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Where would you go for steak?


Gastro888
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Thanks for the article, FG. We'll try the PL steak one day soon. I suppose it's like going to Katz's - ya gotta do it if you're living here and are into food.

Hopefully I'll have enough sense to remember the camera and post a report after our dinner this weekend. Unless I OD on the popovers.

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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.

According to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, there's an additional reason why pre-slicing is part and parcel of the Luger steak experience: the steak receives additional cooking after it has been sliced. The reporter, Katy McLaughlin, was allowed to observe a steak being cooked at Peter Luger, and noted the following:

Mr. Truskolaski grabbed a cold porterhouse, placed it on the grill rack of the broiler and sprinkled it with some salt. He then removed it while it was still raw inside, cut it into piece, put it on a plate, and broiled it to medium-rare.

Is he suggesting the steak wouldn't continue to cook if it wasn't sliced? If you put meat on a very hot plate, it's going to cook. (And, in my one PL experience, overcook.)

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I'll post my pictures later when I find my @#$! cable to upload. Suffice it to say that BLT Prime has awesome popovers and okay steaks. Sides were good, service was pretty good.

One major problem: the place was friggin LOUD! Ugh. I'd go to a lounge if I wanted to listen to Hoobastank. Ugh, I thought from the website and the decor, they'd be playing "softer" music. What the @#$! is up with restaurants playing dance music? I know Momofuku does it but people are made aware of this fact. I don't want to walk into a place that looks classy and then get loud dance music.

(Gah, I sound so friggin' old! Durn kids these days!)

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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I understand up-tempo music to turn tables but dance music while I'm eating a $100 steak?  Ugh.

Now I have to try PL.

A $100 steak? What did you order?

The fact is, a lot of NYC restaurants are too loud, and I don't think it's just to turn tables. It's just the current vogue. I mean, there are also industry studies showing that patrons will spend more if you play classical music, but almost no one is doing that.

The ambiance is also very loud at PL, by the way, although for different reasons.

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  Suffice it to say that BLT Prime has awesome popovers and okay steaks.  Sides were good, service was pretty good.

Well, if nothing else, you've now learned/confirmed the knowledge of this forum...almost everyone gave you the opinion that you'd get a better steak at other places (PL, Strip House, etc.) and that wagyu steaks wouldn't blow you away unless they were done correctly. Now get to the places we told you to go! :) <snickers to self, despite sympathy for the meal>

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Not really. No one said BLT Prime was bad or that the steaks weren't good.

People are saying that PL's inconsistent (hey, look at Bruni's review) and to be frank, at these prices, I expect a certain level of service and I don't want to deal with surly waitstaff unless I *KNOW* the food's worth it in the end. Based on what I've read, it seems that the steaks are PL aren't always a homerun. I'd rather deal with a restaurant that provides me good service to make sure if that happens, they'll take care of the situation. Sounds like PL would give you the evil eye if you were to make a complaint.

Goosefat potatoes or not, I'm not going to Strip House and dealing with the loud music. (I swear, I'm not 80 years old...) Blast BLT Prime and the siren jazz music on their website.

In regards to the wagyu, I expect a restaurant to be able to serve it properly if they put it on the menu.

Honestly, the whole steakhouse thing makes me wonder if I can't just do it better myself at home. I think we're done for steakhouses on our own dime. Our money's better spent on other restaurants.

PS: The popovers were the bomb, though. God, I love me a good popover and these were gloriously eggy and rich. I should've eaten 6 and called it a night.

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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In regards to the wagyu, I expect a restaurant to be able to serve it properly if they put it on the menu. 

Honestly, the whole steakhouse thing makes me wonder if I can't just do it better myself at home.  I think we're done for steakhouses on our own dime.  Our money's better spent on other restaurants.

When it comes to Wagyu, properly is a relative term. To be honest, even $92 seems low for a real Wagyu steak of decent quality unless it was like 4 ounces. I think a restaurant can cook a Wagyu steak properly-correctly seasoned and to temp.--but still not serve Wagyu "properly". As others have mentioned on other threads (and perhaps this one too, I forget) the idea behind Wagyu is generally not to eat it in steak form.

I'm generally of your opinion when it comes to steakhouses. One the rare occasion, however, they can be good or at least an anti-fine dining night out. I personally would never go to a steakhouse for a date, however.

I'm right with you on the music, though.

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Not really.  No one said BLT Prime was bad or that the steaks weren't good.

Sorry you had a mixed experience. I think I (and others) said that BLT Prime/Steak wasn't that great other than the sides. Much better places out there, including Keene's, PL, etc. From my earlier post:

"*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."

That said, doesn't do a lot of good now. But you really should get over to Keene's to try a REAL NY steak experience.

I think Wolfgang's is pretty good, too, btw.

Edited by DutchMuse (log)
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People are saying that PL's inconsistent (hey, look at Bruni's review) and to be frank, at these prices, I expect a certain level of service and I don't want to deal with surly waitstaff unless I *KNOW* the food's worth it in the end.

