A steak lover can't go wrong ordering either a prime rib or a New York strip. Both are prized cuts that provide a lot of meaty flavor and a juicy texture. Prime rib is best for fine dining, while a New York strip is preferable for grilling.
As the name suggests, this cut comes from the primal rib portion of the cow. It's actually cut from the front end of the muscle called the longissimus dorsi -- closer to the head of the cow. Because the cow doesn't exercise his ribs much, it's not highly muscular -- meaning it cooks up tender. It's highly marbled with fat -- and fat adds flavor to steak. Prime rib tends to be less grainy or chewy than New York strip, boasting a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Because many diners prize this steak as the ultimate in flavor and tenderness, it often comes with a high price tag. You may see it listed as Delmonico steak, Scotch filet or market steak.
New York Strip
New York strip steak, also known as Kansas City strip or top sirloin, also comes from the longissimus dorsi muscle. The strip is cut from the rear end of the steer instead of the front end, just behind the ribs. New York strips are only moderately tender and are certainly more chewy than prime rib steak. The fat marbling is still present, but not as evident as in the prime rib -- but that makes for easier trimming. A New York strip is still full of flavor and makes for a satisfying meal.
Less fat in a New York strip means it's better for grilling. The fat is less likely to lead to flareups and burned sections. A prime rib shines when pan fried or broiled, and you can also cook the strip using these methods.