There are more atmospheric steakhouses in this beef-eating city, and certain kitchens arguably produce better specific cuts of cow. But all things considered — first-class service, opulent side dishes, grand wines, and traditional and trendy cuts of beef — Michael Lomonaco’s Columbus Circle restaurant remains the gold standard for the postmillennial, chef-driven, fat-cat New York steakhouse. Lomonaco is accomplished at producing all sorts of things besides beef; but if you have the resources, fight for one of the tables by the window, and call for a towering stack of those buttermilk onion rings and the double-cut côte de boeuf, which is hoisted to the table on a silver salver, with a pot of red-wine sauce mingled with fatty bits of bone marrow on the side.
2. Sparks Steak House
210 E. 46th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-687-4855
In our humble, highly subjective opinion, the signature $55 prime sirloin at this venerable midtown joint is the best single cut of beef in the city. Order it at the bar before the dinner rush, while watching the first pitches of the Yankees game, with a goblet of inky red wine from the restaurant’s impressive cellar, and you’ll feel the rumbling, Beefeater ghosts of the city — from Paulie Castellano down to the great Diamond Jim Brady himself — rising up all around you.
3. Bowery Meat Company
9 E. 1st St., nr. Bowery; 212-460-5255
In the hectic tradition of many next-generation steak joints, Josh Capon’s downtown establishment offers something for everyone, including strips of “zucchini carpaccio” for vegetarians, an excellent duck lasagna, and one of the city’s best cheeseburgers for the legions of burger loons. But the specialties of the house remain the expertly prepared steaks, which — in variety, quality, and, yes, even price — are hard to beat
4. Keens Steakhouse
72 W. 36th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-947-3636
No chophouse in the city (and therefore the country) has a stronger pedigree, and none exudes a more pleasingly funky sense of old-fashioned charm. With apologies to mutton-chop lovers everywhere, the dish to get is the imposing “King’s Cut” rib chop, preferably on a snowy winter’s afternoon, in the pub room, by the gently guttering fire.
5. St. Anselm
355 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Havemeyer St., Williamsburg; 718-384-5054
“Grass fed” is not a phrase you often hear echoing through the dining halls of ye olde steak joints around town, but the fine grass-fed strip at this next-wave Williamsburg restaurant stands on its own. Pay attention to the side dishes (the carrots, the fennel, the iceberg lettuce and blue cheese). At $39, you won’t find a better price for your slap-up haute-barnyard sirloin dinner.