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Del Friscos or Strip House in NYC

Traveling from San Francisco and looking for "the best steak in NYC." The reviews for steak houses are so varied I'm starting with these two. Any preferences???

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  1. Strip House. Best sides at a steakhouse I've ever had, and they served up a fine steak presented nicely (without sitting on a plate full of liquid).

    1 Reply
    1. re: sugartoof

      sides are way better at strip house...like the goosefat potato and truffled laced spinich. I gotta say tho the ribeye is so good at del friscos while the filet at stip is devine.

    2. No question on this one - Strip house far exceeds Del Friscos on every criteria - but most importantly on the consistent quality and flavor of the steak. Whereas Del Frisco's specializes in the "expense account" steak. That's not to say that Strip house is inexpensive, it's just that SH is less flash and more substance.

      1. The best steak in NYC is actually at Masa but is probably not what you are looking for. The best steakhouse is Peter Luger in brooklyn. Del Friscos doesn't even come close.

        1. This is a topic bound to get a lot of varying opinions. Mine is that either Del Frisco's or the Strip House will give you a creditable steak meal, but they offer two very different steakhouse experiences.

          Del Frisco's is big and splashy, located in Rockefeller Center, with huge windows and sweeping views of 6th Avenue, especially if you're seated upstairs. They serve up a pretty terrific steak dinner (my own choice would be the rib eye), from appetizers (try the crab cakes) to desserts, and they have a huge wine list. But there is that eye-popping, heart-pounding bill at the end.

          The Strip House is a much more intimate setting, but they also have a very nice steak selection, including the rib eye, and one of their sides is the goose fat potatoes. I think of the Strip House as being somewhat more sedate than Del Frisco's, i.e., less hustle and bustle, but no less quality.

          But, being one of those really opinionated steak lovers myself, I can't help but say that neither of these would be my first choice.

          I am unabashedly a Luger's fan, have been for more than 25 years. My wife and I had lunch there two Saturdays ago (first time this year, sadly), and the steak we had was as good as ever. You can certainly get a better meal in New York City, but I don't think you can get a better steak. Their wine list is a lot more limited than either Del Frisco's or the Strip House, so there is that to consider.

          Another old-time steakhouse that deserves consideration is Keen's, on West 36th Street. They serve up a pretty mean steak, but the signature dish is the mutton chop, which is what I have every time we go to Keen's. Just cannot get past that mutton chop. They also have the largest offering of single-malt Scotches in NYC and probably anywhere outside of Scotland.

          Another ongoing favorite of mine is Sparks, which also serves up a pretty good steak dinner. My wife likes Sparks because they have lobster, something not all steakhouses offer. Sparks does have its own impressive wine list, so there is that. Sparks also has quite a history.

          Another really good steakhouse that used to get a lot of positive mention on this board in the past but has been kind of ignored recently is MarkJoseph (one word), down near South Street Seaport. It is one of the Peter Luger clones that have sprung up in recent years.

          So there are a lot of really good steakhouses in NYC, and you would get a somewhat different experience from one steakhouse to another. But in general you would also get excellent steak dinners...

          Please be kind enough to let us know where you do go and what you think...

          14 Replies
          1. re: BrookBoy

            Thank you so much BrookBoy - great advice. Coming from the West Coast and w/ limited time, I really value the varied opinions. I will let you know where we end up!

            1. re: lbmonroe

              Not a NY'er but have eaten in all the steakhouses there with the exception of Strip House. Just never made it. My favorites are Sparks for NY strip and fantastic wine list...some at about 25% above retail store prices!!! and Keen's for great steak and atmosphere. Sparks loud and crowded. Keen's more sedate and nice historical trappings. Peter Luger is great,but good luck on a reservation and it is out of the way. I would avoid Smith and Wollensky.

              1. re: steakman55

                First of all, you can go for lunch at PL. Second of all it is not that far out of the way. Especially if you are looking for the best steak in NYC, not just Manhattan.

                1. re: tpigeon

                  If you're a tourist staying in Manhattan, then it's very out of the way.

