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.
Though the burger doesn't cost $1 million, Adena aims to make it well worth the $24 price tag.
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.