Savor a Steak in the Heartland – Tulsa’s Top 10 Steakhouses

By on August 19, 2016

What makes a truly great steak? Is it the quality and preparation of the beef before it ever touches the grill? Is it flawless technique? Is it the overall dining experience that surrounds that chop? Is it a signature red wine demi-glace or béarnaise on the side? Is it access to a transcendent wine pairing? Each one must judge for themselves how to weight these factors, and more. After a series of online polls, we present to you the TulsaFood top 10 steakhouses in the Tulsa Metro area for this year. Though your favorite may not be on the list, this is how our readers have spoken. In no particular order, here are the top 10!

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Tallgrass Prairie Table

Chef Michelle Donaldson rolled strong into downtown Tulsa a couple years ago with a passion to deliver a radical level of Farm to Plate dining to our city. And the Tallgrass team succeeded in this venture, big time. Currently offered at only $21, the Akaushi Flat Iron Steak has risen to prominence in a short time. It’s likely to be personally recommended by your server and/or your best friend, but it’s not just because of it’s value. Many guests and Tallgrass staff alike believe this to be the most objectively delicious beef dish on the menu. Although, truth be said, their hand-cut ribeye rivals anyone else’s in town as well…

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(photo: Celebrity Club Website)

Celebrity Club

OK. So, most everyone who really enjoys wine and thinks about why one bottle or glass was enjoyed more than another “understands” something very mysterious about the great fermented grape goddess: There is something magical going on at certain times. Where you are + who you are with + what’s going on around you + the history that ties all those environmental factors together actually affects how things taste. It’s fascinating. Fine, we all have friends who can nerd out on the science of it all, but still – it’s amazing. Our taste buds respond and pick up on certain complexities that we otherwise would not have. Our brains and even our entire nervous system seem to be affected by factors that appear to be totally unrelated to how something should theoretically taste.  And thus we leave you with this: Celebrity Club. The legacy of Mike Samara. Tableside caesar salad service. 50+ years. Transportation in time. And an unwavering commitment to giving you a steak dinner experience in this town that you will not forget.

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SMOKE. on Cherry Street

Where there’s SMOKE there’s…a wood fire grill and a hermetically sealed cigar lounge. Welcome to the only place in town that you can enjoy a “Chef’s Butcher Block” complete with hand cut chops selected by Executive Chef Erik Reynolds carefully prepared over wood fire, and then retreat into a separate and comfortable environment for a premium cigar. The entire experience is a carnivore’s dream.  SMOKE has enjoyed winning a handful of awards that demonstrate how serious they are about every single piece of meat hits that grill.

One insider tip – When you go in for that bone in ribeye or butcher’s block make certain you don’t cheat yourself at the beginning of the dinner. Since day one of their opening over 5 years ago they have offered two appetizers that have now become the thing of legend on Cherry Street.  SMOKE’s crab stuffed fried green tomato and their famous bacon jam will signal to your taste buds that you not only in for tremendous steak later, but also a complete dining experience.

 

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PRHYME

Choices choices. Not only does Prhyme offer what many locals consider to be the highest quality of beef available at any Tulsa restaurant they uniquely offer selections of both grass-fed beef and USDA (grain fed) Prime beef, as well as a choice between dry aged cuts and wet aged cuts. So, it takes several trips to really experience the depth of the steak and chops section of the menu alone, much less the poultry and seafood options. If you prefer a leaner cut of meat then you will not be disappointed with the grass-fed 10oz tenderloin filet. Never experience a USDA Prime 30 day dry aged steak? Then the 18oz Ribeye is a must (brace yourself for the price tag though). And if you fall comfortably into the category of beef connoisseurs who value a cut of perfectly marbled USDA Prime beef that is (quite literally) dripping with flavor then order the 160z Prime wet aged ribeye.

