Marbling Is Critical To Great Steak

October 16, 2019Read More

There are many people who do not know what steakhouse marbling is. That being said people are always curious on what a steakhouse does, and why the steaks are so good. Part of serving great steak is starting with the right cuts of beef. One factor that HAS to be there in that beef is marbling. Marbling is not just the amount of fat in the meat. It is the distribution of that fat throughout the meat. A well marbled piece of steak has tiny spots or flecks of white fat going throughout it.

Great Steak And Marbling = Moisture

As unappealing as the term fat may sound, it does some important things for that Porterhouse or T-bone you are dining on in Williamsburg. Those tiny pieces of fat serve as moisture regulators. As the steak heats up during cooking, they melt slowly, keeping the meat nice and tender. The fact that the fat is in small quantities spread throughout meat, means the process will be slow and distributed properly. Combine this with a slow cooking time and you are going to get a steak that is tender.

williamsburg virginia steakhouse

A Great Steakhouse Knows Marbling Delivers Flavor

On top of just tenderness, marbled steak delivers an incredible flavor. The fat itself adds flavor to the non adipose portion of the steak. This is why marbled steaks are synonymous with great steakhouses. That incredible aroma is carried by that fat, that is now marinated throughout the steak. It is a flavor you have to taste to really understand.

Check Out More Information On Steak And Marbling

I put together some more information on marbling here. Click over and learn even more about the impact that it has to steaks and steakhouses alike.

great steak in williamsburg va

Come Enjoy A Marbled Piece Of Steak At Our Williamsburg Steakhouse

We know what marbling means to a great steak experience. We have been serving up delectable cuts of meat for over 50 years. Come taste for yourself the difference our experience can make when you want a great steak.

Williamsburg Steakhouse Information: Marbling

October 16, 2019Read More

As I mentioned before our steakhouse in Williamsburg does a number of things to ensure every piece of meat is cooked to perfection. This requires a number of critical steps that ensure every steak at our restaurant is a great one. One of the essential requirements of great steak or beef is marbling. As a refresher marbling is the amount of fat content in the meat. This fat, when exposed to heat melts and releases flavor into the meat. A well marbled piece of meat will have tiny white flecks. While some argue that marbling does not guarantee great steak, I have never seen great steak without it.

Thus I have put together some steakhouse resources via article links to help you know what to look for at any Williamsburg Steakhouse or Steak Restaurant you frequent when you are not in Williamsburg, Virginia. One of those articles that I saw comes from The Spruce Eats and is a great introduction to Marbling.

williamsburg virginia steakhouse

Marbling Basics

The article goes into the basics of marbling which include what to look for to know if beef is marbled properly. It also goes into the grading system for steak, which steakhouses use to determine the quality of beef. Additionally the actual diet of the cattle is also a factor. While beef is the product of cattle, it is important to look at what they consumed to know what you are getting. How cattle are fed will heavily determine what level of marbling, and quality a steak will have.

Naturally, some cuts of beef are going to have more marbling. Steaks like the Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, Delmonico, T-bone, and N.Y. Strip are examples of this fattier steak. And the biggest place that the product of marbling shows up is after that first bite of steak at Fireside Steakhouse in Williamsburg, VA.

Here is the link to the original steakhouse marbling article

great steak in williamsburg va

More Steakhouse Links On Marbling

Here are some additional links on marbling, a staple of any great Williamsburg Steakhouse:

Steak University’s Take On Marbling

With a name like Steak University, you couldn’t keep me away. I saw another great article on the subject of marbling. Steak University goes into even more detail on marbling and the impact it has on everything from flavor to how tender the steak is. Definitely worth a read.

Steakhouse Marbling Video

I saw a great video on the basics of marbling.

Video on Marbling Basics For Steak

The Steakhouse Test In Williamsburg Virginia

Take it a step further and come enjoy the product of marbling for yourself at Fireside Steakhouse. We have over 50 years experience in making sure that your steak is well marbled. When you take that first bite of filet mignon or prime rib, you will taste the difference too

Steakhouse 101: What Makes A Great Williamsburg Steak

February 1, 2019Read More

Even though every piece of beef is not going to be hand prepped with the care it would be at Williamsburg Va based restaurant Fireside Chophouse, but that is no reason to not know what makes a great steakhouse steak. While this is by no means everything (or even close), here is some information and article links to help you know you are going in the right direction.

