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Dec 10, 2008 11:33 AM

Steak in White Plains?

What are the best options for steak in White Plains? Morton's? BLT Steak?

Hoping not to drive, but we do have the car and a short drive would be tolerable if the food is good. Or something walkable from any close-by MetroNorth stop would be fine.

We can go to the city, of course, but I am hoping to stay close to home for this outing.

Thanks for your rec's!

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  1. And to further clarify...Im looking for a place that focuses on steak (with a few other options on the menu) as opposed to restaurant that has 1 steak dish on the menu.

    And Im not really concerned with budget per se. It's just the 2 of us and we aren't big drinkers (maybe a glass of wine each). But getting out for $200 with tax/tip is a good target.

    2 Replies
    1. re: piegirl74

      I hated BLT. The steak was inedibly salty, service was poor, atmosphere odd. It's on the ground floor of the Ritz Carlton. We had a window over looking the corner--ick. It certainly wasn't fancy inside, somehow a cross between modern and ??? I can't even describe it. Way too expensive for what you get. I'd stay away.

      I haven't been to this Morton's but others in the chain didn't impress me. We loved the steak at X2O but that's not what you are looking for.

      1. re: debmom

        I agree on the salty food at BLT Steak. I can't say I hated the atmosphere, but I wouldn't run back either.

    2. I didn't like Morton's either on my one visit there. Haven't been in a while, but I think the Tollgate steakhouse in Mamaroneck has the best steaks I've had in WC.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Reposado

        I liked Tollgate too but for steak, I'd go to Peter Luger. WC can't compare.

        1. re: dolores

          "I am hoping to stay close to home for this outing".

          Good steak or not, Peter Luger is in Brooklyn (or Great Neck) and really has no place in this discussion.

          1. re: valerie

            Agree that Peter Luger is fabulous. As is Keen's. But, I don't want to deal with the journey this time.

            Interesting about BLT. I have never been to the location in the city, but I do enjoy BLT burger (also in the city). That's pretty disappointing! I wonder if it's specific to this location? At any rate - thanks for the head's up!

            1. re: piegirl74

              Understand, piegirl. But WC really has a paucity of good restaurants and even more of a small choice of good steakhouses.

              Tollgate is probably the best, everything taken into consideration.

              1. re: piegirl74

                I have only been to BLT Steak in the city and it was fantastic. I had the short ribs and they were amazingly tender, perfectly seasoned and great depth of flavor. I have not been to the White Plains location but that is the place I'd choose if in your shoes.

          2. re: Reposado

            I would put WIllett House at number 1 and Morton's number 2. Flames was awful the two times I went and Tollgate was so bad the first time I never went back. The food is fine at Frankie and Johnny's but the noise level is so high you can't carry on a civil conversation.

            1. re: ericstratton

              Damn glad to see your comments, Eric !!!! Weren't you the rush chairman at Faber College some time ago? Anyhow I digress. IMHO, the steak, sides, food in general is as good at Flames as any place in NYC, However I find the atmosphere very weak at best. But for quality I will take the food over Willett, and by FAR over Morton's where the steak is soaked in butter and it and most of the sides are oversalted. I had a very good midweek dinner at Tollgate some months back. I do find the windowless dining room kind of oppressive though. Have not been to F and J 's. I did have a good steak at Harry's of Hartsdale , though. Place was noisy as h-ll though. I have been praying for a good steakhouse and a decent hot corned beef sandwich in Northern Westchester for years!

              1. re: steelydad

                LOL!!! That was steelydad & ericstratton - they were damn glad to meet ya! I really enjoyed the steak at Harry's of Hartsdale too.

          3. BLT in WP is not the place to go for a good steak. I think that the problems are specific to WP because the other BLTs(Prime and Market) in the city are good and consistant. It is sad when a place that calls itself a steakhouse, can't cook or season meat. The sides are even salt laden. I don't really like Mortons either but if it's a choice, being that they are probably the only 2 "steakhouses", I would choose Mortons. I wonder if Mulinos has a good steak?????

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChefDell

              Have not been to BLT in White Plains but I have not heard anything good. Mortons steak is tasteless, I would not waste my money there. I have heard Frankie and Johnny's in Rye is good, of course, Tollgate. I even think that Willett House is better than Mortons! Otherwise, I can't think of any specific steak houses,with the exception of the one in Croton Falls which is just plain awful.

