No. 11: BLT Steak
Cuisine: New York chef Laurent Tourondel goes way beyond steakhouse clichés. From the expansive raw bar to the bistro-style board of specials to the gratis crock of pâté and Gruyère popovers, this outpost of his BLT empire does a convincing imitation of a fine French restaurant. The artful fare from protégé Victor Albisu may make you forget that steak is why you came.
Mood: The wine flows, and lots of cash is flashed. The sound loop switches from rock to jazz to country, but you probably won’t notice because the conversational hum is loud.
Best for: Expense-account dining; an indulgent meal.
Best dishes: Gruyère-crusted popovers; tuna tartare with avocado; skirt-steak-and-foie-gras sandwich at lunch; connoisseur-quality French fries; Dover sole with brown butter; the BLT Cut, a bone-in sirloin; real Japanese Kobe beef; herb-smeared lamb chops; stuffed mushrooms; chestnut sundae with chocolate sauce.
Insider tips: Portions and prices are steakhouse size, but you can split most steaks and chops.
Service: **½ (two and a half stars).
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.