Best Restaurants 2014

Best New Restaurants: Upping the Steaks

What could possibly be new and interesting about that old Texas mainstay the steakhouse? Oh ye cutting-edge carnivores of little faith!

By Robb Walsh and Katharine Shilcutt September 30, 2014 Published in the October 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine


60 Degrees Mastercrafted

60 Degrees Mastercrafted

Fritz Gitschner, one of only two certified Master Chefs in the state, is picky about what he serves in his upscale, ranch-style restaurant in River Oaks. And thank goodness for that, because the menu offers some of the best ribeyes and filets you’ll ever taste, all courtesy HeartBrand Texas Akaushi beef. And just as steak without red wine is unthinkable, 60 Degrees’s sommelier Vanessa Treviño Boyd is unbeatable, always at the ready with a wealth of vino suggestions. 

Facón Brazilian Steakhouse

Houston can’t get enough of South American steakhouses, as evidenced by the success of this latest addition to the fold, which serves mountains of meat each night and one-ups the competition with a chef’s table that allows patrons to enjoy special creations from Facón chef Sean Skala. Pray to the food gods and hope he’ll serve his rich Peruvian lamb stew on the night you’re there, or perhaps the traditional palmitos with an oh-so-modern tomato gelée. 

Sal y Pimienta

At other places, servers might prowl the dining room with skewered steaks on swords, but at Uruguayan expat Gianfranco Percovich’s South American steakhouse, they do things differently, presenting a big wooden board full of raw meat from which diners can select their very own picanha or entrana (the Brazilian versions of top sirloin and skirt steak). Can’t decide? Order Sal y Pimienta’s massive parrilla and get them all—plus lamb chops, short ribs, chicken breast, Argentinean sausage, and more. The chic CityCentre spot also includes an inviting bar where you can enjoy an extensive by-the-glass wine selection.


From the man who gave us Tony’s comes a stellar new chop house with a see-and-be-seen bar and a stunning glass-walled showcase of a dining room. But it’s the steaks that are the real draw—large slabs of beef wheeled to the table on a display cart. Vallone’s USDA Prime ribeye for two is a showstopper, a tomahawk cut that weighs three pounds and comes attached to an 18-inch rib bone, carved tableside. Otherwise, don’t miss the incredible buttery creamed spinach. The fine wine list includes expensive Burgundies, wonderful Rhônewines at reasonable prices, and all the usual California suspects. 


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