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A good steak for my man.

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I am taking my boyfriend for his birthday dinner next month and want to take him for a nice steak. I feel like I've read so many posts and opinions about possibly every steak place in the city and outer boroughs and I am looking for recent reviews.
We're not going to Luger's so please refrain from going there. He has been there before so I am aiming for something new.
The places I've looked into and considered....
Sparks, Old Homestead, Dylan Prime, Keens, BLT Prime (but i went to BLT burger once and was not impressed), Craftsteak, Striphouse, and I think there were a couple others I was thinking.
Basically, the food and service are the most important things. Ambiance comes after those. I dont want too trendy and I dont want too many suits spending other people's money and not giving a shit about their really nice meal. Yeah....a $200 dinner is something I save up for and appreciate with every moment. :) p.s I guess the other people around me don't really matter. I just really dont love too trendy i.e Chelsea isnt my scene (I am aware of Craftsteak's and Old Homestead's location).
We're both 28, live in the Slope, work in the city, we're pretty laid back and we love dining out together.
Gimme whatchyou got.

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  1. One more point- the steak is where it must be at. I'm looking for perfectly cooked to order and an ice outer crust. I wont even be ordering steak myself but my boyfriend likes a nice cut. its gotta be all about the steak.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rebloonin

      I'd say Strip House. It's reasonable, and the sides are as good as the steaks, which would suggest their other menu items will be tasty for you too.

      My only warning is I've had trouble specifically with their filet mignon, and the tables for 2 are pretty tight. That said, it's one of my top picks for a special occasion dinner.

      Wolfgang's seems to also be a happy choice around these parts.

      1. re: sugartoof

        I 2nd Strip House. I dream about their Potatoes Romanoff and Creamed Corn with Pancetta just as much as I do their steak :)

        1. re: cidonie

          3rd for Strip House. Goose fat potatoes.... nom nom nom

          1. re: deborah24

            I call fourth for Strip House.

            Btw, Its going to be hard to avoid the men in suits on a weekday at any reputable steakhouse in the city.

        2. re: sugartoof

          Striphouse is a good idea. Have done a boyfriend birthday there myself. Porterhouse (including filet) was great). My only note of caution is that Striphouse is notorious for not seating on time.

          1. re: Lucia

            Luckily, I've never had trouble being seated on time, but it may have helped that they had people seated for dinners at the bar so there was nowhere to send me.

            The porter is delicious there...too bad it's for two.

        3. re: rebloonin

          If it's the crust you seek, try the Steak Au Poivre (black pepper encrusted) at Smith & Wollensky on the corner of 3rd and 55th or 56th(?) (not sure if it's still on the menu though; it's been some years; it wasn't my thing though - I don't like crust on my steak.) Also I didn't see Ruth's Chris on your list (flagship, in the 50's off 7th). If you dislike Luger's, maybe RC is your thing. I've found a dichotomy b/w those 2 places: people tend to like one and dislike the other. Good luck!

        4. I say go to Peter Luger's! But if you need ambiance and all that... hmm.. I've heard good things about Porterhouse over at Time Warner.

          9 Replies
          1. re: doctorj

            I ate at Porterhouse last weekend. While OK, I wouldn't recommend it for your BF. The ambiance is nice but the steak we ordered (the porterhouse) was incredibly tough, even the filet side. The meat, however, was very flavorful.

            I haven't eaten there, but DH loved Wolfgang and thought it was better than Luger's. I've passed by it (the one in Murray Hill) and thought the ambiance was quite nice.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              The ambiance at the Wolfgang's on 33rd St. is actually more than just nice. The interior is landmarked, and the Gustavino ceiling is amazingly gorgeous! The good news is that, as your DH said, the food is excellent (though we haven't been to Luger's, so I'm no making that comparison).

              We were there on a Sunday evening. Wolfgang, himself, was at the reservation desk and seated us. On our way out, we had a nice chat with him. A very charming guy!

              1. re: RGR

                I should definitely try it one of these days. So many places I want to try but not enough time!

