With its devoted customer base, countless industry awards and now 10 years of Best Of wins to its credit, restaurateurs everywhere might be inclined to ask what gives Churchill's Steakhouse its magic.
"A lot of that is top secret," says Melissa Persling, Churchill's specialty products and retail manager.
"But I will say that we've developed our very own, unique wet- and dry-aging process that our owner, Bill Alles, actually invented. So you're never going to try a steak in another restaurant or buy a steak at a high-end grocery store that is like a Churchill's steak."
Not even dine-in restrictions could diminish the demand for Churchill's signature menu item. Throughout the pandemic, the restaurant shipped record numbers of its Prime steak gift boxes — a gourmet kit complete with cooking instructions and herbed finishing butter — to steak lovers all over the country.
It's not just the superlative aging process that sets this steakhouse apart. Long before guests are even seated, Churchill's staff goes to great lengths to make sure the entire dining experience is second to none. That starts with sourcing the top 2 percent of beef that qualifies as USDA Prime. They then work with a master butcher to obtain very specific ribeye, filet mignon or New York cuts. Once the steak is fully aged, the chef sears it to perfection and plates it with just the right garnishes to enhance its flavor.
Other aspects that define the Churchill's experience aren't so closely guarded. They're on display from the moment you walk in.
"Not only are you going to get that perfect steak or seafood dinner, you're going to have a waiter or a waitress who's focused on making your evening special. It doesn't matter whether you're there to celebrate a certain occasion or it's just a Friday evening," Persling says.
"We really go above and beyond to make it the best night that our guests could imagine."
2nd PLACE: Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
3rd PLACE: Wolf Lodge Steakhouse, Coeur d'Alene