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Jan 22, 2008 03:13 PM

A good steak

We were in the mood for a really good steak this weekend. So after years and years of hearing wonderful things about Manhattan Steak House, my husband and I finally tried it. I have to say that it was just alright. I ordered Filet Mignon and my husband ordered a T Bone. I am by no means saying anything was wrong, but it was just average. I was kind of disappointed that after all the build up I had heard about the place, I wasn't blown away. In December we had gone to McLoone's Rum Runner and I ordered a Filet Mignon there which I am still thinking about because it was that good. I was expecting the same quality or better at Manhattan Steak House but frankly, I was disappointed.

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  1. I'm sorry that you were disappointed with your meal. While not a NYC quality steakhouse, I've enjoyed the food at MSH and wouldn't hesitate to return. Hopefully it was an off night. I'll return shortly and report back. Good Luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bgut1

      Have you tried Chris Michaels Steak House in Woodbridge? What do you think of this one bgut1. Have you ever been? I find that you and I have had some similar astes on other restaurants. I'm curious as to what you thought if you ate there.

    2. Best steak in NJ by far is Copper Canyon, Atlantic Highlands. In the Blue Bay Inn

      1. I think everyone just has there own tastes when it comes to steak...that or sometimes there are just bad cuts.

        As someone who has eaten at probably 100 top steakhouses around the world, frequents Uncle Jacks......I think Manhattan is one of my favorites!

        9 Replies
        1. re: RPMcMurphy

          I think RPM hit the nail on the head. Everyone has a different idea of what a good steak is.

          If you enjoy a nice fatty, mineraly aged cut of prime beef sizzling hot, without any fancy sauces to mess with the beefy goodness, Manhattan is without a doubt the best (and only) spot in the area.

          However, if you consider a filet mignon a delicious cut of steak, then Manhattan steakhouse probably isn't for you. For me a filet mignon is kinda bland by itself and needs to be dressed up a bit before it can shine - which isn't something I'd expect at a steakhouse.

          1. re: joonjoon

            I have to disagree somewhat. A good steak house should be able to make a good steak. Whether that be a filet, a rib-eye a strip, whatever. A naked filet might be a bit bland for some tastes, but a nice cut of filet, properly seasoned and cooked can be very flavorful. If you want to 'fancy' it up some with a little Bernaise, a decent steak house should certainly be able to do this. I prefer either a rib eyr or a strip, but I will occassionaly get it au poivre, with a brandy green peppercorn sauce Again, a good steakhouse should be able to do this as well (I certainly can).

            My biggest and most consistent complaint with steakhouses is that they overcook the steak (which for many people, including me, essentially ruins it). I could probably forgive a neighborhood B&G doing this, but someplace that calls itself a steakhouse? Does no one in the kitchen understand that a steak needs to rest and that the internal temperature (and doneness level) will increase during this time?

            There's no reason my wife and I shouldn't be able to go to a decent steakhouse and have her enjoy a great filet while I devour my perfectly cooked NY strip.

            1. re: bnemes3343

              while i agree that filet is probably the least flavorful, it can still be wonderful. well seasoned with a good sauce or perhaps a slab of foie gras on top ??????

              1. re: bnemes3343

                How does Peter Luger , Palm ,Sparks .in NYC get it right .What is there secret .We all know that a good piece of Prime can be ruined by bad cooking ..Why does that not tranlate in NJ ..SIMPLE buy good aged prime and cook it right and they will come ..

                1. re: big1515

                  chefmd, big1515, my point exactly. Get a great piece of steak and cook it properly. otherwise do not pretend to be a steakhouse...

                  1. re: big1515

                    See, and haven eat at all of the above, probably 10x each...I still like Manhattan better.

                    Now....throw Uncle Jacks into the equation......

                    never, and I've eaten at manhattan a lot....have I had a "badly" cooked steak. Always cooked just the way "I" like it.

                    It's all subjective, and thats where they are 100s of steakhouses because all cook a steak "different".

                    Have a restaurant that only cooks steaks well done, with ketchup, and there will be someone who loves it (hey, come on, we've all had a "tads steak!"

                    1. re: RPMcMurphy

                      A well-trained staff is essential to any steakhouse. Leaving a medium rare steak under a heat lamp is practically the same thing as throwing it back on the grill!

                  2. re: bnemes3343

                    I guess the point I was making was sort of specific to Manhattan Steakhouse. To me Manhattan steakhouse is a peter luger type place where you're there to enjoy good beef the way it is, without getting fussy about sauces and what not. I don't think Luger has Filet Mignon (unless you count the tenderloin part of the porterhouse) on the menu and to many it is the ultimate steakhouse. Some people are into this kind of thing, others are not.

                    I think people just have wildly different ideas about what constitutes a good steak, or even what a steak is. For example, the two best steaks I've had in this area are Copper Canyon's and Manhattan's, but they are great steaks for totally different reasons. Copper Canyon starts out with a solid cut of steak and makes it spectacular with their spice rub. Manhattan starts with a spectacular cut of meat and lets the meat do the talking.

                    Some times I crave a spiced or sauced steak, and other times I just want some unadultered beefy goodness. For me, personally, when you have good, prime, aged meat, I often prefer to have it plain and enjoy the flavor of the meat. But I've been to Manhattan with people who felt it was a little boring because it lacks any sauce or spices. To each his own I guess!

              2. I acutally did order it with a sauce which I am having a brain blank on right now as to what to call it....chimi something or other. It is a sauce which I had at Sally Tee's and enjoyed. However, I did not care for it at all at Manhattan Steak House and instead asked for the horseradish sauce. They also claimed it was cooked in butter....did not see any remnent of butter on my plate. All and all I expect my fillet to melt in my mouth. (as did the one I had at Rum Runner) Not the case here. charmel - thanks for the tip about Copper Canyon. I alway go for the exotic there and never think to try a good ole steak. I'll have to keep that in mind on my next visit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sunsetterdottie

                  Probably chimichurri sauce? Oil, lemon, garlic and herbs (it probably looked green?) Never had that on a filet, although I suppose it would work (if it wouldn't be too potent for such a mild steak).

                  1. re: sunsetterdottie

                    IMO Manhattan's chimichurri is horrible, and for some reason they seem to think it's special.

                    If you like a good spice rub on your steak it doesn't get much better than Copper Canyon...yum.

                  2. A few thoughts:

                    1--The best steakhouses treat their steaks properly by dry-aging them. Yes, they buy the best product, but the care for it before and after they hit the fire. Marination is fine for tough cuts, but a well-aged and properly cooked porterhouse or rib-eye is something magical.

                    2--Speaking of aging, no one here has mentioned the aging process. That's what the big boys do to create the best steakhouse dinner.

                    3--Any steak covered in rub and sauce may make for a decent meal, but it is likely covering up an inferior or poorly-cooked steak. Cooper Canyon is a perfect example: the two strips I've had there on separate occasions (along with those of various companions) have been too fatty and riddled with gristle. My guess is that poor butchery was the culprit. I know, fat is nice, but the steak still lacked flavor without the powerful sauce/rub combo.

                    4--Who in the world would pay the premium on filet mignon only to cover it in sauce and foie gras? WHY??? WHY??? Oh, the humanity! A perfectly prepared filet has some flavor, but you'd never know it with sauce and foie, which not only kills the whole idea of the fine flavor of filet, but takes away the light texture and purpose of the rather lean meat.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: aklein

                      why would people still wrap bacon around filet? fat=flavor. re:(4)to each their own in regards to foie or sauce with filet try telling bobby flay who has made a career with such rubs. re:(2) i would agree that dry aging is certainly a huge factor. that is also one of the reasons for the cost. personally, having had numerous types of steaks, i would agree that a properly aged and cared for piece of prime is excellent, then again so is true kobe, which is a whole other discussion. grass fed beef is also excellent albeit different and wonderful when handled with care. for me, i'll steak the steak onglet from les halles or a good piece of skirt. niether of which costs anywhere near the price of a porterhouse, etc.again, its all a matter of preference.

                      1. re: chefMD

                        true....another great steak meal I've had was a sliced flatiron with a little mustard sauce.

                        just as well, to quote the ever so always accurate internet...

                        "The reason filet mignon is often wrapped in bacon (this wrapping is called barding) is because this particular cut of meat has no layer of fat around it. The bacon not only adds extra flavor to the filet mignon, it also gives it the fat necessary to keep the meat from drying out. This is a concern since the strips are so small in filet mignon and they have less fat than most cuts of beef."