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Jan 23, 1998 05:06 PM


  • p

I am not a big steak eater, but my boyfriend is, and I would like to take him to a really good steak restaurant for his birthday. I am more concerned with the quality of the restaurant, rather than price. What do you think is the best steakhouse in Manhattan?(a restaurant with other offerings for me would be especially appreciated)

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  1. This is a tuff one, but here's one mans take on your
    queery. For me it is a toss-up between Gallaghers (
    good steak and true steakhouse feel with fairly nice
    waiters ) and Smith & Wollenskey ( slightly better
    steak selection, more varied menu and only slightly
    gruff waiters ) . If you are into wine the choice has
    to be Spark's. More refined with MUCH more of a
    selection but still excellent steak - Post House &
    Ruth's Chris. There is a dark horse favorite downtown
    called Frank's ( 10th Ave @ 15th St.) Here the steak is
    served with side dishes and the atmosphere is much more
    relaxed. If you need more info let me know.
    Regards, JK

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Knoesel
      jonathan gold

      . . . and on a good night, the Palm can be
      heaven itself, albeit a heaven populated
      mostly with balding ad guys and the
      yellow-tie crowd. Amazing cottage fries.

      Still, all in all, if you discount the
      quality of the sides (fried potatoes like
      the ones you may remember from summer camp
      a salad of unripe (even in August) tomatoes
      in literally bottled dressing, I'd agree that
      Peter Luger serves the best steaks in America.

      1. re: jonathan gold

        I will admit that the tomatoes salad is not usually great (although it has been excellent on a few occassions) at Luger's, but I disagree with your take on the home fries. If you like home fries in general, their rendition is top notch. Crispy potatoes, not too greasy. But stay away from the french fries at Lugers, they are greasy, limp and tasteless.

        1. re: Alex

          Why are we talking about Lugers here guys ? Penelope
          was pretty specific in asking for a steakhouse in
          Manhattan . I agree that the steak served in the
          Brooklyn outpost of P.L. is without a doubt the
          tastiest in NY but it isn't worth dealing with the
          assholes that serve it.

      2. re: John Knoesel
        Christy Veeder

        The Palm, the Palm, the Palm! Thank you, Steve
        Plotnicki, for acknowledging this fine steakhouse!
        I admit, I haven't been to Peter Luger's yet,
        but the Palm's lighting is much easier on the eyes
        and the steaks I've had there have never left me
        wanting. Creamed spinach is fabu, and the lobsters
        are something else (if you can afford them); my more
        timid mother ordered the pasta recently and regretted
        it (big surprise). I was taken to Sparks once, and
        spent the whole dinner wishing I had Palmed it instead.

      3. In my opinion, the king of all NY steakhouses is Peter Luger's. It has a gruff, german-beer hall type decor and service, but that is part of the charm. The porterhouse steaks are the best I have ever had. The ordering is simple, steak for one, for two, three, etc. The sides, such as creamed spinach, shrimp cocktail (biggest shrimp I have ever seen), tomatoes and mozzarella, and hash browns are excellent. The deserts, such as cheese cake and pecan pie with fresh schlag ("german for whipped cream") will put you over the top. I have only eaten steak there, but I have heard from others that the fish (usually a big salmon or swordfish steak) is good.

        Sparks is also good. The aged steak is very flavorful, although not, in my opinion, as good as sparks. But I think the decor is a little more refined (it is all relative), and the wine lists is one of the best in the city. If you like lobster, they have huge ones here.

        Have a great time wherever you go.

        1. s
          Steve Plotnicki

          Penelope-On any given night, any of the retsaurants
          mentioned below can produce the best steak in NY.
          Having been to all of them on many occassions, I've
          had experiences that have varied from orgasmic to just
          plain O.K. Being the son of a butcher, I will rpeat
          what my late father used to tell me when I was
          disappointed with what he brought home for dinner.
          "You can't crawl into the meat". Still, there needs to
          be a way to slog through the choices. I usually do it
          by what type of mood I'm in. Here's how it goes;

          Palm-The original. If your in the saloon mood and want
          the feeling of old NY. Have a Martini.
          Pietro's-Poor mans Palm. A quiet version.
          Sparks-Lots of big hair. I always thought of it as a
          bit polished.
          Peter Lugar-Beer Hall. Their steak is cooked
          differently than the others and is served
          in a butter sauce.On a good night, this is
          the best in my opinion.
          Morton's-Greatest show on earth. Touristy crowd.
          Smith & Wollensky-A cut below, maybe.
          Les Halles- Cote de Boeuf for 2 is attractive. Trendy.
          Campagna-Grilled and Rosemary flavored Tuscan steak for
          for 2 with mashed potatoes and spinach is a
          personal favorite.
          Patroon-Power steak. Power people. If your friends an
          investment banker.

          As for you, if you don't eat meat, Peter Lugar is the
          most limited serving just Salmon. Campagna, which is
          an Italian restaurant probably would have the most for
          you. I hope this has been helpful

          5 Replies
          1. re: Steve Plotnicki

            The food at Campagna is great - just don't go on
            Saturday night. They must overbook or something. I was
            ther last Sat. and the staff seemed overwhelmed.
            The herb crusted swordfish steak I had, however, was
            the best piece of fish I've had in a long time.

            1. re: John Knoesel

              Just an aside about swordfish. The current word is
              that swordfish has been seriously over fished. I heard
              to Exec. Chef from Le Bernadin yesterday saying that
              his kitchen was taking a year off from buying swordfish
              in hope that the supply would replenish itself. Hope I
              didn't spoil your appetite.

              1. re: Pat

                I enjoyed my piece of swordfish at Campagna a few days
                before the announcement re: the "overfishing of
                swordfish". Now the question - should a chowhound
                refrain from ordering one of her or his favorite dishes
                which is being offered in the establishment that
                evening because of a media campaign or should you just
                enjoy it while you can ? Look, that piece of fish I ate
                was going to be consumed by someone that night - Right?

                1. re: John Knoesel

                  Thanks for all of the steak suggestions everyone. I have not yet decided on a place but it has been really helpful.
                  About the swordfish question...
                  yes , if you had not eaten that paticular piece of swordfish, someone else would have. However, if a large enough number of restaurant patrons stop ordering it it will not pay for the restaurant to stock it.
                  The suggested ban is only for one year.

                  1. re: Penelope

                    You're talking to a guy who gives up bungee jumping for
                    lent. However, this seems to be a pretty serious
                    problem and, therefore, I now declare that I am off the
                    sword for a year ( or, however long it takes ) to help
                    the cause!
                    Regards, JK

          2. m
            Michele Fuchs

            As a woman who does eat steak, although I'm a big fan of fish and chicken
            as well, I would recommend Morton's, the staff is terrific, and Sparks.
            Both are convenient and the atmosphere is a little nicer than the rest.

            Another that hasn't been mentioned but is also quite nice is Maloney and Porcelli.
            Their varied menu is wonderful, and their filet was excellent both times I
            ate it. Their mashed potatoes come with an herbed oil that is outrageous.

            Eat downstairs if you go, near the window is nice!