Best Of Philadelphia: Union Trust Steakhouse

A new steakhouse opened its grandiose doors to a 65-foot ceiling hall, and what is promised to be the fines prime cut of beef you could have in the Philadelphia area.

This new independent steakhouse is dominated by chain steak venues — Morton’s, Capital Grille, Smith & Wollensky and one of Starr’s elite restaurants Morimoto. However the 3 owners — Joe Grasso, Ed Doherty, and Terry White (the chef) pledge that this will be a meat lovers experience that will be unmatched by chain restaurants.

“We’re not anti-corporate. But we’re Philly guys and we wanted to open a steakhouse for Philadelphia, not to Philadelphia,” said Doherty.

This bold statement is already backed up by a huge investment of over $12 million and a grand opening turnout of over 3000 people.

In 1923, the building at 717 Chestnut Street in center city housed the Union Trust Company bank. Then, for decades until just a few years ago, it was a jewelry store — the venerable Jack Kellmer Company.

The Union Trust Steakhouse remastered this historic bulging into the most extravagant fine dining, white tablecloths, top-notch service and extraordinary attention to detail architecture.

“We’re taking everything we learned, and applying it here with a local sensibility. We want a restaurant everyone in the city can embrace,” said White, who will oversee the kitchen as Chef. “And personally, I can’t wait to get back into a kitchen!”

White has big plans for the Union Trust menu, among them Vertical Beef Tastings, a concept he’s been toying with for the last several months. White has secured numerous exclusive deals, among them the only independent contract in Philadelphia with Allen Brothers, leading supplier of USDA prime beef. The kitchens are outfitted with the best of the best that are only used in Chinese Embassy in Singapore to Disneyland to Le-Cirque.

The grand opening served up never ending oysters, jumbo shrimp, crab, and decadent deserts. Even among the thousands it looked like the staff was always available to hand you another fine drink or to take your empty glass.

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717 Chestnut Street • Philadelphia • Pennsylvania • 19106

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