              1. re: wincountrygirl

                How about Harry's in Hartsdale, is that any good?

                I still would forget about WC and go to Peter Luger's.

                1. re: dolores

                  I had a nice porterhouse at Harry's ion Hartsdale recently. It has a warm, welcoming decor. Tollgate has fine steak, but the dining room is windowless and dark.

            2. my woman has been to BLT 3 times now for business dinners and each time has said how salty, salty, salty the food is.......

              12 Replies
              1. re: southlake

                I have to agree, I was so looking forward to a good steak dinner, and tried BLT, in WP, it's just not very good. - (sorry to say). The meat itself was on the tough side, as well as the one in the city. If you want to go to the city, try Craft Steak, good steaks and other options as well.

                1. re: wonka

                  But it was already noted that talk of the city and LI and Brooklyn are out of the question.

                  If distance is back in the equation, one can't better than Peter Lugers.

                  1. re: dolores

                    Distance is not back in the equation. I live in the city and know where to go for steak there. We will be spending the weekend in WP and were hoping to go for steak in that neck of the woods.

                    Sounds like Tollgate will be my best option if that's what I have a taste for. Maybe we will re-think our eating agenda that night :-)

                    1. re: piegirl74

                      I didn't bring distance back into the equation.

                      Good choice on Tollgate.

                      1. re: piegirl74

                        No one has mentioned Ruth's Chris as yet -- over at the Westchester Marriott on Tarrytown Road. Not spectacular, but reliable, and I think preferable to Morton's as far as fancy steack chains in this area go.

                        1. re: VFresser

                          You're right, VFresser. Their steak was good. I imagine you have to pay for a potato at all the steakhouses, so I can't fault them that.

                          Isn't it Morton's who is having a special until the end of the year? Or is that already over?

                          1. re: VFresser

                            I ate at that Ruths Chris a few months ago and was not at all impressed. Coincidentally, we had eaten at Capital Grille in Stamford a few weeks earlier and it was far superior.

                            1. re: VFresser

                              Ruth Chris' food is saturated in butter, including their steaks. They even marinate the steaks in a butter based marinade. If you do that to old shoe leather, it would taste good. No one would do that to a quality piece of beef, so you really have to wonder.

                          2. re: dolores

                            If we're open to travel, - then I would re think it more, but I have to say PL's is been so over rated. They have trouble buying the quality that they use to buy, with all the steak houses out there now. They even intorduced differnt cuts of meats on there menu, (a first).

                            1. re: wonka

                              what about Flames??...I think they are in Briarcliff manor...I heard good things about there steaks...haven't had there's yet.

                              1. re: wonka

                                I have not been to fFlames in a few years, but remember the steaks were good. As a matter of fact, someone here on Chowhound who was a butcher said they had the best quality steaks around.

                      2. Excellent course on steak in Westchester led by BillyParsons, the "professor":
                        Sounds like Tollhouse or Flames would be good choices.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: otisman

                          Flames---great steaks but horrible atmosphere. At their prices, the place should not be such a dump. I love their food, but it is NOT a romantic setting.

                          1. re: steelydad

                            Haha. Well, Peter Luger's in Brooklyn isn't romantic in the least, but the steak is great!

                            Though I do appreciate your noting the atmosphere. It does come into play on most occasions.

                            But, I made a reservation at Flames so we'll see how it goes. Really just looking for a great steak and sides! Atmosphere is not the top criteria.

                            1. re: piegirl74


                              Did you ever eat at Flames?
                              What did you think of it?


                          2. re: otisman

                            Otisman thanks for the "plug"!

                            Everyone needs to remember that right now we’re at a point where restaurants are scared to inventory super high quality products because they may not sell. And, to make it worse, the vendors impose minimums on delivery charges. $500 here, $750 there… On a wholesale level it adds up.

                            It's why so many restaurants now do what Ruth Chris does (gasping), they bring their meat in frozen (hold on, just fell off my chair). Beef should never, ever, ever be frozen in a restaurant. No offense to smart home shoppers that load up at Costco. Meat at $4.99/lb and a Porterhouse for 2 at Ruth Chris are two different scenarios.

                            Don't be afraid to call a restaurant and ask them what they serve. Ask them where they get their beef. If they say "dunno, some guy just brings it in a little white truck" or "it comes in a huge truck with 5 letters (Sys*o) on the side", understand they're not serious about beef. Just ask to see if they’ll answer. Even if you’re clueless about the difference between, say, a sirloin and tenderloin, you’re looking for their attitude about food.

