Chain restaurants may not be the first places you would think of when planning to host a special occasion or when entertaining an important client, but then these high end steakhouses with multiple locations are seldom mentioned in conversations regarding chain restaurants. For that reason maybe ‘multi-location’ is a better adjective and their ubiquitous appearance across major cities becomes an asset in your corporate entertainment and special event arsenal.
Nationally recognized high-end steakhouses make a point of building their brand around impeccable customer service, USDA Prime Beef – dry-aged and often served bone-in, as well as fresh seafood and eloquent sides. Combine that with a refined atmosphere an award winning wine list along with a tradition of excellence and you have the recipe for a spectacular experience. Their multiple locations becomes their strength as business executives find familiar comfort and confidence in their choice when operating in unfamiliar territory.
While my first two picks for ‘multi-location’ steakhouses are well known brands, yet they are relatively new when compared to my third selection, a steakhouse tradition with roots that go back over one hundred years.
The Capital Grille is consistently ranked among the best steakhouses in any city. With 56 locations, including three in New York and three in Chicago, you can rest assured this eloquent establishment has a location nearby – often within walking distance. Founded in 1990 in Providence, Rhode Island, Capital Grille is owned by Darden Restaurants, with headquarters in Orlando. Known for fine dining, dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and award winning wine lists, their locations often boast beautiful views including the elaborate fountains and glass ceilings found at their Midtown Manhattan/Chrysler Center location and a view of the Strip from their Las Vegas location. When in Vegas, be sure to ask for table 73, located in the front corner and overlooking The Strip – it will seat from 2 to 6. A true power table and one of my favorites when entertaining in Sin City.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is yet another standard when it comes to upscale décor combined with five-star service and an impressive presentation. Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Texas, it known for their luxurious and warm atmosphere set within grand architecture. Most Del Frisco’s are clubby enough but with just the right amount of new millennium. Their New York location on 6th Avenue and 49th Street has a multi-level dining room with multiple private dining and group dining options. Or choose the main dining room, a lively midtown oasis to both see and be seen. Their multiple bars serve handcrafted cocktails and the Las Vegas edition boasts a piano for truly memorable occasions.
There are 13 Del Frisco’s Double eagle Steakhouses including ones in NYC, Chicago, Washington and Dallas. They are privately owned by Del Frisco’s Restaurant group, which also owns the Sullivan Steakhouse chain. All told, they own 53 restaurants in 24 states.
Smith and Wollensky’s is the third restaurant of my ‘steakhouse chain’ list, but is by no means to be considered least in any way. A veritable steakhouse tradition that started with Manny Wolfs on 3rd avenue in NYC. Opened in 1897 and closed when Alan Stillman bought it and turned it into Smith and Wollensky’s – while also turning the distinctive green and white building façade into a steakhouse trademark. With steakhouse décor that included oak paneling, white table cloths and ultra-comfortable seating as well as its signature dry-aged steaks, cold water lobster tails and refined service – Smith and Wollensky’s set the standard of what a steakhouse should be. “A steakhouse to end all arguments!” is how the New York Times reviewer Ruth Reich put it in 1997.
There are 10 locations of the venerable steakhouse including restaurants in Boston, New York, Chicago and Houston as well as an International location in London. Recently bought by Danu Investment Partners, with HQ in Ireland, the deal did not include the original restaurant in New York, whose ownership was retained by Mr. Stillman. It was recently reported that the Las Vegas building was sold and that restaurant will be relocating.
The Capital Grille
155 E 42nd St
The Capital Grille
120 W 51st St
The Capital Grille
Del Frisco’s of New York
1221 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
Smith & Wollensky
797 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10022