Top Cut Steakhouse

Top Cut Steakhouse

It has been several weeks since I had dinner at Top Cut Steakhouse, but morsels of the evening have been permanently inscribed in my memory. The velvety finish of my wine, the vibrant color of my steak when I cut into it, the dreamy lighting of the dining room after the sun went down, the last bites of icing on my cake.

What I keep coming back to more than anything, though, is one word. It’s the same one I’d use to describe new silk sheets, a second glass of Macallan, the skin of a freshly picked peach, the saxophonist’s opening notes of the night: smooth.

To get to Top Cut, you must first journey through Melt, the stunning ground-level restaurant above which Top Cut sits. Perhaps you have a layover at the Melt bar, or perhaps you head straight for the elevator that opens on the third floor into the foyer. As you become attuned to the sleek climate, there’s a familiar feeling of enchanting intrigue signature of all Paxos Restaurants—a transporting sense that you are not, dear Toto, in the Lehigh Valley anymore.

And yet, you are.

The dining room is quietly dramatic, with panoramic windows that reveal rooftop views of spectacular sunsets. Neutral tones, marble, wood, black semicircle booths, and crisp white tablecloths converge into easy elegance. The space can be closed off into one or two private rooms for parties, events, and business meetings.

Perhaps as notable as the ambiance and the food is the service. A restaurant’s knives and champagne flutes can be polished, but if the service isn’t, the facade is pointless. From the hostess station to the servers and the busboys to the general manager, the service was so genuinely knowledgable and enthusiastic—and delivered with such precise cadence—that dining at Top Cut feels like dining in “the good old days,” even if you only have an inkling of what those days once held. There is no rush, and there is also no wait.

If you didn’t stop for happy hour at Melt, you may want to do so here. The bar, which offers seasonal handcrafted cocktails and an extensive wine list, is a bit like a show before dinner. The bartenders spin around, skillfully shaking and straining cocktails or intuitively refilling wine glasses. If you’re in the mood, they’ll share some trivia or a riddle.

There is no rush, and there is also no wait.

Here’s a riddle: When is bar food not bar food? When the bar food in question is Onion Rings at Top Cut. Made from true Vidalia onions grown in Vidalia, Georgia, the vegetable is peculiarly sweet due to low amounts of sulfur in the soil. The gigantic rings are fried in a Yuengling beer batter, making for a dangerously decadent onion-ring-meets-funnel-cake twist that you have to try a bite of to understand.

“We have a little something for everyone” is a mantra that a lot of restaurants have adopted over the years, marshaling menus together with mismatched fusions and trends and flavors, hopeful that something will resonate with each guest.

This is not Top Cut.

The steak house does not suffer from any identity issues; it does not dabble or piggyback on foodie fads, nor does it try to stretch to breakfast or brunch or lunch.  No, Top Cut is only open for dinner, and you come because you want the best steak you can get. As the only restaurant in the Lehigh Valley that exclusively serves USDA prime beef, this is where Top Cut delivers.

The steakhouse’s meat is 100 percent purebred Black Angus, hand-selected by a specialty butcher in Chicago. (Only around 2 percent of cattle cuts earns the designation of “USDA prime”—it is the ultimate stamp of approval reserved for only the highest quality meats, offering superior tenderness, marbling, and flavor.)

This is particularly true of the 10-ounce USDA prime Filet Mignon, which was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The meat was so luscious and juicy and had enough flavor that no additions—no sauces, no sides—were necessary to complete the meal, but I couldn’t resist ordering the House Steak Sauce and Grilled Royal Trumpet Mushrooms in addition to the Onion Rings as sidekicks. The sauce was unique and delicious—sweeter and less tangy than I had anticipated—thanks to two secret ingredients: mango and walnuts. The mushrooms were wonderfully flavorful with a satisfying meaty texture.

Other steaks include a 32-ounce Porterhouse, dry-aged 22-ounce Bone-In Ribeye, or 20-ounce Bone-In New York Strip. You can amp up your steak with tasty additions like Bone Marrow Shallot Crust or South African Lobster Tail. You can also get your seafood fix earlier in the meal, where appetizers have a surf-and-turf slant (Oysters on the Half Shell, Steak Tartare, Escargot). I tried the Colossal Lump Crab Cocktail, which came with three sauces: house cocktail, lemon aioli, and tomato granite. The crab meat was delicate, soft, and tender—the perfect beginning start to my meal.

All beginnings have an end, though. For fun, make a bet with your dining companion that you can go longer than they can without saying the words “oh my God.” Then order the Carrot Cake. Approximately the weight of a child’s bowling ball, the cake is a housemade specialty with sugar-roasted carrot cream mousse and vanilla cream cheese icing punctuated by crunchy candied pecans. If it doesn’t already have a cult-like following in the area, it will soon.

Top Cut Steakhouse
2880 Center Valley Pkwy #625
The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley

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