Food + Drink

Getting Serious About Steak

January 1, 2016

A customer’s steak preference is no laughing matter. Steakhouse chefs know that meat-lovers want their ribeye nice and tender, with just the right amount of pink in the middle. Over the years, Michigan steakhouses have been ramping up their game on hearty portions, quality service and an exceptional ambiance so steak fans can leave satisfied.

A longtime leader in Detroit’s steakhouse scene is the famous London Chop House. Since 1938, this spot has been a staple for Detroiters who are serious about their steaks. Nico Gatzaros and his family re-invigorated this historical destination roughly four years ago, while still maintaining its old-time charm.

General Manager Bjorn Lagerfeldt recommends kicking off a meal with the Oysters Rockefeller or the rich crab bisque, two customer favorites. The London Chop House never skimps when it comes to portion size. “We have gentlemen come in and order our 32-ounce porterhouse and they crush it,” Lagerfeldt says. He is also a strong proponent of their 14-ounce Grade A-7 Chilean Wagyu boneless ribeye, a more recent addition to the menu.

Drinks are also served to customers’ liking. Popular beverages include the decadent “Hummer,” a dessert-like cocktail with rum, Kahlua and ice cream, in addition to their superb selection of whiskey and wine. The London Chop House also goes beyond just serving steak. Jazz music fills the room almost every night of the week, and their cigar bar and billiards room are worth the visit.


Photo by London Chop House

 Michael Symon’s Roast, located in the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, is yet another meaty destination in the Downtown scene. A unique feature is the rotating “Roast Beast,” which is a roast of lamb, goat, pig or other animal. The type of meat changes regularly, depending on what’s available from local farmers.

Another big “beast” on the menu is the dry-aged Porterhouse, weighing in at a whopping 48 ounces and served with confit potatoes, caramelized onions and Zip sauce. According to General Manager Joseph Allerton, the steaks are prepared with extra care. “We dry-age some of our steaks in-house,” Allerton says. “Then we grill them over charcoal and finish them in our wood-burning oven.” With so many tempting options, you can always opt for Chef Michael Symon’s favorites — the smoked pork chop and the dry-aged ribeye.


Photo by Michael Symon’s Roast

If you’re searching for a quality steakhouse in the suburban area, look no further than downtown Birmingham. Cameron’s Steakhouse is a local favorite and perfect social spot. It’s also a favorite among Detroit sports teams — even our rival teams can’t stay away. “We’re like the country club of Birmingham,” says Dining Room Manager Chuck Johnson. He notes that while there are certainly regulars, Cameron’s caters to anyone who walks in the door for dinner or happy hour.

While the bone-in filets are sizable and scrumptious, diners who aren’t as giddy about steak can find solace in their farm-raised salmon, one of their most popular seafood selections.

Only a brief drive away from Cameron’s, Big Rock Chophouse on Eaton Street in Birmingham also brings in customers for lunch and dinner. Big Rock’s chef, Matthew Fitchett, is not only the front-runner in the kitchen — he also has quite the green thumb. “We have our own garden on property now where we grow everything from asparagus, sunflowers and lavender,” Fitchett says. “We even have our own honey bees.”

Fitchett strives to keep his ingredients as fresh as can be and also brings in whole animals, including salmon, chicken and duck. While the bone-in steaks tend to be best-sellers, customers also can appreciate the frequent weekend feature — a 20-day-aged, 34-ounce Tomahawk steak for two, which is carved table-side.


Photo by Big Rock Chophouse

While Big Rock’s hands-on, local approach is a draw for many, the Grill House Restaurant in Allegan is another spot that’s worth the drive. Owner Marcia Wagner and her husband, Dan, have owned the Grill House since 1998. A rural Michigan gem with a lot of history, the Grill House offers a one-of-a-kind steakhouse experience, where you get to be the grill master. Whether you’re already a pro-griller or just beginning your career, step up to their 8-foot by 10-foot grill and get creative while cooking your own steak, seafood or chicken dish. Known for their historical architecture and beautiful courtyard, the Grill House is a legendary spot that has been featured on the Travel Channel as one of the tastiest steakhouses around.


Photo by Grill House Restaurant

At any of these award-winning Michigan steakhouses, you can expect that the staff takes the meat just as seriously as you do!

*Feature Photo from Big Rock Chophouse

London Chop House
55 W. Congress St., Detroit
(313) 962-0277

The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit
(313) 961-2500

Cameron’s Steakhouse
15 Willits St., Birmingham
(248) 723-1700

Big Rock Chophouse
245 S. Eton St., Birmingham
248) 647-7774

Grill House Restaurant
1071 32nd St., Allegan
(269) 686-9192


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