Best Steak - 2003
Morton's of Chicago
Yeah, it's part of a chain (and a damned generic chain at that), but Morton's undeniably knows what it's doing when it comes to the Entire Steak Experience. Beautifully marbled cuts from top-ranked 2-year-old steers are aged two to three weeks and broiled at up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, a process that sears the flesh and concentrates all of that juicy flavor. When you slice effortlessly into, say, the porterhouse (Morton's specialty cut) and transfer the results of all that marbling and aging and broiling and searing into your mouth, you can taste the melting, fatty creaminess in every bite. New York strips, filets mignon, and rib-eyes are also on the menu, and in true Chi-town tradition they're rolled around the dining room in all their saran-wrapped glory for your pre-menu perusal. Morton's is also good when it comes to traditional steakhouse trappings. The martinis are ice cold and enormous, the setting is dark-paneled and masculine, and just about all of the menu items (the bacon-wrapped sea scallops, sautéed wild mushrooms, and lemon soufflé especially) are excellent. An impressive 500-bottle wine cellar is stocked with full-bodied cabs, rich merlots, hearty zins, and other meat-friendly vintages.