Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Where would you go for steak?


Gastro888
 Share

Recommended Posts

Out of the four places mentioned above, where would you choose to go? We don't drink so wine lists are unimportant - key factors that are important:

-Quality of the porterhouse (can you get the porterhouse uncut at PL's?)

-Mashed potatoes

-Dessert

-Ability to have a conversation (ex: The din at the Bar Room in the Modern killed our date night. Great food but we couldn't hear ourselves think.)

The first two are the most important. I've heard good things about all four restaurants but I wanted to check in with the eG crowd to see what the opinions were on these places. I know you don't go to a steakhouse for the chef, you go for the steak. That being said, if it's not on this list, where would you go?

Thanks for your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of the four places mentioned above, where would you choose to go?  We don't drink so wine lists are unimportant - key factors that are important:

-Quality of the porterhouse (can you get the porterhouse uncut at PL's?)

-Mashed potatoes

-Dessert

-Ability to have a conversation (ex: The din at the Bar Room in the Modern killed our date night.  Great food but we couldn't hear ourselves think.)

The first two are the most important.  I've heard good things about all four restaurants but I wanted to check in with the eG crowd to see what the opinions were on these places.  I know you don't go to a steakhouse for the chef, you go for the steak.  That being said, if it's not on this list, where would you go?

Thanks for your help.

Tough call, since they each have their strengths and weaknesses. PL definitely has the best meat...on any given day, there are variances, but for porterhouse, they get first pick from the suppliers. I've never seen it unsliced, but who knows?

Craftsteak will in all likelihood disappoint, since until recently, they didn't even grill their steaks to a char. I've heard they've improved their act of late, but this is unverified.

BLT Prime is solid, but I've never been impressed with the meat itself there. The sides, etc. are the stars and the meat pretty standard.

Sparks is a classic and has a great atmosphere to it (I guess that's what a long history and a famous gangland execution will do), but the food is pretty average for a high end NY steak house. Pretty hard on any given day to differentiate from The Palm, Smith and Wollensky, Keen's, etc. So in the end, PL will give you the best meat of the bunch, and even if it's not tops for the other items, that may make it worthwhile. I will throw a few options at you that are not on your list, that may satisfy what you're looking for:

Strip House: The steak to get here is the bone-in rib, rather than porterhouse, but the food is very good, and it's a better looking spot than Luger's.

Any of several PL spin-offs, such as Ben and Jacks, Wolfgang's or Mark Joseph, may have comparable porterhouse to PL on a given night (depending on how much good beef is in the supply line at the time), and some of those have more interesting sides and desserts.

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in NYC and am a bit of a steakhouse fiend.....

First of all....

*Forget Craftsteak....I live near there. The sides are great but very pricey. The steaks are, at best, mediocre. You will in all likelihood be disappointed by the steaks and a lot poorer for it.

*BLT is a scene but not great food. It is living on Laurent Tourondel's reputation though he is a phantom presence at his places. Again, high prices...but indistinguished food.

Now.....some REAL steak places:

*Yes, Luger's is great and a lot of steak afficianado's love it. Personally, I can take it or leave it. A bit of a 'beer hall' atmosphere; poor wine list, rushed service, etc. I think the steaks are good but not a lot else to recommend it. But some people I respect revere it.

*I like Sparks...great wine list, and I think outstanding steaks. Be prepared to wait at the bar an hour to 1 1/2 hours, even with a reservation, unless you palm the host. That's considered the standard procedure there.

*You might consider Quality Meats. For me, the 'best' steaks of the NYC steakhouse scene. Try to get a table for 4....the tables for 2 are often rushed and with less stellar service. Excellent experience.

*Porterhouse at Columbus Circle (Time Warner) is pretty good...much more 'civilized' but not as good steaks as Luger's, Sparks or QM.

*Keene's is a GREAT neighborhood NYC old time steakhouse. Much to recommend it; the steaks are great. The service is mediocre...very old time NYC...but the steaks are indeed great.

Long story short....if I were visiting NYC....depends what I wanted...I think I'd go to Sparks with a rez, give the host $50 for a table fast, and have a wonderful meal.

Edited by DutchMuse (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the din at Bar Room was enough to kill your date, certainly the ride to and from Peter Luger's would too... otherwis, PL is your place, but on the merits of it's food only; it's room is just plain MALE.

I might go to Keene's too... I avoid places riding reputations like Craftsteak and BLT...I've had great steaks at Dylan Prime and MarkJoseph, but I believe they are now more inconsistent and have perhaps slipped.

For something different, LAN is a great Japanese restaurant that specializes in steaks - you can also do courses of American and Japanese wagyu beef, sashimi etc.

Might be time to try Wolfgang's

I like beef. My avatar is myself being feed mind-blowingly good top Matsuzaka (yes, just like the pitcher) beef in Japan a couple years ago. Matsuzaka is pretty much the best beef you can get....

Edited by raji (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great advice, everyone.

DutchMuse, are you serious about palming the host at Sparks? Wow. If that's the case, I won't go. For me personally, I don't believe in that practice and I refuse to participate. I'll take my business elsewhere.