Our steakhouse blog is filled with articles that will help you know what makes a great steakhouse steak by giving you key things to consider. Check it out.

locations of steakhouses in williamsburg virginia

Our Steakhouse Blog

First and foremost we have a number of articles in our steakhouse blog which go into great depth on these. I have put a little about some of these topics on this page below. If you want to find out more just click-over to the topics.

Steakhouse And Meat Basics


I cannot stress this enough. I cannot think of any area where being new or inexperienced is a real liability than at a steakhouse. Great steakhouses perfect a process. When done right, a great reputation will follow. Fireside Chophouse is a Williamsburg Steakhouse that has been dazzling taste buds since the 1970s. And every tender steak testifies to this point. You will see that great steakhouses focus on making every steak a masterpiece. It is an art and science that goes into a great steakhouse.

A great steakhouse

Steakhouse Aging

Aging is not something people look forward too. Unless of course, they are talking about beef or the perfect steak. Aging is the process of letting the natural chemicals in beef help breakdown the meats toughness. This releases flavor and helps to make the meat tender.

Steakhouse Dry Aging

Smoke As Part of Steak

Smoke is an essential ingredient to meat. Whether you cooking on a grill or visiting us at Fireside Chophouse, smoke is part of what helps to impart a rich flavorful aroma into meat.

Steakhouse smoke


It probably seems a little obvious that heat is a key part of making a great steak. To a steakhouse though, heat means a couple of very specific things. One is searing steak at high temperature to lock in the juices. Two, it means using lower slower temperature to cook the inside of the steak slowly once it is seared.

Searing Steak: The Secret Of Great Steakhouses

Cut Of Meat

Just like all steakhouses are not created equal, neither are all cuts of beef. Different cuts of steak offer different quality. To offer the best you have to use cuts that offer a more tender cut of meat. While not always the cheapest, you can taste the difference.


The best meat is marbled with fat. This might seem a little counterproductive but small pieces of fat release flavor when heated. This makes the meat taste incredible. There is not a great steakhouse, or great steakhouse flavor without it

Essential Steakhouse 101: Marbled Steak

locations of steakhouses in williamsburg virginia

Pairing It With Wine Or Beer

It is unlikely that your steakhouse meal or steak will be accompanied with water. You will choose a beverage. In many cases this will be wine and beer. These both have a strong taste signature. It doesn’t hurt to make sure you have the right flavor paired with the type of meat you are getting

Pairing wine with steak

A steak is a blend of strong aromas and textures. Pairing it with the right wine can make all difference as the tastes combine

Steakhouse Reputation

The proof is in the pudding. Maybe a better analogy is it is not the steak but the sizzle. Take it from us…it is the steak and the sizzle and the reputation follows great steak from a great Williamsburg Steakhouse. Here is a link to an article about our 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor.

locations of steakhouses in williamsburg virginia

Come check us out

Don’t just read how to make a great steak. Come taste the proof at Fireside Chophouse. The thing about a great steak is you don’t need to be a food connoisseur to say that something is delicious. Every bite speaks for itself

Williamsburg Steakhouse: Dry Aging The Steaks

January 3, 2019Read More

Williamsburg Steakhouse and dry aging the steaks

One of the many secrets that makes a steak a Williamsburg steakhouse steak versus just a good steak is dry aging

The term Williamsburg steakhouse or just steakhouse has a special meaning. There are restaurants that serve great steaks but it is a steakhouse that follows a number of very difficult things to make a steak taste incredible. It is not hype, it is science and quality. One of the things that part of this criteria is dry aging.

Dry Aging Steaks

I could sum up the three benefits of dry aging with this video I have added to this page. The science is very sound and simple. Dry aging is a natural chemical process that creates the steak you get at Fireside Chophouse in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is not marketing fluff or a gimmick but is a real biochemical process changing the piece of meat over a number of days.

