Well done steaks are hard to find, but truly great ones are rare.
It takes quality meat and proper technique to pull off a perfectly seared exterior, juicy center and remarkable flavor.
We asked members of our Facebook group Manatee Eats where to get the best steak in Manatee County, and they went above and beyond with their suggestions.
Manatee eaters seem to agree that great steak is worth a trip, so the list includes several Sarasota County and Hillsborough County steak purveyors in addition to local restaurants.
Whether you need to find your beef on a budget or you’re looking to splurge a little, there’s something in the area for you.
For a crash course on cuts of steak and how to make it taste great at home, check out the Chicago Steak Company’s “Steak University” resource at mychicagosteak.com/steak-university.
Michael John’s Restaurant
Michael John’s Restaurant in Bradenton is more than your average steakhouse.
John is a French-trained chef who applies his technique to classic American eats.
First and foremost is steak. The restaurant serves up Iowa grass-fed beef that is aged 12 to 14 days and then corn and grain finished.
Steaks are priced in the $30 to $57 range.
The restaurant also offers daily specials and tapas and vegetarian menus.
Michael John’s Restaurant is at 1040 Carlton Arms Blvd., Bradenton.
Manatee Eats members’ top pick for steak from a chain restaurant is Longhorn Steakhouse.
The brand is owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, Inc., and it’s a great place for decent steak on a budget.
The menu offers nine featured styles of steak, including the “Renegade Sirloin,” a flat-iron steak, ribeye, New York strip and “Flo’s Filet.”
“The LongHorn,” a 22-ounce porterhouse, tops out the menu at around $29.
Longhorn Steakhouse is at 4502 14th St. W., Bradenton.
The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille is another Darden Restaurants brand with nearby locations in Sarasota and Tampa.
Cuts of steak are thoughtfully paired or served as a main course.
The seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails ($54) is described as the “ultimate steak and seafood experience.”
Alternatively, try the porcini-rubbed bone-in ribeye with 15-year-aged balsamic ($56), the sliced filet mignon with onions, wild mushrooms and fig essence ($50) or one of many classic cuts of steak on the menu.
The Capital Grille is at 180 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota (just outside of Manatee County).
▪ Texas Roadhouse, 5710 Ranch Lake Blvd., Bradenton
▪ Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota
▪ The Public House Tap & Grill, 6240 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota
▪ The Waterfront Restaurant, 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria
▪ The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria
▪ GROVE Restaurant, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch
▪ Beef stroganoff made with filet mignon at Cremesh European Restaurant, 7232 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
▪ Several Manatee Eats members agreed that your best bet is grilling your own steak at home. One member recommended picking up your cuts of meat at Detwiler’s Farm Market.
▪ Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 6700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
▪ Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, 35 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota
▪ Bern’s Steak House, 1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa
▪ Ocean Prime, 2205 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa
▪ Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, 4400 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa