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Sparks or Peter Luger?

Taking my man to NY for his first time. He is steak and potatoes and I want him to get a real NY dose of it. Probably only have time to visit one. Which is better for our experience?

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    1. A lot of people will not agree with me, but...I'd actually nix Sparks and Lugers. For old school NY steak, I'd go to Keens or Old Homestead...

      2 Replies
      1. re: nikky

        Maybe about 6-8 years ago, I would've said Sparks was my favorite steakhouse in Manhattan but my last few visits there have been subpar and its now pretty far down the list for me. I've never been disappointed at Lugers and think in Manhattan my top steakhouses are Keen's, BLT Steak and Strip House.

        1. re: ESNY

          The past two times I've been to the Strip House I've been disapointed...

      2. If just these two, I will be surprised if anyone does not vote for Peter Lugers over Sparks....

        1. I appreciate all the comments, but it makes me ask; does anyone recommend Sparks anymore?! I was considering going to both if we had time. Now I wonder..

          2 Replies
          1. re: MsOrganized

            Luger's over Sparks to be sure, but quite frankly, I don't know if Luger's is worthy of all the hype. (My ex loves them, me not so much). Of the old school places Smith & Wollensky and ...dare I bring up a chain restaurant? I'd actually knock someone over for a bite of Morton's hash browns.

            1. re: BW212

              peter Lugers. Number two I think Joseph Marc

            1. Lugers definately. Although you will need to walk across several bridges to work off the cholesteral. Be sure to book well in advance. You typically need about 3 months to get a decent time.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rasmalai

                Luger's is garbage now. It's an industry joke that they still garner the attention they do. It's basically a tourist and baffoon trap. Try Keen's Chophouse for a good "old school" experience and a quality steak.

                1. re: grierson

                  Stay in NYC and go to Wolfgangs, same food better stmospher and easier commute. My personal favorite is Smith and Wollensky Grill

                  1. re: princeofpork

                    Peter Luger's by default. They only disappoint 40% of the time. Everywhere else, near 50%.

                  2. re: grierson

                    I will have to concur that Keen's is pretty good. I also recommend Craftsteak.

                2. Peter Luger is not only the best steakhouse in New York but possibly the country and the world.

                  1. Haven't been to sparks, but the general vibe I get from this board lately is that Spark's is past its prime. That being said, I've had multiple meals at Luger's and have not been disappointed. It is in my opinion the best place to go for someone you describe as "steak and potatoes."

                    To an above poster, I'm not quite sure how it is an industry joke as they do happen to serve consistently great steaks, but like any other steakhouse the quality suffers from time to time. They managed to uphold the food quality almost perfectly despite the stampede of tourists and steak-fiends from out of town.

                    A word of warning, the ambiance, service, and fellow diner's may put you off at first. It is INDEED a very touristy spot, coupled with native NY people from lower income brackets splurging here in full casual wear(beaters, jerseys), but that is not to say I mind terribly. The setting, atmosphere and overall "attitude" of the service encourage a very relaxed experience, althogh it is too casual, touristy, etcetera., for many chowhounds. That being said, it is very hard to criticize their steak on any account, and you will not be disappointed, barring a horrible night (which all steakhouses have, steak itself is a product who's quality varies wildly.)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jordana

                      just went to sparks last week and was great. luger's does have great cut of meat but only one kind and their sides, wine list and atmosphere is sub par compare to sparks.
                      sparks does have great wine list...maybe best wine list for selection and price in the city. also sparks does have great seafood as well.

                      1. re: Souper

                        Spark's "past it's prime"- true, but great unintended pun. Frankly, for its steak, Sparks was never up to Luger's. If you have a reservation and don't just happen to catch an "off" day, Lugers is still the most consistent. But Sparks was never as good, not since Costellano got bumped off there.

                      2. My vote also goes for Keen's. I will also throw Porter House into the mix. If you do arrive there, order the ribeye.

                        1. I have always thought that the meat is aged better and has a more robust almost smoky taste at Luger's. Also they have great German fried potatoes that are not the same anywhere else.

                          1. Has anyone been to Pietro's recently? Comments?

                            1. Just went to Luger's for lunch last week. Not as "touristy", if you are looking to avoid that. I have to honestly asy that Luger's has been getting better. They had a lull, about 2 years ago. Now they seem to be getting back on track.

                              Been to Lugar over 20 times, and never been to Sparks. Just didn't interest me. I enjoy Joseph Marc, and Keen's as well.

                              1. I've never eaten there myself, but legend has it that some of NYC's finest cuts are dry aging in the vaults of Robert's Steakhouse, which happens to be located in the Penthouse club. I don't know if you or your man can dig it but the word on the street is that these steaks are the top. Here's a NY times article that compares Roberts to both Lugers and Sparks: