Smith & Wollensky's, Non-RW
I finally made it to S&W at the Armory with some family friends for the first time last night, and had a pleasant meal. Our group of seven had a reservation for 9pm, but we were seated about 20 minutes early. Considering it was a Saturday during Restaurant Week, the bar and first floor dining room (where we were seated) looked surprisingly empty.
We opted to order off the regular menu and were immediately informed that they had just run out of the prime rib. My friend's dad was disappointed, and we couldn't help but wonder how a steak restaurant could run out of prime rib before 9pm on a weekend. It turned out to be okay, however, because our waitress came back five minutes later and told us that there were actually two orders of the prime rib left, which our group snapped up.
I started with the mixed green salad, which was run-of-the-mill, though the dressing was good. The greens were also a little on the soggy side, like they had been dressed long before they were served. Another in my group had the caesar salad, which again was fairly standard, accompanied by the boring croutons mentioned in an earlier post.
Fortunately, our entrees more than made up for the bland appetizers. I went with the 10oz. filet, Oscar style, which came perfectly cooked and topped with crabmeat, Bearnaise and asparagus. Maybe it's because I haven't had a real steak in a long while, but this was just fantastic. The filet was tender and flavorful, plus there were *huge* chunks of crab. I've never had steak served like this, I usually prefer it plain or au poivre, but I really loved it. I also got a few bites of the monstrous prime rib, which was delicious, as well. We had the creamed spinach and whipped potatoes for our sides, which were quite good. The only thing we didn't enjoy was the crab cake, which my friend's mom had for her entree. The presentation was unappetizing, like a giant hockey puck of a crab cake plopped on the plate, and it has a bit heavy on the breadcrumbs/binders.
We ended with the chocolate mousse cake, though a good portion of it was taken home because a) it was gigantic, and b) we were all completely stuffed. As we were finishing up, our waitress passed around an info page detailing the history of the Armory and offered to take us on a tour of the top floor, which was a little museum of some sort. We passed on that, but we found it a nice touch.
All around, it was a good meal, though I can't imagine going on my own tab anytime soon, given the steep prices.