Finally, one undeniable factor that separates this downtown modern American fine dining establishment from others are the accompanying creations by Chef Proprietor Justin Thompson. Do you like a made from scratch sauce with your steak? Justin’s house steak sauce, béarnaise, veal demi-glace, peppercorn cream, and blue cheese cream sauces are as good as you will find – anywhere. Do you value side dishes that are as enjoyable as the meat itself? Prhyme’s sweet corn maque choux is addicting in itself (sometimes we pick it up to-go as an addition to a home cooked dinner), and the asparagus with fried egg and gruyere is a balanced, very well-concieved approach to a classic side for those who enjoy that particular green with their red meat, but are tired of the typical and plain preparation.

 

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McGill’s

McGill’s opened their 61st and Yale location in May 2001 and built upon the success of their first location located at 21st and Utica which opened in October, 1990. This was during Tulsa’s oil boom and the concept was simple: provide Tulsa businessmen and women a place where they might enjoy prime steaks, prime rib and seafood. Over a quarter of a century later, they continue to attract a loyal following as well as the new young professionals wanting to engage with the rich history of Tulsa’s food scene.

Such a following has been built upon a consistently delicious menu developed and maintained under the supervision of Executive Chef, John Briscoe. The McGill’s success story is also a tribute to the care that is shown not only to the guests (many of which are on a first name basis with the owners) but to the staff of McGill’s. Briscoe has served McGill’s for twenty-four years which manifest the care that permeates throughout the restaurant. And of course, over their 25 years, we have never seen this Tulsa classic cut corners.  Through booms and recessions, the quality of their chops and the confidence that one will get a true medium rare every time he or she orders it has made this steakhouse one that has stood the test of time.

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Molly’s Landing

31 years in the making, Molly’s wins the award for the most comfortably unique atmosphere in the area at which to enjoy a steak as good or better than you can get anywhere in Oklahoma. Even owner/operator Russ White will admit that there’s not much that can prepare you for Molly’s if you are first timer.  It’s not the typical ambiance one would expect to be in if they were getting ready to have their minds blown at what many would argue is the best steakhouse in the Tulsa area . All steaks are wet aged seasoned and of course grilled to perfection.

The menu, delightfully bound with a hand-crafted, artisan design, is extensive with a complete wine list that offers tremendous values and selection, including several Oklahoma grown wines from Whispering Vines Vineyard. Imported and micro beers along with specialty drinks round out the bar menu. Other beverages are also featured including a coffee selection, hot apple cider and assorted juices, making this one of the most comprehensive drink menus I’ve seen.
Sample the 4 ounce Peppered Filet and ½ baked potato, (or opt for rice instead) in a pool of Pepper Brandy Sauce. Flavorful and oh-so-tender, it’s completed with a side salad and house breads.

The Spicy 1872 Ribeye, smothered with spicy seasoning, is a long time local favorite. With seasonings reminiscent of the Chisholm Cattle Trail, this is one of the best steaks you’ll ever experience – and one of the largest for the price.

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(photo: Mahogany Facebook page)

Mahogany
I don’t think that the admirable, aristocratic Lord Grantham, arguably the hero of Downton Abbey, is a member of any of London’s old-line clubs. If he were, his club would be a place that had more than a passing similarity to Mahogany. There’d be wood paneling and gently worn overstuffed armchairs, of course, and the sense you get upon entering of returning to an old familiar place where you feel cosseted, loved and welcomed. You don’t even have to order. Your regular waiter remembers just how you like your food. If your regular waiter is not around — which is quite possible, given that Mahogany’s waiters are so competent that quite a few go on to manage other restaurants or to work in big business — they keep a file on every customer telling exactly how he likes his steak prepared and what his favorite is. (My favorite is the Cowboy Ribeye but many opt for the bone-in filet.)
The steak, of course, is what you go for, and it’s arguably the best in Tulsa. A few times a year, the chef makes a trip to check on a tiny butcher shop in Chicago. It’s the place that supplies Mahogany’s steaks, and he makes sure that Mahogany gets none but the finest. All are USDA Prime and all are wet-aged. They’re cooked in a 900 degree broiler and arrive sizzling at your table. The flavor is incomparable. Sides? Get the mac & cheese (or, if you want to splurge, the lobster mac & cheese). Desserts? They have massive slabs of luscious cakes. But you won’t notice anything but the steak.
(by Brian Schwartz)
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The Lounge at the Tavern on Brady