                1. re: RGR

                  just looked at he initial photos on wolfgangs website and the ceilings look just like those in the oyster bar in grand central

                  1. re: rebloonin

                    Gustavino was the architect for GST.

                    1. re: RGR

                      Wolfgang's is fantastic. Best steak I've ever had in my life. I only recommend passing on the german potatoes, no good.

                      1. re: ginsbera

                        The onion rings at Wolfgang's are some of the best I've had anywhere.

                        1. re: ginsbera

                          I'll give a dissenting opinion here, I think the German potatoes are one of the best side dishes I've had in any steakhouse.

                          1. re: mjh5821

                            Maybe they were just bad when I went, but they were extremely dry and the taste was not anything special. I would have preferred a plate of garlic fries, onion rings or even mashed potatoes.

              2. Is Craftsteak too trendy? I think the steaks there are genuinely excellent (even if the restaurant must also make an excellent profit margin off them). Keen's isn't really trendy, but it might be a little more staid than you want. You'll also be running into the expense account set most days of the week. Hmm. The only place I can think of that you haven't already listed is Churrascaria Plataforma. Prices aren't too out of control, the steaks are pretty good (flavorful, but no ultra tender cuts like filet mignon), and you'll be able to stuff yourself to the gills if that's what you're into.

                -----
                Churrascaria Plataforma
                316 West 49th Street, New York, NY 10019

                6 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  Keen's gets my vote. (Luger's is living on its past reputation now!)

                  1. re: idia

                    KEENS! The best.

                    1. re: bosun

                      Amen on Keens!

                      1. re: RGR

                        I'm from out of town but will be taking a group out for steak in NYC soon. They assumed Luger, but I said we had two choices: Sparks for NY strips and great wine, Keen's for porterhouse and atmosphere. Since two of the party don't drink, it was a no-brainer. Keen's.

                        1. re: steakman55

                          Agree with porterhouse at Keens! Another option could be Mark Joseph's?

                  2. re: cimui

                    I would recommend Craftsteak.....but to do it for $200 would mean ordering like a monk.

                  3. Recently went to two places that were amazing-Market Table-steak served on a bed of arugala and olives-soooooooooo good. Next had an amazing shared steak at Babbo!! Normally would not order this at Italian place but took advice from fellow chowhounder-OMG-amazing!!! of course the reservation is what you need to overcome but I found if you go in person easier to make reservation instead of on phone since line is always busy!

                    1. BLT Prime. The steaks are great, and they have a bunch of other choices if you aren't getting a steak, good sides and also the fantastic popover.

                      The last few times I've been to Sparks I've had service issues. I used to enjoy Strip House but I stopped going there after 3 straight visits where I wasn't seated until an hour after my reservation.

                      1. why doesn't dylan prime get any love on the boards? i had such a romantic, fun, yummy dinner here.

                        1. I had a terrific meal at Porterhouse the other night. I had been there once before and wasn't blown away, but the Porterhouse we had this time was delicious.

                          Craftsteak is really expensive, but delicious as well. I took my wife there for her birthday and she loved it.

                          1. Another vote for Striphouse.

                            1. Don't know why Industria Argentina doesn't get more love on this board, I always ate really well there although it helps that I favour Argentinian beef over beef from most other countries and love a good Malbec to accompany. And they have a nice bar area which does fine mojitos. And the prices are reasonable. And the servers and owners are laid back and friendly yet efficient and professional at the same time. And it's a funky, vibrant set up but not too cool or trendy. And, even though TriBeca, you won't find many suits in there, they're all in Dylan Prime and Wolfgangs up the street.

                              Foodwise the sirloin for two is great, so too the combination of fillet steak on a shitake mushroom puree. And the milanese is tops. A few dulce de leche based desserts to follow, never a bad way to finish a meal.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: oonth

                                Thanks for all the responses people!
                                Oonth- just looked at IA's website and it looks pretty yumtown. Phil mentioned liking a bone-in rib eye or a stripsteak and he doesnt do filet mignon so I will have to look over the menu again and see if I think he'll have enough option. Though we are going on a Thursday and I see they have a suckling pig option that evening- he may not be able to resist.
                                Thanks for the input. Maybe getting away from the whole NY steakhouse scene of where's its at.
                                P.s to whomever mentioned no love for Dylan Prime....I *do* have a reservation there just in case so to make you feel better, I have heard good things.