                  It requires an adventurous subway ride from an obscure line (on the JMZ train) which requires a transfer or starting off in the Lower East Side. Most tourists would need to take a taxi to the train. Or take a taxi over the bridge, and hope you can snag a random cab on some pretty desolate streets to take you home.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Well if you go for lunch in october, you can get to the les, walk over the bridge and walk back if you want. I've done it many times. If you don't want to walk or are going at night, go to Houston, take a 2 minute cab ride over the bridge. Really no big deal. And you can take the car service from Lugers back over the bridge if you want and not "some random cab". It is silly not to go to Lugers because of the "out of the way" location when you are looking for the best steak house.

                    DiFaras is out of the way for a tourist staying in Manhattan, not Lugers.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      I actually agree - Luger's isn't that hard to get to. Last year we went for lunch on a weekday, we took the subway and from the time we left our office in Union Sq to the time we returned was exactly 2hrs. We're convinced a cab out there would shave off 20 minutes travel time and think we do the round trip in just over 1:30 when we go by cab this year.

                      While not something I'd recommend making your daily midtown lunch run, it is by no means way out of the way. And it is definitely worth it. Just don't expect to get any work done that afternoon.

                      1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                        lbmonroe, Luger's is more challenging to get a dinner reservation (you have to call, they're not on opentable.com). I didn't allow enough time, called a few weeks ahead of time. If you're flexible and willing to eat at 4:30 pm might be a different story. Hopping in a cab or car service and going right across the B. Bridge is easy. As a reminder, you need cash or a Luger credit card. We're all going to Keens for the first time, our second choice. I'm happy because as the only non-meat eater in the group I'll have more seafood choices. EDIT: Thanks tpigeon. I live so close to the B. Bridge I guess it always come to mind first :) Good thing my SO is from Brooklyn (the center of the universe) and knows how to find Luger's.

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          It is the Williamsburg bridge not brooklyn bridge btw.

                      2. re: tpigeon

                        Sorry, but I disagree and think tourists should know the subway in questions is considered one of the worst lines (the G train being the worst).

                        It's easy to get a cab there, but I'm confused by the idea you can take the car service back over the bridge. What car service? Like a tourist will know it's difficult to find a cab in S. Williamsburg and know to ask Lugers to call them a car? A car service into the city can be $15 . You can also take the L and walk 10 blocks, and walk under the bridge, but the point is none of the many variables are convenient. They are a project. Tourists should know that going in. You're going to a remote part of the city, to pay cash only, at a top dollar steakhouse that people get upset if you badmouth. 'Nuff said.

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          Ten years ago I would have agreed with you - no easy way back to Manhattan execept for the somewhat reliable subway. But now there are fleets of black cars waiting (no need to call) asking anyone if they want rides back to Manhattan at both lunch and dinner. There are always plenty of cabs circling the block now as well.

                          The only time I've ever had a problem getting home was on my first visit 8 years ago. W'burg's changed a lot since then.

                          1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                            Yeah well I've been stranded in the area in the past year with visiting relatives who couldn't get around so well. Car services can be pricey, and they can try to charge whatever they want, especially if you're going Uptown.

                            I'd rather send them to Wolfgang's instead.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              Yes! On Wolfgangs we absolutely agree. Now everything is right with the world.

                      3. re: sugartoof

                        Just want to note for the record that taking a cab to Luger's from Manhattan is really easy, as it is just across the Williamsburg Bridge. Have the cab driver stay in the extreme right lane and then do a U-turn loop at the Brooklyn side of the bridge and Luger's is about two blocks away.

                        At the end of your Luger's meal you can tell your waiter that you want a car service to Manhattan and Luger's will call the car for you. I think they do hit you up for a little more than if you had gotten your own car, but to me the service is worth it.

                        Also, the streets of Williamsburg aren't so desolate anymore. It's become quite the destination neighborhood in the past several years. In fact, you could walk across the street from Luger's after your meal and have a drink at Dressler, one of the finest looking bar/restaurants in Brooklyn, and have them call you a car.

                        So there are very reasonable transportation options for Luger's.

                        But wherever you choose, best of luck...

                        1. re: BrookBoy

                          There's also Diner, and Marlowe & Sons nearby but it's still very, very desolate around there as it's mainly residential. Lugers isn't in one of the business districts of Williamsburg.

