There's a low-key vibe to Smith Brothers Steak & Chophouse—its simple wood tables are surrounded by vintage liquor ads and a shiny granite bar that reflects the flat-screen TVs behind it. But the team here takes steak seriously. Each signature cut is made with certified Black Angus beef, including a 16-ounce flat-iron sizzler with mushrooms and their signature 6-ounce filet with caramelized onions. Aside from steak, you can also try the shrimp scampi, chicken francese, or center-cut pork chops. Live musicians play on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as whenever it's not Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Executive chef Seth guides a roster of culinary concoctors, gracefully hewing a menu of steakhouse fare from fresh produce and hormone-free beef. The chef-recommended pomegranate-glazed hanger steak includes mashed yams and brussels sprouts ($35), and the turduckin is a covert operation that employs a chicken disguised as a duck, disguised as a turkey to disrupt diabolical hunger schemes ($24). Peruse the entire Etc. Steakhouse menu online and inculcate the brain with delicious options.
Operated by veteran restaurateur Peter Sideris (who has worked at New York's Smith & Wollensky), Hamilton & Ward Steakhouse serves meticulously prepared cuisine with world-class Kobe beef, prime beef that been dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, and high-quality seafoods. Hamilton & Ward's dinner menu is loaded with several scrumptious cuts, from its signature 48-ounce porterhouse for two ($79) to the 32-ounce Flintstone ($54), a bone-in rib eye that'll stimulate Stone Age–era taste buds and tip over most foot-powered cars. Disguised bears, meanwhile, can hunch into their trench coats and break into a few fresh Maine lobsters (market price) or savor the restaurant's grilled Atlantic salmon ($25). Keep first-date conversations lubricated with any of the 400 wines in Hamilton & Ward's exquisite Mediterranean wine cellar, or guarantee a second with a glamorous glass of Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac, the only liquor to have been elected president of a Micronesian island.
People running in and out of the doors at Ribs on The Run used to be a common sight. That’s because the barbecue shop’s previous location was strategically located near a train stop, and hungry riders would run over, order some of their favorite ribs, and then be out the door to catch their train. Though the number of people sprinting to the door has decreased since their move to a new location, their clients still maintain the same level of fervor for the house’s signature ribs rubbed in secret spices. To create hearty meals, chefs pair their ribs, barbecue pork, and wings with cornbread and a choice of homestyle sides, which clients can eat in house, pick up in the restaurant, or have delivered free of charge. Staff can also cook up their filling fare for catered events, allowing loyal customers to share their favorite food with loved ones on their wedding days, at family reunions, or on the day they finally tell their dog he was adopted.
Recently renovated, Assembly Steahouse's—well-reviewed on NorthJesery.com—interior still retains the classic steakhouse look, with burgundy carpet and wood tables, and the menu still offers a good balance of surf and turf. The restaurant's old standbys such as miso-glazed beef and shrimp kabobs, grilled orange-ginger salmon, and prime new york strip steak are all the more flavorful. To pair with menu selections, the bar shakes up 15 specialty martinis, such as the Basic Naked—just gin and olives—or the Bikinitini, made with Malibu rum and pineapple juice and garnished with a bandeau top.