Wouldn't getting a table for 4 for a deuce at QM be a bit wrong and deceptive? We'd be doing this on a Saturday night and I'm pretty sure they're going to be busy.

Raji - we both didn't like the din at the Bar Room. It was too hard to have any sort of conversation. The food was enjoyable, the atmosphere not so much. (Oddly enough, we would've been happy if the food was served in an environment like JG but that's just us!) We don't mind driving for good food. Actually, if we were going to do PL, we'd do the one out in LI. I heard from friends that the LI outlet is a bit better in terms of atmosphere. (Comments, anyone?)

My main goal is to have a fantastic steak, regardless of cost without the frou frou chichi attitude or rush. And I refuse to palm anyone. Friggin' ridiculous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the quality of the Porterhouse is your #1 concern, than it has to be Peter Luger's. However, I'm 99% certain that you won't find Mashed Potatos there -- you'll have to be satisfied with Lyonaisse (very good, BTW). I have not been to the LI version, but the majority view is that it's not as good as Brooklyn. I don't know if they keep the best beef in the Brooklyn location or what. But this is 3rd hand info -- maybe someone here has been and can comment. As for deserts, you won't find anything remarkable at Lugers -- a pretty good Apple Streudel (with a bowl of Schlag) is my personal favorite. You'll find better and more compelling desserts elsewhere, but you will not find a better porterhouse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, sounds like PL is ahead of the pack. Can someone answer the question as to why its served pre-sliced? We would prefer to cut our own steak but if the cost of having a fantastic porterhouse means having someone else cut our steak, than so be it.

They don't have mashed potatoes? No, really? Wow. Isn't that like a ramen shop not serving gyoza?!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're not concerned about the winelist, I'd definitely go to Striphouse over any of the places mentioned on your list. The bone-in rib is fantastic and their creamed spinach is just unlike anything else in the world. The duck fat potatoes are awesome as well. I know they have mashed potatoes as well, but I've never tried them. You'd be close to lots of great parts of NY if you want to walk around/ go out afterwards or beforehand. Their desserts don't seem to be listed anywhere online, but I have seen people ordering the chocolate cake, which is an ABSURDLY large piece of chocolate cake (maybe 1/6 of a 10 inch round).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't drink so winelists are completely unimportant to us. (I know, I know...) Duck fat potatoes?!?! Hello, baby! Please do tell me more...

Anyone have more opinions on the Striphouse?

It's sad that I get so easily excited by duck fat potatoes...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, sounds like PL is ahead of the pack.  Can someone answer the question as to why its served pre-sliced?  We would prefer to cut our own steak but if the cost of having a fantastic porterhouse means having someone else cut our steak, than so be it. 

They don't have mashed potatoes?  No, really?  Wow.  Isn't that like a ramen shop not serving gyoza?!

Well, you order the steak for 2 people, or 3, or whatever, and it's served family style, so I think pre-sliced is kind of required. It's never bothered me. And no need to fret: Luger's home fried potatoes are absolutely out of this world. I have contemplated making a meal out of them more than just once.

Peter Luger's is an experience - from the gruffness of the waiters, to the sawdust on the floor, to the gigantic bowl of whipped cream they bring to the table with dessert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last two times I was there for lunch there was no sawdust on the floor. We ordered the burgers and got the multi-layered crepe-like dessert. (Apologies, I forgot the name). No gigantic bowl of whipped cream to be found.

Ah, home fries. A plate of good home fries is a joy. Now, if they were cooked in duck fat...with cracklin's...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't drink so winelists are completely unimportant to us.  (I know, I know...)  Duck fat potatoes?!?!  Hello, baby!  Please do tell me more...

Anyone have more opinions on the Striphouse?

It's sad that I get so easily excited by duck fat potatoes...

On second thought, they're goosefat potatoes. Regardless, they're delicious. Also, I know there are other people on here who love Strip House, but they're being awfully quiet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't drink so winelists are completely unimportant to us.  (I know, I know...)  Duck fat potatoes?!?!  Hello, baby!  Please do tell me more...

Anyone have more opinions on the Striphouse?

It's sad that I get so easily excited by duck fat potatoes...

On second thought, they're goosefat potatoes. Regardless, they're delicious. Also, I know there are other people on here who love Strip House, but they're being awfully quiet.

GOOSEFAT? Even better!!!!

Keen's v. Striphouse...thoughts?

PL's still poking its head as a potential...gotta really think this through. Hmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to fabricate something for QM....I meant if 4 can go, you'll have a better table versus a table for 2 along the wall. I probably wasn't too articulate earlier.

You don't HAVE to palm them at Sparks, but you'll wait 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the bar otherwise, even with a reservation.

Personally I've never cared for the Striphouse...its near me.....but I'm in the minority. Lots of people rave about it and I trust them--its just never wowed me.

For me, I'd take Keene's over Striphouse.....but those goosefat potatoes are pretty great at Striphouse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to all 4 and I have to say of the 4, Peter Luger's does the best steak.

Striphouse would be my second choice.

I will never go to Sparks again. Not only for the long wait we had, even with a reservation, but it was noisy as hell, and if you didn't like the din at your place the other night, Sparks isn't any better. Plus I felt the steak was mediocre there at best.

If I didn't have to pick from your list, I would go to Captain Jack's.

I really liked Captain Jack's which was an unexpected find. The outside looks like a tourist trap kind of place, but get past that, and the steak, service and wine list (yes I know you don't care about that) equal some of the best "name" places in the city. The sides were pretty outstanding too as I recall.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keen's, Striphouse and Captain Jack's? OK, thanks! Anyone ever heard of Uncle Bill's in Queens? Apparently they do Kobe beef. ( Or would that be "Kobe" style?)

God, I just might go to Striphouse and try the goosefat potatoes on my own. Are there cracklin's involved with these potatoes?

PL's still lookin' like a contender...but why no mashed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Luger does have mashed potatoes. I have a memory of being there with a friend who was intent on getting them. But certainly the idea is to get the German fried potatoes (and I was able to convince my friend of that).

Doesn't anyone have opinions on the Peter Luger spin-offs Ben & Jack's and Wolfgangs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't anyone have opinions on the Peter Luger spin-offs Ben & Jack's and Wolfgangs?

I haven't been to Ben and Jacks, but I like Wolfgang's very much. The new Tribeca location is good, but not as good as the first location I think.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Capital Grille.  Close to our office and very good steak and sides.  The seating is very comfortable and you don't feel like you are dining with the tables next to you.

Isn't Capital Grille a chain? If yes, I've been to the one in Tyson's Corner, VA and it was bleah. Nothing to write home about.

I heard that Wolfgang's was overpriced and mediocre. True?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vegetable sides at Peter Luger are French fries, German fried potatoes, baked potato, creamed spinach, and broccoli.

Peter Luger has a very limited menu. You go for the steak, because it's the best, most consistent steak I know of anywhere. You don't really go for any other reason, though there are a few other nice elements like the bacon and the lunch menu.

Yes, you can ask them not to slice your steak, however if you do that you won't be getting it the way the restaurant typically serves it. If you're going to buy in to the Peter Luger experience, it's not necessarily the best idea to start your first visit with special orders. There's a ritual to it: the steaks are broiled and buttered a certain way, the slicing causes some of the meat juices to mix with the butter and generate a sauce on the platter, the platter is propped up on one end so the sauce accumulates at the other end. That's the way a Peter Luger steak is meant to be cooked, sliced and served.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I didn't have to pick from your list, I would go to Captain Jack's. 

I really liked Captain Jack's which was an unexpected find.  The outside looks like a tourist trap kind of place, but get past that, and the steak, service and wine list (yes I know you don't care about that) equal some of the best "name" places in the city.  The sides were pretty outstanding too as I recall.

Do you mean Uncle Jack's at 36th and 9th?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if Peter Luger "invented" the sliced porterhouse steak, but it's certainly associated with them. That steak is so thick that you'd really be making a big mistake if you ordered it any other way. There are several clone restaurants opened by Luger alumni that have a nicer atmosphere, a more varied menu, and where you don't have to reserve so long in advance—Wolfgang's, for example.

If you specifically want porterhouse, you should go to a steakhouse that specializes in it, which would be Luger or one of its progeny. I love Strip House and Keens (for different reasons), but wouldn't choose either if I was in a porterhouse mood.

Sparks is primarily known for its New York Strip, but I found the whole experience rather mediocre the one time I went there. I would never go again, unless someone else was picking up the check. Capital Grille is a chain, and while they do a respectable job, it feels like a hundred other steakhouses that you could visit anywhere in the country.

The critics pounded Crafsteak. Bruni says it has improved, and granted it the unusual privilege of a quick upgrade to two stars. But I had two disappointing visits there, and while I'll probably give it another try at some point, I haven't rushed back. Even if they've finally gotten the steaks right, there's no reason to go there (and pay the price premium) unless you're interested in their superior appetizers and sides dishes.

I have a higher opinion of the BLT franchise than DutchMuse. Yeah, it's true that the guy they're named for hardly ever cooks any more, but I've never had a disappointing steak at any of the BLT restaurants. Unlike Craftsteak, BLT had the steak nailed from the beginning. But it is more expensive than most steakhouses, so if all you want is porterhouse and mashed potatoes, you'd be wasting your time at BLT.

I echo DutchMuse's recommendation for Quality Meats. It's in the BLT/Craftsteak family, in the sense that it's got the total package, and isn't just about the steak. However, QM is not specifically a porterhouse specialist.

Your last criterion — "ability to have a conversation" — is a tough one. Almost all the big-name steakhouses get very loud when they are full. The standard steakhouse features a lot of hard surfaces, tables closely spaced, and a clientele of businessmen on expense accounts who run up large liquor tabs. Put those elements together, and you're going to have a lot of noise.

Three downtown steakhouses that nobody's mentioned — MarkJoseph, Flames, and Harry's Steak — do a very good job and aren't as noisy, simply because they often aren't full. Craftsteak and Porter House in the TWC are, by design, a little more "upscale," and hence not quite as boistrous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...