Unfortunately, all the major steakhouses are inconsistent. The problem is that the principal ingredient—top-tier aged prime beef—is itself inconsistent, and not available in sufficient supplies to meet demand. Luger may get it right a tad more often than the others, but not often enough to be any kind of guarantee. Against that are Luger's well known drawbacks which are guaranteed to be there almost every time.
Honestly, the whole steakhouse thing makes me wonder if I can't just do it better myself at home.
It's virtually a sure bet that you cannot. No one has the combination of aging facilities and special-purpose broilers that the better steakhouses have. Whether the steakhouses are worth the money is a whole other matter, on which you have to make a personal decision.
Sorry you had a mixed experience. I think I (and others) said that BLT Prime/Steak wasn't that great other than the sides.  Much better places out there, including Keene's, PL, etc. From my earlier post:
BLT Prime serves its share of home-runs steaks too. After all, it's chasing the same sources, and knows what to do with them. Obviously Prime's drawbacks, like Luger's are a constant, and won't change.
That said, doesn't do a lot of good now. But you really should get over to Keene's to try a REAL NY steak experience.

I think Wolfgang's is pretty good, too, btw.

I agree with you about Wolfgang's, but I must confess that I just don't 'get' Keens, unless you are going for the mutton chop, the atmosphere, or the single-malt scotches—all very defensible reasons, btw.
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(Well, it wasn't a date per se. Not like a first date or anything; it was a date night. But I digress. I'd be happy going to a steakhouse on a date but maybe that's just me.)

It was American Wagyu that wasn't graded so perhaps $92 is considered low for those who are in the know about Wagyu. This was our first experience with the meat and quite frankly, we weren't impressed. Then again, it may have been the pounding music in our ears that could've hindered our enjoyment. (I suppose I drove the point home about the music, huh?)

I stand by my decision to go to BLT Prime even though I had an okay experience overall. In the end, I had good service, great popovers and sides and a good strip steak and a okay Wagyu. I would prefer that than take a chance and go to PL and have the same experience with horrid service. Hey, at least BLT's servers took care of me.

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I would prefer that than take a chance and go to PL and have the same experience with horrid service.  Hey, at least BLT's servers took care of me.

OK...we all need to get past the PL="horrid service" thing. I have been there several times, I am definitely not into the "mystique" of rude service, but I find the servers at PL to be wry, efficient, and genuinely concerned with my welfare. Fawning? No. Obsequious? No. Effective? In my experience, yes.

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I'm not one for fawning service; I don't need any ego-stroking. But I do find it funny other people want it! Good service to me means someone who's effective, efficient, knowledgeable, approachable and a wee bit friendly. As I mentioned upthread, PL gives me the impression that if you did complain, they probably wouldn't care.

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Not really.  No one said BLT Prime was bad or that the steaks weren't good.

People are saying that PL's inconsistent (hey, look at Bruni's review) and to be frank, at these prices, I expect a certain level of service and I don't want to deal with surly waitstaff unless I *KNOW* the food's worth it in the end.  Based on what I've read, it seems that the steaks are PL aren't always a homerun.  I'd rather deal with a restaurant that provides me good service to make sure if that happens, they'll take care of the situation.  Sounds like PL would give you the evil eye if you were to make a complaint.

Goosefat potatoes or not, I'm not going to Strip House and dealing with the loud music.  (I swear, I'm not 80 years old...)  Blast BLT Prime and the siren jazz music on their website. 

In regards to the wagyu, I expect a restaurant to be able to serve it properly if they put it on the menu. 

Honestly, the whole steakhouse thing makes me wonder if I can't just do it better myself at home.  I think we're done for steakhouses on our own dime.  Our money's better spent on other restaurants.

PS: The popovers were the bomb, though.  God, I love me a good popover and these were gloriously eggy and rich.  I should've eaten 6 and called it a night.

I wish I'd been a little more aggressive about steering you away from BLT, but I hadn't actually eaten the wagyu there and didn't feel qualified to speak about it. I generally have found it to be pretty mediocre.

Are you basing your thoughts on the volume of Striphouse on a visit there? As I said in at least one other post, the front bar area is loud, but the restaurant itself is not particularly so. I've never found music there to be a problem at all. I still highly recommend it. Despite it's constant crowdedness, Striphouse seems to cater to a wider age range than Craftsteak, BLT, etc.

I've also had excellent experiences at Quality Meats as well, but I'm friendly with the manager, so I can't speak for the general experience. I've always been seated at a four top, even with two people. Their wine list is expensive, but good. Some of their sides are awesome and their bread is delicious (It appears that they cram two or three sticks of butter into each roll sized portion).

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I've also had excellent experiences at Quality Meats as well, but I'm friendly with the manager, so I can't speak for the general experience.  I've always been seated at a four top, even with two people.  Their wine list is expensive, but good.  Some of their sides are awesome and their bread is delicious (It appears that they cram two or three sticks of butter into each roll sized portion).

Excellent summary of Quality Meats! I agree wholeheartedly with this. In fact, I'm going there tonight!

Edited by DutchMuse (log)
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As for the whole Wagyu issue - I recently saw this article which is pretty good -

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/style/tm...e/16cattle.html

and for those of you who want to try it out, I would recommend buying it and enjoying it at home yakiniku or ishiyaki style, which means you need a tabletop grill or a really smooth stone heated in your oven. Taking the steak and slicing it into one-inch slabs like smaller version of a PL Porterhouse, and then with chopsticks searing it briefly on both sides -

you can buy it here

https://www.adirectfoods.com/

and much cheaper, here

http://www.abeyuki.com/Front/index.cfm?lang=E

Edited by raji (log)
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