                          Either way, there have been a lot of suggestions to Lugers and I think we need to start letting people know what they should expect transportation wise.

              2. Peter Luger is the gold standard.

                Strip House and Keens are tied for the next very best in my opinion. BLT Prime, Old Homestead, and Uncle Jack's are also great choices.

                If you are down to just these two though- ITS STRIP HOUSE HANDS DOWN! Not even in the same stratosphere believe me. I pride myself of steak and Strip House is truly incredible!!!!!!!!!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: steakrules85

                  Would you recommend ordering the ribeye or the ny strip at Strip House, I've heard positive reviews for both. And how was the Foie Gras to share?

                    1. re: nycguy

                      Porterhous for two is amazing. If not that then I would go for the ribeye as I am partial to steaks on the bone.

                      For sides the creamed corn is one of the best dishes I have ever had. Same goes for the goose fat potatoes, potatoes romanoff, and the much talked about black truffle creamspinach.

                      For dessert the chocolate layer cake is unbelievable. It is truly a 5 star steakhouse in my book and like I said I pride myself on steak.

                  1. I find Steak preference is a lot like music, you tend to be heavily influenced during your early years. For instance I grew in the 70's in Wisconsin listening to Album Rock and eating fresh "cut off the loin" corn feed beef.

                    To this day, I still prefer listening to albums over CD's, and Del Frisco's is one of the few Steakhouse's that serves up my kind of steak. (I mean how may other steak houses have fresh prime beef delivered twice a week and slice your steak of the loin when you order it). That's what I'm talking about!

                    My point being, people tend to like the style steaks they grew up with. People from the East Coast tend to like the dry aged beef steaks. Before proper refrigeration, dry aging prime beef loins was the only way to keep the steaks from spoiling. With the advent of modern shipping "Dry Aged" steaks simply became tradition with most fine Steak Houses. Today they keep their costs down by buying in quantity an aging the beef themselves. Some steak houses even display these aged beef loins.

                    However myself, and most people from the midwest, still prefer the taste of "fresh" steaks. This style (if you can call "fresh" a style) is becoming almost impossible to find. Over the past 20 years most steakhouses have given int to the modern pre-cut vacuum packed "wet style" steaks. This has become so prevalent, chances are this has now become your steak of choice. I challenge people to take a stroll in the kitchen of there favorite steak houses and watch the masters cut your prime steaks from their plastic tombs.

                    Bottom line, a great piece of beef, is a great piece of beef ... no matter how it arrives at your table. But when I am in New York and craving a steak ... Del Frisco's is my only destination.

                    How do you prefer your beef ???

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dr.be

                      Dr.be, I enjoyed your witty and thoroughly readable post.

                      However, I take issue with your assertion that dry aging is merely a leftover practice from bygone days. If you consult any authoritative source on steaks you will find that dry aging is done for two major reasons: (a) dry aging allows moisture to evaporate from the meat, thus creating a greater concentration of beef flavor and taste, and (b) during dry aging the beef’s natural enzymes begin to break down the connective tissue, making the beef more tender. In fact, proper dry aging requires refrigeration to do its magic properly.

                      Wet aging is where the beef is vacuum packed in plastic and is kept for a period of time, also in a refrigerated area. The major difference between dry aging and wet aging is that wet aging does not allow the same flavor development because there is no loss of moisture. It does tenderize the beef, however.

                      Most places now wet age their steaks because there is no appreciable shrinkage, as occurs with dry aging, and there is thus a greater profit margin on the beef.

                      There certainly is nothing wrong with a steak that has not been aged, but it just will not have the same intensity of beef flavor nor will it be quite as tender as the same cut that has been properly dry aged.

                      Of course, all this assumes we are talking about prime beef, not choice, which is what you get in most supermarkets.

                      And I may be wrong, but I think the beef that arrives at Del Frisco’s twice weekly is already aged. I have read this on several occasions.

                      1. re: Dr.be

                        The best steaks are without question those that are of the dry-aged variety. The best steakhouses all use this technique- Peter Luger, Keens, Strip House, BLT Prime, Old Homestead, etc. I would say most of the top steakhouses in the city do dry age their steaks.