Good steak house? [Food/Vendor]

2006 Dec 14
Hi all:

I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms with this topic, but I'm hoping that this very helpful and erudite group can give me some recommendations on a decent steak house in Ottawa. I've tried The Keg (not impressed), Al's in Bells Corners (also not impressed), Hy's (very impressed, but a bit out of my price range). I've seen both positive and negative reviews on Prime 360, which makes me reluctant to take a flyer on it.

My sweetie and I like good, fresh, thick, high-quality steaks with decent sides and veg. Does anyone have suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

2006 Dec 14
Have you ever tried Le Biftheque? It's a chain, but each time I went I was blown away by the quality, then again, depends on how you like your steak cooked. Also, my friend was telling me about a place called Texas Steak House or Texas Steak Company, something like that. He says he loved it. Hope I enlightened you a bit, and good luck with the search!

2006 Dec 14
Hi TJ, and thanks:

I have tried Le Biftheque near the Ikea mall in the west end three or four times, and I'm sorry to say I have never had a decent meal there. The last time was the last straw; the food arrived lukewarm and my rare steak was well done. I don't know if I just have bad luck or what the problem is :)

As for the Texas Steak House, yes, I had eaten there in the past, and it was pretty decent, but it is now closed, and there is another restaurant in that location.

But thanks for the suggestions!

2006 Dec 14
Really? Well, that isn't too too fun now is it. Then again, I have never gone to the Biftheque near the Ikea, I tend to go to the one in the Hotel Ramada Inn in Hull. Closer to home, for me (I am on the Quebec side). Maybe If your up for a drive with your sweetie, you could try it out. Other than that, I can't help you. Sorry.


2006 Dec 14
I haven't had steak at Prime 360 but I work in the same building in which it is located and have had lunch there several times. The food is just ok and not worthy of the price they charge. The best word to describe the sides would be "half-assed". I cringe when I see this place advertised on TV as fine dining. You're basically just paying for the major renovations they made last year.

I had steak at Le Biftheque (Ramada location) just last month but it wasn't memorable. It was cooked alright but the cut wasn't great. Again, I didn't feel like I got good value for my money.

Steak is so easy to cook I'd rather splurge on a nice cut at the butcher and do it myself.

2006 Dec 14
Good point.

2006 Dec 14
TJ, you're not the first person who has told me that the QC Biftheque is a better place than the Ikean Mall one. It may very well be worth a trip -- it's not that far at all.

And Ollie, you're right -- it is cheaper and easier to cook steak at home, but sometimes, we just want to go out and have a nice meal and be pampered a bit. Know what I mean? :)

Appreciate the feedback, too, on Prime 360. Like I said, when I see rave reviews in equal measure with thumbs-down reviews, it makes me uncomfortable about spending my hard-earned coin at such places.

2006 Dec 14
Re. Prime 360 -- if you mean the positive reviews on, most of those are from people who've never posted a review of any other restaurant.

You know, the way it usually happens when owners/employees begin fluffing for their place.

I'd avoid.

Hmm. Looking at it again (, I notice some of the strangely positive reviews are now by people who've reviewed a couple of others. But the couple of other reviews are also, er, strangely positive. As if somebody might have been trying to legitimize their review. And I do mean strange. What sort of naif would think "private label bottled water" a good thing? Or spell PRIME 360 in all caps? "Is Ottawa ready for PRIME 360? It is a high end Steak House in a class of its own! You MUST try it!" Uh huh. "The presentation of the meals on the large plates is very European and quite modern, someone has done their homework." Ha, ha -- oh, dear.

I wish Ottawa would get a "Morton's of Chicago." They can be a bit pretentious, but the sides (vegetarian, here) are excellent.

2006 Dec 15
Thanks kmennie, I do concur with your assessment. I generally avoid any restaurant with such patchy and up-and-down reviews. I've tried at least 3 or 4 restaurants rated consistently highly on the restaurantthing website, by posters whom I've come to respect and I have not once been disappointed. Prime 360....well, as you pointed out, the reviews are suspect to say the least.

2006 Dec 31
I've eaten at the new Keg on Hunt Club and was not overly impressed... I had the chicken and rib combo and my ribs were DRY, my chicken wasn't memorable either, best thing was their baked potato with three cheese butter. And the people I went with had steak and were not overly impressed for the price either. I think swiss chalet can top their ribs though...... Best ribs I've ever had were at Scores in Gatineau (they also have a newly opened restaurant in hull) not sure if they serve steak there but if they do I'm sure it's good. I've also heard mixed reviews of the Biftheque in Hull.

2006 Dec 31
Oh yes.. I also forgot to mention..The best steak I've ever had in the Ottawa area was a piece of filet mignon at Flying Piggy's on Bank...and they had the best Gnocchi I've had to date. I frequent that restaurant and they have the best pasta I have yet to taste.. The flighty bore is a must try!

2006 Dec 31
Haven't tried the steak there, but last year our office went for Xmas and everyone was really impressed with the pasta and apps. I bet their steak is good too!

Afraid I haven't found a good steak besides off my own grill...Al's sucked.

2007 Jan 4
I agree with Cindy's assessment of the new Keg on Hunt Club. The husband and I didn't feel we got enough bang for our buck either; the steaks were ok, but nothing special (our golden standard of excellence is Carman's in T.O.).

What guaranteed that we'll never be back again: his soup had obviously been poured a long time before it was served, and quite possibly before we even showed up -- there was a dry ring of cooked soup on the edge of his bowl. It takes about 14 seconds to pour a bowl of soup and throw a piece of parsley on top; is it really worth ruining the presentation to do it in advance? And I don't take well to the quick turnover dance if I'm going to spend $150 on dinner for 2.

2007 Jan 15
We would recommend the Empire Grill in the Market... not cheap, but pretty consistent. Although our best value is buying a ˝ beef tenderloin from Saslove’s in the Market and cutting it up ourselves into nice big steaks. Then you can control the cooking and enjoy a nice bottle of wine without paying extra restaurant prices.

P.S. If you are a fan of Confit of Duck, Saslove’s also has an in-house product that is excellent.

2007 Jan 16
I commented last week but not sure if I forgot to post or what. Anyway, here goes again...

I tasted one of the best steaks ever at Frescocielo on Elgin street before Christmas. My gang and I are huge steak fans and like it cooked blue so it's difficult to fool us with a substandard grade of meat. This piece was especially tender and flavourful and melted in your mouth. The chef knew what he was doing, that is certain. And the price was very reasonable.

I know this restaurant is not a steak house but it is consistently good every time we go there and if you want a good steak and great value, stay away from most of the steak houses in Ottawa.

And I was not impressed with the Empire Grill when we dined there last summer. The food was okay, but I ordered steak (which I never do in a restaurant) and was disappointed. Maybe it's because we can get a better one at home by spending $10-12 each on a superior piece of meat and my husband grilling it to perfection himself. I thought their meat was not tender enough nor was it flavourful, and it was overcooked too. The service we got was not great either, even though we spent almost $400 for our table of 4 for a quick Friday night dinner.