Last year the local food community began hearing whispers that Elliot Nelson (McNellies Group) was working on a high end, speakeasy, steakhouse concept with no name.  Simultaneously Executive Chef Trevor Tack was spotted on social media traveling to Chicago and New York touring this country’s most acclaimed iconic steakhouses. An idiosyncratic vacation, you might think. Perhaps he is trying to put on weight. Eventually, the word was out that there was back alley downtown and a big black door somewhere along it that must be found. Behind it was a world of hidden glamour, combining medieval black oak paneling with a art deco bar and tables straight out of a 1920s speakeasy. The expert bartenders, all dressed in bow tie, white shirt and suspenders, knew the lost art of making the perfect martini. There’s a menu of hearty appetizers and a fish special. But, the star of the show is the porterhouse for two. This aged USDA Prime porterhouse is cooked and presented exactly as it is at Brooklyn’s legendary Peter Luger steakhouse.  It’s slathered in butter, cooked to perfection in a 1400 degree oven, then sliced for service with the tasty mixture of butter and carnal juices poured on each slice. Finally it gets a few seconds in the oven to cook the butter, and then it’s all yours.
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(photo: communitylaw.org)

Polo Grill

This Tulsa institution of a fine dining chop house is tucked away in quiet corner of Utica Square. There are young professionals in Tulsa that weren’t even born yet when Polo Grill started winning hearts and awards over three decades ago. The steaks are midwestern-raised, from Kansas City.  GM/Chef Michael Funk leads the team and insures that their long standing reputation for excellence holds strong year after year. The ribeye, cowboy ribeye and the strip are USDA Prime and wet-aged for 28 days. If you are looking to deviate from the traditional preparation (mashed potatoes and a light subtle demi-glace) you can choose “Smokehouse” which means your steak is served with a loaded potato croquette and onion “hay”, or “Oscar” which tops the steak with crab meat and a rich béarnaise. Oh, and by the way, Polo Grill has one of the most prolific wine lists in the entire United States.

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Silver Flame Steakhouse

Who loves prime red meat and fine cigars? Men. Manly men. Okay, so there’s probably a few ladies who fall into this category, too. And that’s perfectly all right. But what’s even better is the USDA Prime Ribeye at Silver Flame Steakhouse. Each thick cut of choice red meat is grilled to perfection exactly as you like it. For those that crave a little more surf than turf, there’s also a full seafood menu to suit your heart’s desire. In addition to their outstanding entrees choices, the restaurant also boasts a bevy of Mediterranean dishes and appetizers designed to please your palate. And every meal is served with a flavorful relish dish, hummus tahini, tabouli, and other fantastic Syrian hors d’oeuvres.

A special smoking section in the bar allows cigar aficionados to light up as they please, which really makes this establishment stand out from the crowd. The relaxed, inviting atmosphere and wonderful staff create a place that is sure to become your new favorite hot spot. Each weekend, the restaurant offers live entertainment, making it a great place to bring a date or just enjoy a night out with friends. Rather spend the night catching up on your Netflix queue instead? Silver Flame Steakhouse also offers a wonderful takeout option with all of your menu favorites.

 

 

TulsaFood.com Staff

About TulsaFood.com Staff

TulsaFood’s mission is to inspire it’s readers to visit local restaurants, experiment with new cuisines, and enjoy amazing dining experiences in the Tulsa area. We achieve this through our commitment to publishing consistent, relevant, and excellent writing, photography, and videography that highlights our city’s incredible food culture.

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