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Craftsteak vs. "traditional" steakhouses

It's my birthday this week and I'm wondering where to go... my friends have reservations at Craftsteak (i love Top Chef!), knowing how picky I am about my steak, they are giving me liberty to make the final decision.

I'm like my steak traditional (strip, porterhouse, etc).... not into frou frou fancy steaks (Kobe, Wagyu etc aren't my thing) but I definitely enjoy a filet for special occasions.

Peter Luger's, is hands down my favorite steak... I know there are lots of critics that bash PL, but my daddy taught me the right way to order (jack on the rocks, onion&tomato app, steak for two (medium rare), homefries & a sundae), and the waiters have always been absolute princes to me... to be fair, i'm a pretty girl with a taste for steak & whiskey, which may explain the preferential treatment.

Smith & Wollensky, The Palm and Chas Rothman's are pretty good as well (points for a classier atmosphere). I hate chains, on principle, but I've had a great filet at Michael Jordans. I dislike Bryant & Cooper, but would recommend the filet at Brasserie 8 1/2.

I have yet to go to The Strip House, The Old Homestead, Keens, Angelo & Maxie's, Del Frisco, Sparks, etc.

Anyway, based on my preferences of steakhouses... any suggestions on whether I should stick with Craftsteak (& support my boy Tom Collichio) or choose a more "traditional" steakhouse?

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  1. I haven't been to CraftSteak, but have eaten at almost every other place mentioned and would suggest you try the Strip House for your Bday dinner...it's the best of both worlds as they do an unbelievable "traditional'" ny strip in a sexy setting that would be good for a birthday celebration

    1. Well craftsteak is not traditional. It was also quite poor, in my experience and from most reports, last year. Colicchio claims to have addressed some of the problems, but I haven't yet heard any reliable reports about improvements. Right now, if you want to be confident of decent steak, I would stick with the old guard.

      1. If you like your steak "traditional", you will want to skip Craftsteak. They serve a lot of the "fancy" steak you are referring to and the food is just not that good. I would second the recommendation for Strip House, especially if you liked Michael Jordans since it is owned by the same family. They serve the best Filet Mignon I have ever had.However, you said you are a steak and whiskey girl which would put Keens in the running. They have a huge selection of single malt scotches. If you want a sexier atmosphere for your birthday, go to Strip House. If you want an old school steakhouse feel, go to Keens.

        1. +3 for the Strip House. Only substitute a piece of the chocolate cake for the sundae.

          1. If you like PL you must go to Wolfgangs. 33 and Park. Excellent traditional steaks with a great bar scene to match.

            1. My steak tastes are similar to yours (and my husbands even more so). I've been to Craftsteak - I did enjoy it (more than my husband) but have to say the most memorable thing about it was how expensive it was (and it's a nice space). Strip House is always a good choice for a special occasion feel. If you've never been to Keens I think you must check it out at least once - real old NY atmosphere - my husband has always enjoyed his NY strip (I order lamb there for the most part, either chops or the mutton chop).

              1. First of all, your daddy taught you right!!!:) Stay traditional. Strip house comes close to the traditional guys for food, but just does not make it. Atomosphere is definitely more fun than Sparks, Benson's, S and W, Palm. As for Keene's...go to the bar and have a drink on a cold winter night before a Garden event. The steak is a nice miss. Only one question...What don't you like about B and Cooper? I think the quality of their meet is unbeatable. However, the crowd that hangs there is another story.

                1. Kobe, Wagyu, etc. are kinds of cattle steaks can come from, they are not steaks in themselves. So you can get Wagyu, fillet, strip, porterhouse steaks, as these describe cuts of beef/steaks.

                  Sorta like Black Angus is the cow and the Ribeye is the part of the cow.

                  1. the strip house is sexy, old homestead is old school. craftsteak is too big (i like cozy spaces). why not craft?

                    1. I've been to them all and Sparks has best traditional NY strip (aka "sirloin" in New York) of them all.

                      1. Also consider Quality Meats. I went there for RW lunch and everything was great. My girlfriend had one of the finest cuts of beef I have ever seen. It was like a food stylist made it for a beef commercial.

                        PS: it tasted good too.

                        1. When I think of steak...I really mean Porterhouse and like Luger's too and the closest to PL's steak that I had in the city (taste wise) is Wolfgang's and it has a decent scene too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: nyufoodie

                            I have tried Wolfgang's a few times and have been disappointed in the steak every time. I've sworn them off. The steak was absolutely flavorless every time. All looks, no substance.

                            Take Angelo and Maxies off your list. That shouldn't even be considered for a top steakhouse. I would go with Strip House. Great steak, incredible truffled creamed spinach and a nice atmosphere. I used to like Spark's also but have been turned off by the service recently.

                            I would also keep Keen's on your must try list, if for nothing else than the scotch selecction and the history. I'm still undecided on where it ranks in my steakhouse lists but I do really enjoy the enormous mutton chop.

                          2. You might want to look into Pietro's sometime as well (43rd betw. 2-3rd). Old school Italian/Steakhouse .. they do a Steak for 2 but it's a sirloin that they split up into slices of a sort. If you like that sort of thing (other cuts available as well). www.pietros.com