Meat cooked right and a mess of crisp fries: When it's good is there anything better? A proper steak frites is a true treat. As with any round-up of iconic dishes there will be rules and disagreements between honorable carnivores. This is bistro fare, not a dish served at steakhouses. If you have to order your fries from a supplemental potato menu, it's not a steak frites. This is our list of the best in the city.
① Le Philosophe
Grilled Flat Iron, frites, sauce choron, sauce bordelaise ($27)
The Frenchy real-deal: The boldly beefy and tender flat iron is fanned out over an earthy, jus-like bordelaise. The side of brown-butter choron sauce is just right for dipping super-crisp fries.
③ The Odeon
All Natural NY Strip Steak Frites ($35)
The trusted, timeless, up-late-downtown-what's-for-dinner, can't-miss bistro classic. Add a hunk of Roquefort ($2) because why not? The meat comes from Creekstone Farms but are you really paying attention? Have another martini.
Steak Frites (Shoulder: $30, NY Strip: $40)
Tied up, cooked sous-vide, then seared to order, ensuring even doneness every time. It's a bit of a cheat, but the meat's tasty enough that we're not complaining.
⑤ French Louie
28 Day Dry-Aged Steak ($36)
Aged ribeye + fries with anchovy butter + old-school steak sauce = this newcomer from the Buttermilk Channel guys is a worthy addition to the steak frites scene.
The final steak frites score | Bar Boulud (top) | Le Philosophe (bottom)
Dry-Aged Strip Steak Frites, béarnaise butter ($35)
Grilled strip with crisp, thin-cut bistro fries in an enlightened bistro setting: There's very little to argue with here.
⑦ Bar Boulud
Steak Frites ($40)
Daniel does steak. And like pretty much everything Daniel does, it's damned good. Big cup of near-perfect fries, excellent char--it ain't cheap, but if you're at Bar Boulud, neither are you.
⑧ Minetta Tavern
Tavern Steak with pommes frites ($28)
With good char, a nice pat of herb butter and classic McNally style crack-fries, this is one of the most New York rooms in town.
Creekstone Farms Steak au Poivre ($39)
Don't get hung up on the pepper-sauce thing; this is steak frites done right. The substantial filet is cooked the way you want it done, and the kitchen gets bonus points for frites fried in duck fat.
⑩ Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte
Trimmed Entrecôte steak "Porte Maillot" with its famous sauce ($29)
With only one main on the menu (literally), this Parisian chain better know what it's doing--and they do. Servers keep your rosy sliced steak warm over little burners and return with the happy question: Do you want more perfect frites? Of course you do. Believe le hype.