Epic Steak, San Francisco

Though the Golden Gate is San Francisco's iconic bridge, the Bay Bridge gives it a run for its money, even more so in recent years thanks to the light show that plays across it nightly. Created by artist Leo Villareale in honor of the bridge's 75th anniversary, the 500-foot-high LED light sculpture doesn't repeat a pattern all night—it's pretty damn mesmerizing. And one of the best places to watch this extravaganza is framed by the massive windows of this swanky waterfront steakhouse, which is right below the bridge. I may have been imagining it, but it felt like the bridge gave a warm glow to my perfectly prepared, dry-aged filet mignon, the well-mixed Manhattan perched next to it, the classic wedge salad that preceded it, and the white-tablecloth-sheathed table which all three sat upon.

Desserts (like the S'more Sundae, pictured above) were equally as pampering, as was the attentive, friendly service. So why two stars rather than three? When prices are this epic, I expect perfection. And my steak, while tasty, was tiny for $59. Side dishes, too, were hit-or-miss, especially the roasted brussels sprouts (which required a steak knife to cut) and the so-called Julia Child's potatoes (the great chef would have sent them back). That being said, if you're celebrating something special—or traveling on an expense account—Epic Steak would be a top choice.