A rib eye steak comes from the beef rib of the cow. The steak is sold with or without the rib bone, and the bone-in version is sometimes called a rib steak or a cowboy steak.
The rib section of the cow contains more fat than most of the other cuts, which enhances the flavor and tenderness of rib eye steaks. A rib eye steak responds well to dry-heat cooking, where no additional moisture is needed because the fat melts into the beef. Many cooks believe that the additional fat near the bone makes the bone-in version of the steak more flavorful than the boneless version.