When nearly every new menu sports a dry-aged steak or expensive Wagyu cut, it can be easy to forget just how many actual steakhouses are in South Florida. Truth is, the past few years have seen a number of fancy, modern meat specialists added to the lineup of old-school stalwarts.
No chain steak house stand-ins here. Instead, we have everything from old Florida standby's that have stood the test of time for decades, to a few flashy new steak joints specializing in grass-fed beef and spear-caught seafood.
This is our list of the ten best steakhouses in Broward County:
10. Chuck's Steak House
2428 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-772-2850; chucksflorida.com.
Chuck's Steak House Founding partner Chuck Rolles opened his first steak house in 1959 in Waikiki, Hawaii. Today, there's one other location, in Fort Lauderdale. The place offers all the usual steak house offerings presented to you on a hand-painted wooden bottle menu. That includes a teriyaki ribeye, filet mignon, Angus New York strip, and a Hawaiian-style chicken breast that's out of this world tender and juicy. It's also one of the last remaining restaurants to offer a solid salad bar with house-made dressings and flavorful toppings like raisins and brown bread croutons. Get there early for the "snowbird" early-bird special, available nightly from 4 to 6 p.m. May through October (and Sunday through Thursday from November through April).
9. Las Pampas Grill & Bar
830 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park; 954-564-6363; laspampasgrill.com.
Argentine food is easy to love: flavorful char-grilled meat is often soaked in a sauce of aromatic parsley, olive oil, and garlic, and is usually chased with bottles of strong red wine or a light, lager-style beer. It's meat-and-potatoes simple. It's good. And it's exactly what you'll get at Las Pampas Grill & Bar in Oakland Park, a sophisticated South American steak house with a barrio-esque ambiance serving empanadas grass-fed Uruguayan beef. Like most Argentine restaurants, Las Pampas is proudest of its grilled meats and wine — a healthy selection of South American, American, and Old World picks. For the main course, there are plenty of options a la parrilla (from the grill), including flank steak, short ribs, and rack of lamb. The entraña a la parrilla, a long flap of skirt steak, is a signature dish plated with hand-cut fries and a small side salad. The tender and juicy steak — grilled al mattone, or chargrilled beneath a heavy tile or brick — arrives with its end rolled into a compact coil to fit on the plate, so generous a cut you might find much of it also leaves in a doggy bag.
8. Ireland's Steak House
250 Racquet Club Rd., Weston; 954-349-5656; bonaventureresortandspa.com.
This high-end steakhouse is among Weston's premier restaurants, and the area's only restaurant awarded a Four Diamond rating by AAA. Located at the Bonaventure Resort, Ireland's menu features specialties such as organic Niman Ranch Prime and certified Black Angus beef, straightforward cuts of grilled beef alongside a few offbeat offerings (like lobster fries and a barbecue-rubbed baked sweet potato), all of it complemented by creative cocktails and a custom-built wine cellar offering a selection of over 1,200 bottles. There's also an in-house pastry team that prepares desserts fresh each day if you're in search of a sweet ending.
7. Council Oak
1 Seminole Way; 954-327-7501; counciloakhollywood.com.
The restaurant, located inside the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is known for its cosmopolitan yet inviting atmosphere and high-end steaks and seafood. It serves USDA, prime, dry-aged beef and line-caught seafood, along with a selection of over 300 wines from more than 13 counties, with a large selection available by the glass (giving them a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2012). Some of the best dishes aren't beef, however, but instead a veal chop or double-cut grilled Colorado lamb chops, as well as oven-finished Chilean sea bass. Finish with any of the housemade desserts from a perfect baked Alaska to a divine chocolate souffle.
6. Steak 954
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8333; steak954.com.
This is a steakhouse of great refinement, in spite of a menu that looks like the same-old, same-old. You walk past a tank full of black-lit jellyfish to get to Stephen Starr's Steak 954, set in the austerely swank W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, and by the time you've finished dinner, you'll feel nearly as graceful and buoyant as those medusae. Refreshing cocktails are made with exotic elements such as aloe or ginger beer. A slider is not just a slider: It's Kobe beef topped with the sweetest caramelized onions and sandwiched between rounds of buttery brioche. A bone-in veal chop is melting and juicy; a plate of Mediterranean bronzini, with a jewel-like array of vegetables, is as light and delicate as any fish that ever swam. Even a tuna-foie gras taco, weird as it sounds, is a luscious flavor pairing. Don't skip dessert: Toffee pudding with pomegranate sorbet or a pineapple soufflé by pastry chef Tai Chopping may be the city's best sweets.
5. JWB Prime Steak & Seafood
1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; 954-874-4462; margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com.
Forget cheeseburgers in paradise. At the Margaritaville resort in Hollywood Beach, you can get a perfectly seared bone-in rib eye, local spear-caught fish, and homemade banana cream pie that’s better than Mom’s. In December 2015, the 17-story, 349-room Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort unveiled its eighth and final restaurant: a 142-seat steakhouse named JWB for the hotel chain’s founder, the one and only James “Jimmy” William Buffett. Accessible to resort guests and locals alike, the restaurant offers a decidedly luxe dining experience backed by a contemporary menu of seafood, raw bar items, and USDA Prime steaks paired with a book’s worth of world-class wines and another for signature handcrafted cocktails. But perhaps most exciting, although unexpected, is the JWB seafood and sushi program, executed by a team of dedicated sushi chefs and local spearfishermen tasked with sourcing the day’s fresh catch.
4. Adena Grill
900 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach; 954-464-2333; adenagrill.com.
You are what you eat, and you’re eating the best at Adena Grill. If you order the Million Dollar Burger at this swanky steakhouse located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, you won’t have to run out on the tab after dinner. The name of this burger refers to the amount of money Adena Foods founder Frank Stronach has invested to create Adena Meats, which supplies the restaurant with all of its beef, chicken, pork, and, soon, lamb. Though the burger doesn’t cost $1 million, Adena aims to make it well worth the $24 price tag. It’s all about the grass-fed, organic meats raised on Stronach’s own farm and prepared at his state-of-the-art processing plant near Fort McCoy in Marion County. Inside the sprawling steakhouse — complete with custom-designed furniture, a dedicated wine bar, and a separate cocktail bar — the ambiance is decidedly upper-crust. More than 7,000 bottles of wine are on the list. The menu highlights both seafood and meat with a short list of specialty cuts: bone-in cowboy steak, rib eye, New York Strip, prime rib. The petit filet is a favorite, a hearty cube of meat seasoned with nothing more than a sprinkling of pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper.
3. Tropical Acres Steak House
2500 Griffin Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-989-2500; tropicalacres.com.
Broward County’s oldest steakhouse, Tropical Acres has been a popular destination for perfectly prepared steaks and seafood since founder Gene Harvey opened its doors in 1949. Once a lone gem in the swamps of Dania Beach, today the iconic eatery’s Old Florida charm makes it the perfect spot for a traditional steakhouse experience. The old-school menu has a touch of Italian flair and offers a staggering 13 cuts of beef, all butchered and aged in-house. That includes a 16-hour roasted prime rib cooked to buttery-soft perfection with just the right amount of fat. Or go for the specialty: shrimp-and-turf Marsala, fat slices of ruby-red filet mignon and plump shrimp sautéed with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms in a Marsala sauce, served over linguine. No matter what you choose, all mains are a bargain compared to many newer steakhouses because they include with a salad and choice of two sides. End with house-made desserts, including one of South Florida’s best key lime pies — a tart custard that offers a hint of crystalline sugar cradled in a crumbly crust.
2. NYY Steak
5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek; 954-977-6700; seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com.
NYY Steak is one of the area’s premium steakhouse restaurants, a concept established as a joint venture between the New York Yankees and Hard Rock International. The stylish interior boasts an open kitchen, Mozambique wood walls, antique bronze mirrors in the ceilings, and black oak floors, as well as custom-made wall with past and present Yankees players’ signatures. It’s also home to one of South Florida’s best meat-aging programs, with an onsite butcher shop preparing a wide selection of USDA Prime meats dry-aged 21 to 28 days. In-house butcher Walter Apfelbaum will personally assist guests in selecting the perfect meat and cut, which is cooked to exact specifications and served on diamond-shaped plates. Meals can be paired with a selection from the impressive fine-wine list, featuring more than 200 options that received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence the past two years.
1. Diplomat Prime
3555 S. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; 954-602-8331; diplomatprime.com.
In September 2016, an all-new Diplomat Prime launched, the final restaurant to be unveiled as part of the Diplomat Resort & Spa's recent $100 million renovation transformation. The 108-seat restaurant boasts refined decor designed to feel more approachable than the traditional steakhouse ambiance. It also offers a revamped menu to go along with the atmosphere, including prime cuts aged in-house and a large variety of seasonally driven seafood entrées created and prepared by executive chef Nicolay Adinaguev, who once led the kitchen at Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale. That includes standout selections such as an 18-ounce dry-aged prime rib eye and local black grouper served with rainbow Swiss chard, fennel, and apple. A full raw bar offers everything from Alaskan king crab legs and a lobster cocktail served with fresh horseradish to a hamachi crudo with ají limo emulsion, avocado mousse, pickled radishes, and scallions. A cocktail-focused beverage program offers a modern approach to dinner pairings, complemented by a variety of Old-World and New-World wines available by the glass or bottle.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.
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