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Buffalo Cheektowaga Favorites Fine Dining Steak Williamsville
"Though we ordered the same entrees the same way at every restaurant, there was a staggering variation in the accuracy of preparation and taste of the finished products."
Many Western New York restaurants serve steak, yet few would call themselves "steakhouses" in the classical sense of that word - a boast of expertise in serving perfectly cut and prepared meats. This week, Buffalo Chow's editors tackled a long unanswered question: which of Western New York's steakhouses is truly the best? Our answer comes in the form of four reviews: Black & Blue, Buffalo Chophouse, E.B. Green's Steakhouse, and Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, two located in the City of Buffalo, and the other two in the suburbs. Each meal for two cost in excess of $110 before tips or alcohol, bringing our total cost to over $500 to write about all four experiences. We obviously love you, our readers, as much as we love our steaks.
Unlike other reviewers, we took steps to guarantee accuracy in our results. We used techniques to remain anonymous, rather than allowing ourselves to be identified as reviewers, ordered the same entrees and drinks with the same preparation at each restaurant, and booked three of the four meals on consecutive nights. Black & Blue was the exception, as we were already familiar with it; despite its comparatively aggressive pricing, our three-star rating of that place still stands.
Our findings were somewhat surprising. Though their prices were all but stratospheric by local standards, none of the restaurants aspired to the most traditional levels of pretentiousness or exclusivity; we also had no problem getting 6:00 or 6:30 reservations at each place on 48 hours or less of notice. We dressed fairly well, but each one seated diners wearing anything from suits and dresses to something only a step or two above casual; two even served men in baseball caps and sports jerseys. Similarly, only one - Black & Blue - was staffed to the crumb-clearing, near-servant levels we've seen in some fine restaurants, and none had the end-to-end elite dining feel of an old Manhattan or hip Beverly Hills steakhouse. For the dollar, we'd still take the Brazilian Fogo de Chao churrascaria steakhouse experience any day, but Black & Blue and Buffalo Chophouse were locally the best on service.
This is, of course, Western New York and the 21st Century, so perhaps exclusivity and exquisite service aren't necessary to satisfy your steakhouse needs. If not, you'll certainly want to know about the food. Though we ordered the same entrees the same way at every restaurant, there was a staggering variation from establishment to establishment in the accuracy of preparation and taste of the finished products. For comparative reasons, we attempted to preserve some similarity in other items as well, though we did go with each place's recommended specialty dessert. The differences we noted in the quality of the entrees tended to carry throughout the rest of the items, as well.
In short, Western New York's best true steakhouse is unquestionably Buffalo Chophouse. The service, steak, lamb, appetizer and dessert we had there were all the best of the bunch overall; this is the place we would most likely return to patronize again. Black & Blue was a close second, as much on the recent strength and breadth of its service as on the quality of its meats, and its extremely strong crab menu; we also felt that its intentionally modern interior design and plating were especially strong. E.B. Green's was a distant third, with strong service and value, but a less impressive menu, so-so preparation, and weak ambience. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse was fourth, with comparatively mediocre service and value, alongside a good menu with unimpressive preparation. Its location is perhaps the most convenient for everyone from inbound airport visitors to hungry, shopping locals, but it is the one we would be least likely to ever visit again given the quality of the experience.
Our full reviews discuss each of these steakhouses in turn, rating each on its merits and bearing in mind both traditional steakhouse pricing and service. That having been said, it is obvious that comparably fantastic meals can be had for much less at other local establishments; in the near future, we'll spotlight additional restaurants that specialize in more affordable or otherwise less pretentious steak variations, as well.