10 Steakhouse Chains With the Best Appetizer

When dining at a steakhouse, the experience begins when you glance at the appetizer menu. These starters set the tone for the meal, offering a preview of the culinary excellence that awaits. Steakhouses, known for their hearty and flavorful main courses, also take pride in crafting appetizer selections that tantalize the taste buds and prepare the palate for the rich, savory dishes to come. Below is a look at ten steakhouse chains that have garnered acclaim for their exceptional appetizers, each bringing something unique.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Sizzling Blue Crab Cakes

The Sizzling Blue Crab Cakes at Ruth’s Chris is a testament to the steakhouse’s dedication to premium ingredients and masterful preparation. By focusing on jumbo lump crab meat, these cakes offer a pure, unadulterated crab flavor enhanced by a simple yet elegant lemon butter sauce. The sizzling presentation is not just for show; it adds a layer of texture to the crab cakes, making them a memorable start to any meal.

Morton’s The Steakhouse: Morton’s Salad

Morton’s Salad is a refreshing departure from heavier, meat-centric starters, providing a light and crisp beginning that perfectly primes the appetite for the steaks to follow. The combination of iceberg and romaine hearts creates a crunchy base, while the rich Morton’s blue cheese dressing and the salty punch of anchovies add depth and complexity to the dish. It’s a sophisticated take on a steakhouse classic that exemplifies Morton’s attention to every detail of the dining experience.

The Capital Grille: Pan-fried calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers

This dish exemplifies The Capital Grille’s approach to combining classic ingredients with bold flavors. Adding hot cherry peppers to the pan-fried calamari introduces a level of unexpected and delightful spice, challenging the conventional presentation of calamari as a mild appetizer. This dish excites the taste buds and reflects the chain’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: Thick-Cut Nueske’s Bacon au Poivre

Del Frisco understands that the love for steak often extends to a broader appreciation for high-quality meats, and their Thick-Cut Nueske’s Bacon au Poivre is a celebration. The dish elevates bacon from a breakfast staple to a gourmet appetizer, with the peppercorn crust adding a spicy complexity that contrasts beautifully with the sweet and sticky bourbon molasses glaze. It’s a bold choice for an appetizer that sets the stage for the equally bold flavors of the main courses.

Texas Roadhouse: Cactus Blossom

The Cactus Blossom is a playful and visually striking appetizer that embodies Texas Roadhouse’s commitment to hearty, flavorful dishes. The presentation is as important as the taste, with the “bloomed” onion creating a fun and interactive dining experience. The Cajun Horseradish sauce, with its creamy texture and spicy kick, is the perfect accompaniment, making the Cactus Blossom a signature dish that’s hard to forget.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: Sweet Chili Calamari

At Fleming’s, the Sweet Chili Calamari combines the tender texture of lightly breaded calamari with the sweet and spicy notes of the chili sauce, showcasing the chain’s ability to balance flavors masterfully. This appetizer is a testament to Fleming’s innovative approach to seafood, proving that even traditional steakhouse chains can offer something fresh and exciting in every course.

LongHorn Steakhouse: Wild West Shrimp

The Wild West Shrimp is a testament to LongHorn Steakhouse’s flair for infusing classic dishes with bold and zesty flavors. The spicy chili sauce and the tangy cherry peppers give the shrimp an extra kick, ensuring that this appetizer is not just a starter but a highlight of the meal. It’s a perfect example of how LongHorn brings the spirit of the West to its menu, offering adventurous and delicious dishes.

Outback Steakhouse: Bloomin’ Onion

The Bloomin’ Onion is more than just an appetizer; it’s an iconic symbol of Outback Steakhouse’s brand and culinary approach. This dish’s sheer size and the novelty of its presentation make it a communal experience, encouraging sharing and conversation at the table. With its unique blend of spices, the signature dipping sauce complements the crispy onion perfectly, creating a flavor profile that’s as memorable as it is tasty.

STK Steakhouse: Lil’ Brgs

STK’s Lil’ Brgs epitomizes the chain’s modern and upscale twist on classic steakhouse fare. These Wagyu beef sliders offer a luxurious take on a familiar favorite, combining the rich flavor of Wagyu with the playful presentation of sliders. The special sauce adds a tangy and sweet layer, making each bite a complex and enjoyable experience. It perfectly represents STK’s commitment to blending fine dining with a contemporary, social atmosphere.

McCormick & Schmick’s: Shrimp Kisses

Shrimp Kisses at McCormick & Schmick showcase the chain’s expertise in seafood, with each bite delivering a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The sweetness of the shrimp, the smokiness of the bacon, the heat from the jalapeño, and the hint of honey create a taste sensation that’s both sophisticated and satisfying. This appetizer reflects McCormick & Schmick’s dedication to offering thoughtfully crafted and irresistibly delicious dishes.

These appetizers start the meal on a high note and embody the essence of each steakhouse chain’s culinary philosophy. From the playful to the refined, the spicy to the sweet, these starters are a crucial part of the steakhouse experience, offering a glimpse into the creativity, quality, and flavor that await in the courses.