Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 29, 2008 09:40 AM

Smith and Wollensky tonight

Hitting up the famed S&W tonight. It is the next stop on my steak excursion. Will be back later tonight will my full review! I will keep everyone posted lol!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. So another trip to a steakhouse last night and as promised I have come back with the feedback. Went to Smith and Wollensky's with 3 of my other buddies last night and had a really good time. I really liked the atmosphere of the place- tradiitonal steakhouse, brightly lit, great old style waiters and interior which is right up my alley.

    We arrived 5 minutes prior to our reservation, checked our stuff, and were seated immediately at 5:40. Our waiter came over and gave us the rundown about their dry-aging of steaks and recommended that we go with one of the bone-in cuts. For someone who considers himself somewhat of a steak connoisuer, I already knew everything he was talking about. However, for my companions who aren't as steak obsessed as myself they enjoyed his two cents.

    Then came time to order. My friends know I know my stuff about steak so they all were asking me what I thought they should get. I always recommend when going out to a steakhouse you MUST order a bone-in steak. Going in I knew I wanted to go with either the Prime Rib or Colorado Ribeye.

    Being somewhat selfish, I wanted to try as many cuts as possible. I sold my friend on ordering the Cajun ribeye after hearing rave reviews (couldn't order it myself because I know I am a purist and don't care for much seasoning on my cut). Another went with the bone-in sirloin, and me and my other friend both ordered the Colorado Ribeye. After much deliberation I decided to go with the regular ribeye, since that is what I was really craving and I just had the Prime Rib at Keens so I wanted to switch it up. For sides we got hash browns, creamed spinach, onion rings.

    The verdict- Cajun ribeye- The cajun ribeye my friend had was slightly smaller than my ribeye even though it was the same cut as mine. I tasted a piece of my friends cajun, and while the seasoning wasn't too overpowering or spicy, it has a nice tasty kick. Definitely something to experience, but I am glad I didn't order it because there is no way I would have enjoyed eating the entire steak. One piece was enough.

    My other friend got the bone-in sirloin, medium rare. Also very tasty, however I wasn't really impressed with the size of it. I am not a huge sirloin guy. I am more into porterhouse or ribeye, but nonetheless cooked the way he liked.

    Now for the Colorado Ribeyes. My friend got his medium rare and mine of course bloody rare. The one huge gripe I have is that his steak, while the same exact cut was easily 5-7 ounces bigger than mine and had a huge bone! I was very jealous. He said it was perfectly cooked the way he liked and he devoured the whole thing.

    My ribeye was cooked the way I had ordered- bloody rare with a charred crust. The meat was delicious and the quality was definitely prime dry-aged beef. I am just a bit disappointed in the inconsistency of the size of the steaks. Mine was bigger than my friends cajun ribeye and my other friend's Colorado was way bigger than mine. And to top it all off some guy at another table ordered the Colorado ribeye and his dwarfed all of ours! Obviously every cut is not going to be the EXACT same size, but it was veryyyyy noticeable. Nonetheless, definitely lived up to its billing though. It was a really good ribeye and I was fully satisfied. Just wish it was a little bigger and had a longer bone.

    As for the side dishes- Nothing special. Hash browns were very good as were the onion rings. But the creamed spinach was VERY disappointed. Probably one of the worst versions I have had yet. Next time I wouldn't order it, I'd get probably a baked potato and mushrooms instead.

    Desserts- These were great- We all sampled the coconut cake with passionfruit sauce and vanilla ice cream, chocolate mousse cake, and chocolate peanut butter cake with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. All were AWESOME. The cakes were moist and complemented great with the ice cream. They were huge and rich but hey at that point you have t have dessert and just go for it. Loved the fact that they had a dessert trolley as well---- You get to see what you're ordering. I WISH more places would do it.

    Overall, a great experience out with the guys. Came to about $80 a person. Was it the best steakhouse I have ever been to? No, but it was definitely worth the trip and the experience. I'd definitely go back. It doesn't quite make it into my top five (which you can find in my countless number of steakhouse reviews), but it did top Porter House New York and Prime House easily. For a good steak dinner, Smith and Wollensky fits the bill.

    5 Replies
    1. re: steakrules85

      the hash browns were the only thing i enjoyed at smith and was very overpriced for the sticking to lugers and keens.

      1. re: sam1

        S & W is the worst steakhosue in New York, hands down. S & W charges prime steak prices while delivering select with a few pieces of choice mixed in. It really blowns my mind how a restaurant that serves poor quality steaks, gets return customers.

        1. re: sam1

          While I obviously agree that Peter Luger and Keens are obviously better, I wouldn't say as baldwinwood put it the "worst steakhouse in New York". I have been to my share and I can say that is simply not true. Notable steakhouses that Smith and Wollensky beats out for me are as follows:

          Porter House New York (although I would like to go back to try their Porterhouse for a fair review), Prime House, Ruth's Chris.

          I wouldn't place it in the upper echelon for steakhouses (PL, Strip House, Keens, Old Homestead, BLT Prime, Craft, Uncle Jack's).

          But I would say its a decent second tier steakhouse and just a notch below. Probably would lump it in with Del Frisco's. They definitely are serving up prime dry aged beef and not select let's not be ridiculous.

          1. re: steakrules85

            Ruth's Chris steaks are all previous frozen, thats a pretty low standard.

            As for S & W serving only prime steaks, thats 100% false. Danny Collins(worked there for 20ish years) is a friend and he has told me as much.

            1. re: baldwinwood

              I agree Ruth's Chris is a just a chain steakhouse and should never be mentioned in any top steakhouse discussion.