                                1. re: rebloonin

                                  I think you're making a good choice, IA seems to meet all of your requirements. Most of the waitstaff are Uruguayan, you go a long way to find more laid back and engaging people than from that country. Just skimmed the menu myself and jogged my memory. The provoleta starter is excellent although I suspect that your average cardiologist might disagree :-) And the 16oz ribeye comes with humita which is a delicious native South American corn+masa flour based preparation.

                                  If you end up going to Dylan Prime, be warned that it is very very Wall Street.

                                  1. re: oonth

                                    i never have felt wall st at dylan prime. i guess it depends when you go. aren't all steakhouses mostly men in suits and ties?

                                  2. re: rebloonin

                                    rebloonin, if you try the suckling pig, please let me know how it is! I don't think I'd be able to resist either. Sounds delicious!

                                  3. re: oonth

                                    Wow - I've never heard of this place, but the menu looks amazing! I've been trying to get my parents back to a NYC steakhouse, but after a disappointing experience at Luger's they prefer other cuisines. This might interest them!

                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                      Would one of you posters please post the link. to IA?
                                      For some reason I cannot locate it!
                                      Thanks much!

                                      1. re: Tay

                                        http://www.iatribeca.com/
                                        http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                                  4. To me Peter Luger is the best steakhouse ever. However, I see you do not want to go there. I'd like to consider myself somewhat of a steak afficionado and have eaten at several top steakhouses in the city.

                                    My top picks Keens, BLT Prime, and Uncle Jack's are all fantastic in the city. If you want a great porterhouse only second to Luger's and great old style atmosphere head to Keens. For more inventive sides, desserts, and great steak in a trendier atmosphere head to BLT Prime it is awesome. Uncle Jack's made the best ribeye I have ever had HUGE! and beautiful spot.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: steakrules85

                                      I always forget about Uncle Jack's in the city. I lived in Bayside for a coulple of years and always went there. BTW they do a lovely steak sandwich for lunch with filet for $15. Yum!

                                      1. re: deborah24

                                        Yeah my sister had a kobe steak sandwich for lunch it wuz awesome. Great huge steak fries!

                                    2. I'd avoid Sparks - I have yet to get a steak there that isn't overcooked. In my experience, Craftsteak is hit or miss. Keens is fab, but definitely more old school. BLT Prime or Striphouse are probably your best options. IMO, I wouldn't judge Prime on the basis of BLT Burger - I've eaten at BLT Prime numerous times and have always had a perfectly cooked steak, good sides, fun atmosphere (read: less stuffy). I also love Dylan Prime, but it's not quite in the same "steakhouse" category - don't get me wrong, I've had probably more than 10 really good meals there, but it was more the entire package than just the steak.

                                      1. I ate at BLT Prime last week and it was a truly forgettable experience in every way. My vote goes to Craftsteak, with the caveat that they dont do the charred crust thing there. I dont mind that, but some people think that steak is only steak with a charred exterior.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: heightsgtltd

                                          We haven't been to Craftsteak, but last week, I happened upon a segment of Michael Colemeco's program on PBS where he was visiting Craftsteak. They pan fry all their steaks, and the chef in charge actually cooked one during the show. Iirc, he seared it first to seal in the juices, then napped it with lots of butter before sticking it in the oven to finish. It looked so delicious that I wished I could jump inside my my teevee set and take a bite! lol Before I saw this show, I hadn't considered going to Craftsteak. But now, it's on the list!

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            I saw that too. Craftsteak is one of my favorite restaurants in the city for a number of reasons beyond amazing steak.