Dry Aging Steak to Create Williamsburg Steakhouse Quality Beef does three key things

  1. Water evaporates, concentrating flavor in the steak more intensely. Think of water as kind of a filler that is not helping the taste.
  2. Enzymes tenderize the meat. The natural chemical process of meat breaking down softens the steak making it tender
  3. Finally new flavors emerge as the beef goes through this process. I call it the steakhouse flavor, something that is not really that is easy to do.

Now the cut of meat still matters. Think Ribeye, Porterhouse or T-Bone.

The grade matters too since only prime beef should be aged.

Then the cooking method of searing then slow cooking will guarantee that you do not lose that flavor or tenderness.

Finally pairing it with the right wine is almost important. Think robust red for something this thick,rich, and complex in flavor.

Should I try this at home

There are about a bazillion articles and videos touting the DIY dry aging theory. Yes you could simulate the process but it is going to be tricky but  it worth the extra hassle. Come to Fireside Steakhouse and enjoy our steakhouse without having to dry age your own beef. You will taste the difference.


September 5, 2018Read More

fireside chophouse steak




Due to Covid-19, as many others had have to do, we have had to alter the way we do business until our state is officially back open for business. For now, we will offer a limited menu that you see below. You can dine-in, or order for pickup.

fireside covid-19 limited menu

fireside chophouse food

fireside chophouse facebook page fireside chophouse youtube

Fireside Chophouse: 1995 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: 757-229-3310

Great Steak..And Smoke

September 11, 2017Read More


I constantly search for steakhouse and steak grilling recipes. Not because the ones I use aren’t delicious, it is always neat to try different methods other grill masters and chefs have used to flavor their steak. At the end of the day, whatever method you used to cook should be about flavor.

Flavor with meats, steaks, and chops can come from an array of sources. We have gone over many of them in this blog. They include temperature, variations in heat during cooking, marinades, prime beef, types of beef, marbling, dry aging, and more. One area where you can also add flavor is smoke.

A steakhouse generally does not depend on smoke because the cut of meat is the highest quality and the method involves locking in those juices and marbling by searing it on high heat. This is great if you have a commercial oven that can get up to a thousand degrees. Unfortunately, this may not be practical.

smoke flavor and great steak in williamsburg
Grilling at home in Williamsburg, Virginia or Beyond

You may find yourself at a backyard cookout, using un-aged choice burgers that come from the sirloin with little marinade or marbling. Your only allies? Your grill and the miracle of smoke, or more specifically the flavor of letting smoke seep into a steak or cut of beef.

Different woods carry an aroma. When put on the grill and allowed to give off their scent, they impart this flavor into the food. The smoke becomes a layer of taste adding to the meat. It is an aroma that is heavenly and can take average meat and make it pretty spectacular. (add the right marinade with the right smoke and it will be out of this world)

A few thoughts on Smoking meat or adding smoke flavor to meat on the grill

Smoke isn’t like a sauce. You cannot just dump it for instant flavor. Smoke is the byproduct of time. You have to let the smoke from the wood to slowly marinate in the food. More specifically, the smoke vapors permeate the meat. Though slow, the attention to this key detail will pay off.

Different Types Of Wood For Your Steak

Not all woods are created equal either. Some impart a stronger flavor than others. This is something you want to consider when grilling or smoking beef. Three really good woods for beef are:

  • Mesquite
  • Hickory
  • Oak

These give a strong flavor for something complex like steak. They are potent which is a good match for steaks, sirloins, and burgers on the grill.

Check out our other steakhouse articles

Pairing the right wine at the steakhouse

Best Williamsburg Steakhouse




Steak Williamsburg And The Importance of Marbling

March 20, 2017Read More

As a Williamsburg steakhouse we have served steak for over 50 years in Williamsburg. In this time we have learned the nuances of what makes great steak. One thing that makes a superb steak is something called marbling. Marbling is the official term for those little white streaks that you see throughout an uncooked piece of  steak. Those streaks add a little bit of fat to the steak and because of that they offer two incredible benefits that help make any cut of beef or steak taste great.

williamsburg steakhouse tips marbling

Steak: Marbling Means Moisture

One of marbling’s primary benefits is that it adds moisture to your steak or prime rib. Those streaks of fat help lock in moisture. They add a coating of sorts, trapping it in the meat. This is what helps to make that steak tender and keep it from drying out. If you have ever had dry unpalatable steak there is a strong chance it was not marbled. Likewise a large number of great steaks probably have some marbling.

