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Jun 22, 2005 02:56 PM

Is Peter Luger the best place for steaks?

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I want to take my parents out for good a steak dinner when they visit in July from Japan. My dad especially is a big steak lover.

From what I understand, Peter Luger is the best place in the city, but I was reading some reviews on a Japanese web site and people weren't impressed with their steak. Unfortunately, I have yet to try it. Is there a better place than PL? Any alternatives? Thank you.

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  1. lugers sucks. overrated.

    13 Replies
    1. re: jj

      im waiting for someone to mention this should be on the outer boroughs board.

      regardless, yes, lugers is least the food is. but its an institution you ought to try at least once.

      for steakhouses, i much prefer strip house on 12th street.

      1. re: sam

        You're right.... I should have posted on the outer borough page, but then again, I wanted to find out what's the best place in the city... Now I am debating between Peter Luger and Strip House...

        1. re: NK

          old waiters from lugers left to start wolfgang's in the city...i havent been but the menu is identical. looks like a nice space from the website.

          1. re: sam

            Wolfgang's is mediocre, just a poor imitation of Peter Lugers. My favorite steakhouses in Manhattan are Sparks, BLT Steak and Strip House.

            1. re: Evan

              I agree totally re. Wolfgang's: the steaks look the same (as those at Luger's) but they sure don't taste the same!

              1. re: newsjoke

                Lugers steaks are overbuttered and overrated. I agree completely with BLT Steak recommendation-delicious steak, beautifully prepared sides. Also Pietro's, very simple,oldfashioned meat and kindly waiters (on East 43rdStreet)

                1. re: pammie

                  I've said it before- If you are a sirloin fan- Pietros, while pricey, is the best steak in nyc. Amazing salads, pasta, and sides, and the steak for two ($76 I believe?) is perfectly sliced, charred on the outside, and served with enough butter to satisfy any lugers fan.

                  In fact, I enjoy Lugers immensely, but go to pietros for a better and more consistent steak.


        2. re: The Chowhound Team

          What I said (and what you removed) was that Luger's is the best steak (by far) in New York (or perhaps anywhere), and that I like it so much that I'm going there in a couple of weeks for my birthday. This implies that given a choice between Luger's and staying in Manhattan, Luger's was better. To me, that seems to make it Manhattan-relevant. However, you removed the post. So, let's see if this makes you feel better:

          Yes, the steaks at Luger's are better than those at the Palm, Smith & Wollensky, the Old Homestead, Wolfgang's, Michael Jordan's, the Fairway Steakhouse, Bistro Le Steak, Angelo & Maxie's and Spark's (although I like both their sirloins), Tad's, Flaming Embers, and the Three Guys diner across the street from me.

          There, is that better?

        3. re: jj

          OVERRATED. Lugars cuts the meat before they serve it which causes a partial loss of the internal juices. And the service is not good. And it's a pain to get to.

          Go to Sparks.

            1. re: NativeNewYorker

              Ditto for Sparks...............The filet mignon is huge and delicious.............The service was very good as well.

              1. re: NativeNewYorker

                I thought the service and folks in there were really nice and very friendly and helpful, my disappointment was in the steak itself.........that bacon was duh bom as was the spinach

              2. re: jj

                I can't agree totally but it is waaaay over rated.

              3. I guess whether Peter Luger is the best place for steak depends on your personal preference. Lugers sells Porterhouse steak - they may have a prime rib or so on the menu, but pretty much everyone gets Porterhouse. If you want Porterhouse, then you have to ask yourself will you enjoy the experience of eating there. Reservations are very difficult to obtain for a reasonable hour in the evening (7-10) even when you call months in advance. (They don't take credit cards either, if that's an issue.) If you don't mind eating early or later, you will find it much easier to get a table. Also, the place is not formal (despite the prices!) and the service can be charitably called "gruff." If this would not put off your parents, by all means give it a whirl.

                If you want a similar experience with an easier to get reservation and in Manhattan, I suggest you go to Wolfgang's. Steak is very similar (i.e. Porterhouse), but the service is friendlier (at least I think it is). If you are not especially interested in Porterhouse, I would suggest Spark's for sirloin, and I would strongly suggest Sparks if your parents are interested in good wine, since the wine list at Spark's is legendary and Lugers barely has one. Much easier to get a table there at Sparks as well.

                If you've never been to Luger's, you should to go at least once. Whether its the place to take your parents it is up to you.....

                5 Replies
                1. re: bigskulls

                  Just curious....why is Palm not mentioned? What do people think of it? It used to be either that or PL when "the best" steaks were discussed...has it gone way downhill? (the two on the east side, that is).

                  1. re: erica

                    I know what you mean. The one time I went to the Palm, I loved it - steak was great, so were sides, and we had a fantastic bottle of Bordeaux. I've heard, however, that the waiters will sometimes try to talk you into joining some sort of club or special offer thing that has turned a lot of people off. From my personal experience, however, I found nothing not to like about it.....

                    1. re: bigskulls

                      There is literature on the table about a Palm dining club which gets you benefits at the various branches, but our waiter never bothered us about it. Palm is good if you need to be in midtown, but of course the meat isn't as good as Peter Luger.

                      1. re: Wilfrid

                        The best thing at the Palm is the prime rib, which is wonderful most of the time.

                        As I recall, the club membership costs $20, which is offset by a $20 gift certificate usable on your next visit, so if you plan to go more than once, it's a wash at worst. After you've spent a total of $500, you get a gift certificate worth $35, after $750 you get $75, after $1000 you get $120, and so forth. It's useful to businessmen and serious carnivores who don't want to trek to Brooklyn.

                  2. If you want to take your parents to a place in Manhattan that is considered a NY institution, you should take them to Keens, which has been in continuous operation since 1885. I'm not a big steak person, preferring the fabulous lamb chops they serve. But plenty of Hounds love the steaks there. And a major plus is the wonderful old New York atmospherics -- walls filled with memorabilia and row-upon-row of old clay smoking pipes suspended from the ceilings.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: RGR

                      i heartily agree...Keens would be a great place to take visitors from Japan, because it's such a quintessential old-NYC place...there is nothing like it in Tokyo...(i also usually order the lamb chops there, as well as the raw oysters and the tomato&stilton salad)...

                      1. re: Simon

                        I've lived and worked in Japan and Korea for a number of years. Keens should strike a chord with guests at the food level, history level and, most important, the Scotch level. Absolutely the best Scotch selection in Manhattan. Give it a shot and let me know your thoughts.

                      2. re: RGR

                        you'll hear a lot of praise for the lamb chops at Keen's, one that i share, since the rest of the menu is middling at beast.. sure- it's old school ny.. that doesn't mean it's great.. the quality of the meat just isn't there.. they get by on the quirkiness of old men (like the senior partner in my firm who insists we go there when he takes us out) who love the novelty of the mutton..

                        lugers has the best quality porterhouse in nyc.. it's the trugh and it's simple- they pay cash and get first dibs on the beef.. they do one cut, do it well (some might dispute it, but the quality of beef in general has declined) and they cook it their way, including the addition of butter to the cooked steak..

                      3. Just curious, what Japanese website were you referring to? Give my vote to Keens, get the porterhouse.

                        1. peter luger has the best steak in the city.

                          sometimes, however, the occasion calls for something beyond the meat itself, and in such cases alternatives are important. when i'm not eating a porterhouse at Luger, i go to Strip House and have their wonderful truffle creamed spinach, goose fat potatoes, enormous chocolate cake, and the off-menu "special" porterhouse.