                                            One funny thing about that show is that lately there has been too much salt on the steaks, and the chef mentioned using a lot of salt.

                                            Another funny thing is that they serve the steak in Staub cast iron, which makes you think that it's cooked in those dishes but that show proved otherwise.

                                            1. re: heightsgtltd

                                              They did show things other than steak, and it all looked very tempting. Even if they don't cook the steak in the cast iron pot, it's still an attractive way to serve it. As far as the salt issue is concerned, I think I'll request that they go easy with it.

                                              1. re: RGR

                                                Well to reply to everyone....I think I'm going with Industria Argentina. Just to try something maybe a little bit different.
                                                Funny thing, today I went with my BF to Fairway in Red Hook and what did we pick up to cook for dinner? You guessed it- shell steak. Which I *think* is the same ting as strip. They were having a sale on shell and porterhouse. If any of you are so inclined to run over there right now :)
                                                You guys know that song "Put it in my mouuuuuthhh.....my mother f-cking moooooouth"? Well, I truly believe it to be the theme song to Fairway's smoked salmon. I bought a 1/4 pound of it, for snacking purposes, and when we got home I obviously opened it immediately. Phil goes ,"You're not going to eat a whole 1/4lb of lox right now, are you?" And while I replied with a "no", I will admit it was hard to stop feeding myself the salmon like a concubine feeding grapes to her king, head tilted back, mouth open, you get the picture.
                                                Also, I have recently discovered quite the deal at Fairway. If you go all the way to the back where you can order sandwiches and pizza to take out or eat in their outdoor area, check out the lobster roll. You get quite a decent amount of chunky lobster on a potato bun, kettle potato chips, very fresh coleslaw (and I am usually not a fan of the stuff and this was yummy) and a decent pickle. All for $7.99.

                                                "I highly recommend picking one up......mint?"

                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  Hi RGR,

                                                  You should definitely go to Craftsteak! If you consider splurging a bit, I will recommend the real wagyu beef from Japan. They serve the real deal and since the beef is very fatty only a very small portion is enough. Robuchon used to have it but I believe they don't serve it anymore.

                                                  I really do like their sides and appetizers a lot! In fact, I will say even if I don't order steak there, I can still dine very happily because their vegetables, like brussels sprouts or mushroon medleys, are just delicious. Nothing complicated or with fancy sauces, just good old simple cooking with high quality ingredients. The appetizers like Japanese wagyu carpaccio and sweetbread are also excellent. The oysters are very fresh albeit expensive compared to say Aquagrill. Usually my problem about eating at Craft and Craftsteak is that there are too many to choose (and always too full to have desserts, which actually are fanastic too!)

                                                  By the way, I wouldn't care too much about the salt in the cooking. They put a lot of salt because a lot of it tend to be lost when they blast the oil over and over to the meat.

                                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                                    I agree with almost all of Kobetobiko's comments, except in my experience (eating there a number of times) the salt doesn't go away enough.

                                                    Craftsteak is a sleeper restaurant to me for this city. In addition to what was mentioned, their other raw bar offerings are outstanding, sides like butter braised morels, and desserts too.

                                                    The only issue is price. It ends up being a good deal more than a prix fixe at a place like EMP.

                                                    1. re: heightsgtltd

                                                      Thanks for the comment, kobe and heightsgtltd,

                                                      I presume that one can share dishes at Craftsteak, including steaks? That's what we do nowadays at steakhouses. It has absolutely nothing to do with cost but, rather, with portion control.

                                              2. re: RGR

                                                RGR...
                                                I had viewed that episode a few months ago. It really did look amazing.. Sadly, my dinner there was good, but not spectacular. For the money, I'd much rather dine at Keens

                                            2. I'd like to also recommend Strip House. I think the steaks are fantastic and the ambiance is also quite nice. With our steaks, we had the seafood sampler and it was amazing. Beyond that, no one has recommended the Post House yet. That might because of the amount of suits in the house, but their rib-eye is just amazing. I'd also like to throw out Macelleria. The steaks there are really good, but it is an italian place.