Fat is flavor. These  thin marbled streaks als0 carry flavor. Fat transmits to our taste buds very easily. So when someone says they want that unique steakhouse taste they certainly are thinking about the scrumptious effects of marbling.

Great steak flavor in a Williamsburg restaurant

williamsburg steakhouse well marbled meat

How big is Marbling?

People come to the Fireside chophouse for great steak in Williamsburg Virginia They are thinking about a cut of steak that has an incredible aroma and flavor. And that comes down to a prime piece of meat that is well marbled. Marbling is an official term by the USDA. Steaks with the most marbling are considered prime which means it is the best steak you can get. Steaks with a little bit of fat or Marbling are considered choice and if there’s no marbling it’s considered select. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with a lean piece of meat, but a great steakhouse knows those little streaks of fat are critical to great taste. The government also has different degrees of marbling which can get very specific but the key is to try to make sure that you have Marbling at all.

Williamsburg’s best choice for steak

Find out why people come visit us week after week month after month in Williamsburg,Virginia. For over 50 years with serve steak that is been marbled beautifully and cooked to perfection. We also can help you pair the best craft beer or wine to balance the flavor of the meat perfectly.


More Steakhouse Topics

Pairing Steak With Wine

Filet Mignon

Best Steakhouse in Williamsburg


The Ultimate Williamsburg Steakhouse

June 3, 2016Read More

 family_steakhouse_williamsburgYour on vacation in Williamsburg and your looking for that incredible steakhouse to top off your day of non stop sights and sounds. After traveling through six countries at Busch Gardens or interacting with the living history at Colonial Williamsburg its time for a visit to a top notch steakhouse.

Making That Ultimate Steak in Williamsburg

As a top notch steakhouse (and purveyor of incredible prime rib) I have heard of many formulas to grill the juiciest, most delicious cut of meat possible. While I cannot ever give away the Fireside Steakhouse’s formula for an incredible piece of steak, I can show you some of the techniques of gourmet steakhouses.

Steakhouse Basics

Any great steakhouse, whether in Williamsburg Virginia, or in the greater United States, will tell you the basics of a great steak is the quality and cut of meat. Starting with best cut of the best beef is the foundation for that steak you cannot wait to bite into.  On top of that, the cut of beef, or specific portions of that meat, will give you the best steak in terms of taste.


The Best Beef

This steak needs no words. Sizzling and juicy with perfect grill marks, come visit us at Fireside Chophouse for the ultimate steak or prime rib. Come visit us in Williamsburg and make sure you eat light that day, your going to need the space.

Prime Time

The USDA has a grading system. The top 2% of all beef gets the label of prime. This is the most expensive and the most sought after.

Fat Marbling

Fat Marbling is generally not a good thing…except when it comes to steak. In this case its the standard by which all other wanna be steaks hope to attain. Great steaks that are considered prime have a generous amount of fat speckled through the meat. Without this, the flavor will be lacking.

Dry Aged

The heavily marbled beef must be dry aged for a number of days. The flavor and aroma that you know as a “great steak” depends on this process. If done properly, time is your friend with dry aged steak. It helps the steak become more tender.

The Best Cuts of Beef

Now take that dry aged marbled steak and get ready to pull out the best, most flavorful part. This is not to say that other parts cuts of beef are not good, these are just the best. The cuts of beef that fit this bill are:steak_in colonial_williamsburg

  • Filet Mignon
  • T Bone
  • Ribeye
  • Porterhouse
  • Tenderloin
  • Prime Rib

This is just step one

There is a lot more than just selecting the best grade and cut of beef. A great steak must be seasoned and cooked properly to ensure that it is mouth watering. Luckily Fireside Chophouse has that covered. We carry the best cuts of meat and are just waiting for you to come visit.

Check out our menu and come enjoy an incredible steak for yourself!!