Steak nights have been a Houston bar staple for as long as anyone can remember with fans passionately debating the merits of each bar’s offerings. More recently, talented cooks such as Meat Mojo and Elements have lured diners from bar to bar with their precisely cooked steaks and standout sides — all at a price that’s far below what one would typically pay at even a mid-tier chain steakhouse.
Over the last few months, more bars and restaurants — including two led by James Beard Award winners — have gotten into the mix with their own creative offerings. They’ve added their own twists with special sauces and sides, higher quality product (at higher prices), and a level of service that’s a step up from the typical pop-up.
These new offerings won’t necessarily replace either a traditional bar steak night or a steakhouse; they aren’t designed to. Rather, they offer diners some intriguing new options, especially as more people resume dining out. After all, steak night's appeal is hard to resist.
Better Luck Tomorrow
Chef Justin Yu serves a different steak setup every two weeks at this bar and restaurant in The Heights. Recent options typically include a hanger steak with sauce and a starchy side like fried potato skins and mashed potatoes or a baked potato stuffed with buttered white onions and topped white wine lemon sauce, but Yu threw a curveball with this week’s chicken fried New York strip. Best of all, the special runs for both lunch and dinner, making it a perfect time to take advantage of BLT’s happy hour — when all alcohol (wine, beer, cocktails, and spirits) is half-off before 5 pm.
Originally, the restaurant planned to serve prime rib in rotation with its other Sunday supper specials, but the dish proved such a hit that it’s been elevated to every Wednesday night. Chef de cuisine Chase Voelz uses the experiences he gained at Chicago’s acclaimed Roister restaurant to roast the meat low and slow, ensuring a rosy, medium rare interior throughout and a flavorful crust. The slab is served with whipped potatoes, creamed spinach, and jalapeño Yorkshire pudding. At $80, this steak night definitely counts as a splurge, but meat lovers may conclude it’s worth every penny.
BOH Pasta & Pizza
Tuesday nights are steak nights at this Italian restaurant in Bravery Chef Hall. Chef Ben McPherson serves a 16-ounce ribeye with a Caesar salad and garlic bread for $24. That leaves plenty of money left for a glass of wine (or two) from Bravery’s extensive list.
Penny Whistle Pub
Head to this Montrose bar on Thursdays for Steak Kingz, a pop-up created by veteran Houston chef Jason “Big Sexy” Hill. For $20, expect a steak (typically a ribeye) paired with a green vegetable and a starch. This week, that meant grilled corn on the cob and red bliss mashed potatoes, but Hill will switch things up depending on what’s available. Penny Whistle offers an extensive selection of beer and whiskey for pairing.
The Post Beer & Wine Garden
This low-key spot on N. Main serves steak night every Tuesday evening. Steaks run a little more than a typical bar (bone-in ribeye, $42; New York strip, $27; filet mignon, $29), but the portions are hearty — the 20-ounce ribeye could feed two — and include one of four well executed sides: mac and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, or side salad. Note the tomahawk (40-ounces, $75) typically sells out, so order ahead if interested.
Cooking the steaks on a grill gives them a pleasantly smoky flavor. An intriguing list of craft beers and wines by-the-glass only enhance the experience.
The Montrose staple serves a steak night every Thursday. The $25 special comes with a hearty New York strip, a respectable Caesar salad, a pint of draft beer, and party potatoes — which are lightly smoked, then fried and topped like a loaded baked potato. Rudyard’s probably could have served its famous tater tots and kept diners happy, but the party potatoes might be a sufficient reason on their own to schedule a visit.
The restaurant’s Sunday steak night gives chef Mark Clayton the opportunity to flex some classic French technique. Rotated every two weeks, Squable’s steak night starts with a Texas wagyu strip or ribeye that’s topped with a sauce and paired with a potato or starch. Recent features have included sauce duxelles paired with puff pastry layered with country ham and Toma cheese; sauce Zingara B (country ham, truffle, and mushroom) paired with steak frites and blood orange hollandaise; and sauce bordelaise served with beef fat hash browns topped with caviar and hollandaise. Serving wagyu means the special costs between $50 and $60, but the quality speaks for itself.
On Wednesday nights, chef Hugo Ortega’s Oaxacan restaurant in downtown’s Marriott Marquis hotel serves a 10-ounce ribeye topped with mole and served with two sides and a glass of wine for $35. That means plenty of money left to explore the restaurant’s extensive mezcal selection and for a dessert created by pastry chef Ruben Ortega. For those who still aren’t comfortable dining in, the special is available to-go.