some of the restaurant’s namesake seasoned salt.
Taste of Texas, Houston
Photo by Ailene M. via Yelp
This Houston landmark, opened by Nina and Edd Hendee in 1977, is part restaurant and part museum of Texas history. Artifacts on display include Sam Houston’s calling card, the signatures of Alamo heroes Davy Crockett and William Travis, and a 1911 Colt .45 (once stolen off the wall, but later returned) — but the steaks make it clear that this place is no gimmick. This was the first restaurant in Texas to serve certified Angus beef, which is used in its super-popular prime rib (available in sizes from 10 to 24 ounces) after it’s been dry-aged for a whopping 35 to 42 days.
Taylor’s Steakhouse, Los Angeles
Photo by Charlie C. via Yelp
In business since 1953, Taylor’s is about as old-fashioned as it gets — specialties include London broil, pot roast, pepper steak, and chopped steak — and its prime rib is a timeless classic. Simply rubbed with a spice blend and slowly roasted until perfect, it’s served with jus, creamed horseradish, a vegetable, and mashed potatoes. Order a martini — you know you want to.
The Prime Rib, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia
The Prime Rib (no relation to Lawry’s) has four locations (Baltimore was the first to open in 1965), and it’s about as classy, sophisticated, and romantic as it gets. Live jazz, tuxedoed waiters, and expertly made cocktails are the perfect backdrop to the main event: the 12-ounce Signature Cut of roast prime rib. Make sure you order the restaurant’s famous potato skins on the side.
Ward’s House of Prime, Milwaukee
A completely ridiculous 17 sizes of prime rib are on the menu at Ward’s House of Prime, ranging from a reasonable eight-ouncer to a nonsensical 176-ouncer, called the “WrecKing Ball” and retailing for $280 (that’s 11 pounds, for those keeping track at home). But ignore the gimmickry; the prime rib here is the real deal. Beef is USDA Prime, and the prime rib is the result of three months of trial and error: It’s dry-rubbed with a special seasoning blend before resting for three days and roasting low and slow for seven hours.