5 Steakhouse Chains With the Best Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is often lauded as the most tender piece of meat on the steer, with an almost buttery texture. The filet is taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin, and for that reason, and because it's a very small portion of the overall animal, it's typically the most expensive cut at the butcher.
But filet mignon is not something most people tend to make at home. It's a little pricey, for one, and it takes some finessing to know how to cook it perfectly. You don't want to fry up an expensive steak just to ruin it. That's why steakhouses exist! Step through the doors and relax, the pros know exactly how to cook it. Diners can enjoy a slice of juicy, tender filet mignon without having to lift a finger. (Apart from paying the bill, of course!)
For an insight into which of the nation's most popular steakhouse chains serve up the best cuts of filet mignon, we asked professional chefs to share their favorites. Here's where the pros go when they're craving a delectable filet mignon.
Morton's The Steakhouse
"Morton's The Steakhouse has my favorite filet mignon, with tender and well-seasoned meat," says Gen La Rocca, professional chef and recipe developer at Two Cloves Kitchen. "Their 7-ounce Wagyu steak from Snake River Farms is consistently cooked to a perfect medium rare, with a firm exterior and a juicy, soft, pink and red interior." For those ordering this filet, there are two options: a regular filet and a Wagyu filet. La Rocca says the Wagyu has more marbling, so choose the regular filet if you prefer a leaner cut of meat.
Chef Manuel Rodriguez, director of food and beverage at Innisfree Hotels, says Texas Roadhouse is his go-to steakhouse for filet mignon. "It's not as expensive, but it's a good cut of meat," he says. "When you walk in, you can actually pick the piece of steak you want since they hand-cut their steaks in-house, ensuring they meet their quality standards."
"When it comes to chain steakhouses, it's always LongHorn," says Adam Miceli, head chef of Pomodoros American Italian Cafe in North Carolina, who has previously worked as a sous chef at a steakhouse. At some steakhouse chains, diners pay a premium for the name brand. But at LongHorn Miceli says you pay for good product. "They are never frozen, ever!" he says of the filets. "They come off the truck in the walk-in and are used within 48 hours. Then a new shipment comes in, so it always stays fresh."
The Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris & Fogo de Chão
When it comes to steakhouses that serve the best filet, this chef couldn't pick just one. "The Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris and Fogo de Chão – all three of these restaurants serve grass fed protein which means you are going to get a very flavorful steak," says chef James Lubin, head chef at Semaj's One Way Catering in Dania Beach, Fla.
But getting a great filet at the steakhouse doesn't just depend on the quality of the protein, but also the chef that is preparing it. "You can have a high quality steak and the cook can destroy it during the cooking process, but you can also have a mid-level steak prepared by a professional culinarian and it comes out mouthwatering," Lubin says. "My recommendation is that you order your steak medium so that you can truly enjoy the steak with all of its integrity the way the chef intended."
Smith & Wollensky
While he loves cooking filets at home, Omaha Steaks executive Chef David Rose likes to visit high-end steakhouse chain Smith & Wollensky on nights out. With locations in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami Beach, and more, Rose says this steakhouse chain has a great dry-aging process and secures top-tier beef. "Filet mignon is an elegant steak with fork-tender texture and mild flavor," he says. "This cut can easily dry out if it's overcooked or cooked at too high of a temperature. When dining out, I personally make sure to order my filet mignon rare or medium-rare." (And, if he's staying in, Rose will cook up his own Omaha filet mignon cuts.)