One of the benefits to living in Arizona is that practically every season is grilling season. We know, nothing can compare to the feeling of selecting your own beef and then coming home to grill it just the way you like. But if you want to get all gussied up and go out to let someone else man the grill, here are the Valley’s best of the best. And trust us, they’ll make it look — and taste — like a work of art. Now, show us the meat.
The legendary Durant's is for those who like their steak served in an old-school setting, one complete with red walls, red leather booths and a back door which enables you to enter the restaurant through the kitchen. The snazzily dressed dinner guests and wait staff match the mood of the decor, and the drinks are appropriately brimming with old glamour and no-fuss attitude. Order your favorite retro cocktail and prepare to meet it in its true form, rather than some spiced-up modern version of itself. Then choose from a slew of mesquite-broiled steaks and chops, including filet mignon, beef tenderloin tips, top sirloin steak, porterhouse steak, New York strip steak, ribeye, veal porterhouse and slow-roasted prime rib. All entrees are served with a soup or a salad and your choice of sides.
2611 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004 602.264.5967 http://www.durantsaz.com
2 Arrowhead Grill
At Arrowhead Grill, Executive Chef Charles Schwerd makes sure your steak wastes no time going from the kitchen straight to your table. No, really -- don't be surprised when it arrives at your place setting still sizzling in all its savoriness in the iron skillet it was cooked in. And rest assured that all cuts are premium, corn and alfalfa-fed beef. Tackle the 48-ounce porterhouse if you dare, otherwise there are 22-ounce and lesser cuts of porterhouse, prime rib, bone-in ribeye, a 16-ounce bone-in KC strip, 8 and 16-ounce New York strip, rack of lamb and more. Choose from the sautéed bleu cheese, cognac peppercorn, bernaise and gorgonzola encrusted sauces to accompany your meat. Or go with a tried and true favorite; Schwerd's signature steak is the 10-ounce Delmonico. Ask for it served "Oscar style," with crab cakes, asparagus and bearnaise sauce (pictured).
8280 W. Union Hills Drive, Glendale, AZ 85308 623.566.2224http://arrowheadgrill.com
3 Donovan's Steak and Chop House
Located close to Biltmore Fashion Park and the Camelback Esplanade business and shopping center, as well as the Ritz-Carlton and other chic resorts, the dark and extravagant Donovan's Steak and Chop House caters to the upscale crowd. The very upscale crowd. Enjoy valet parking, martini happy hours and a strict dress code of business or resort casual. Steaks run about $40-$60, and you certainly get what you pay for. The prime filets, New York strips, porterhouse, T-bone and other cuts of meat are perfectly seasoned, incredibly tender and seriously large, so come hungry. (For lesser appetites, there's an 8-ounce prime filet on the menu.) For sides, Donovan's offers everyone's potato dishes with decadent touches: au gratin, smashed with garlic, baked and skillet fried. Fresh seasonal vegetables are always included, too.
3101 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016 602.955.3666 http://www.donovanssteakhouse.com
4 Fogo de Chao
Fogo de Chao earns points not only for deliciousness, but also for creativity. The Brazilian steak house offers guests a unique dining experience in which those who aren't familiar with the gaucho style of cooking meat can discover some cultural culinary flair. And yes, there is a salad and sides bar, but it's gourmet and hardly low-brow. Here's how it all works: The gaucho chefs prepare 15 different cuts of savory, fire-roasted meat and serve it to you tableside, allowing you to pick and choose which you want and then slicing it right there for you. A round card at your place setting signals to your server you're ready for (more) meat when you flip it to the green side. Then you turn it to the red side while you eat until you're ready for another serving. Dinner for two here, with drinks, runs well over $100.
6300 N. Scottsdale Road, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 480.609.8866 http://www.fogodechao.com
5 The Stockyards
Originally opened in 1947, The Stockyards Restaurant is a Southwest icon and a step back in time. Retaining plenty of saloon-style decor and Old West atmosphere, the place pays homage to every good cowboy or gunslinger's favorite food: meat. The signature plates here are their "Best of the West" prime rib cuts, the 18-ounce Cattle Baron, 12-ounce Cowboy and the 8-ounce Tenderfoot. And we know it may seem like a crime to put something so pretty between two slices of bread, but don't underestimate the grilled New York strip steak sandwich, either.
5009 E. Washington Street, Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85034 602.273.7378 http://www.stockyardssteakhouse.com