                            BLT has a SERIOUS food costing issue (above 60%) because so many steaks come back due to over-cooking and salt. So their problem is not food quality, but poor training. In Manhattan, there are 90 guys fighting over the same line cook position. In White Plains, the manager crosses his fingers and says 3 “Hail Mary’s” just hoping his line cook shows up! Please trust me on this one. We have the same problems in Rockland.

                            Sorry I can’t be of more help with regard to suggestions, have not ventured in to White Plains all that much. But I’d like to just leave “you all” with the basic premise that:

                            It’s not rude to ask questions about the restaurant’s sources of product.

                            Billy Parsons, over and out.

                            1. re: billyparsons

                              very well said billy...........honestly though how does BLT stay in business with a food cost so high? (60%?---JEEZE!!)....when I was working in restos the kitchens would hover around 30% food cost and the owners weren't exactly swimming in the moolah.....

                              1. re: southlake

                                Can't speak for all BLTs but the one in WP shares its food cost with the Ritz Carlton culinary operations. With banquets/hotel food costs hovering around the 23% area, they can rob Peter to pay Paul if you get my drift. This property is leased from Ritz so it falls under the hotels culinary umbrella. The others in the city have to stand on their own. It is a shame and true what Billy said in reference to the "3 hail mary's". There are no warm and fuzzy feelings in that kitchen and the turnover rate is high. The Exec chef of the hotel is too busy running hotel operations and is basically hands off when it comes to BLT. Perhaps things are different when a cook actually get s paid by BLT as opposed getting their checks from Ritz Carlton. The training was a problem from the begining, not the meat.

                                1. re: ChefDell

                                  From what I understand the only reason Capelli hasn't yanked the plug on BLT is because Laurent Tourondel and Simon Cooper from the Marriot (that owns the Ritz) have an exclusive deal where every new Ritz would feature one of his restaurants. Plus, could you imagine if the word got out that BLT couldn’t make it in White Plains?

                                  While you're right about the "peter paul" issue, the fact is BLT is sinking the ship. Capelli would close shop and let Goncalves from 42 take over the helm in a second. Word is Goncalves already took the helm in the three new restaurants in the Stamford Ritz. One of my guys was willing to commute all the way from Rockland to Stamford for a position there.

                                  And, with regard to the food and liquor cost “equalization” issue, I think the fact that a Snickers bar out of the “honesty bar” in the Ritz room costs $8.00, and micro bottles of Absolute cost $11.00, they pretty much close the gap…

                                  Kidding, but they know where to “bang you over the head”.

                                  Great points though Chef Dell.

                                  1. re: ChefDell

                                    And Chef Dell…

                                    Have a buddy that works Ritz South Beach. He just checked the White Plains numbers. I stand a tad corrected.

                                    BLT was running at 48%. Now they're 34%. The entire operation, with the hotel restaurant, they're at 29% (as of yesterday).

                                    1. re: billyparsons

                                      It is interesting how things changed quickly since the Ritz opened its doors last year. You had to have a reservation to sit at the bar at 42 and now they are advertising on a local radio station to attract a Thursday night crowd with cheaper drinks and a DJ. I understand it gets crowded but with a young 20 to 30's crowd This is what they wanted to avoid when they opened. The dining room is never anywhere near full. The space is way too large. I think highly of Anthony and loved Trotters and frequent Peneche but they kind of shot themselves in the foot when they tried to be so exclusive in the beginning.

                                      BLT had crowds from day one. The bar was professionally run with bartenders that actually remembered your drink and had a nice crowd. Now each time you go, the bartenders are different, mosttly young girls that know nothing about tending bar and unless you are a man wearing a suit, they tend to ignore you. Only one bartender remains from day one and he is an old school bartender. The restaurant though still draws a crowd but now you can actually get a table at a decent time without a reservation.

                                      I understand that Via Quadrono has changed and no longer serves breakfast and has a different lunch menu to attract business people.

                                      Also the new "upscale" sushi that Capelli is building has slowed down...That place should have been done by now.

                                      It seems that the whole "UPSCALE" theme has backfired on that corner. I live in White Plains and want nothing but good and successful restaurants and bars to be here.

                                      1. re: kaaaassss

                                        >>It seems that the whole "UPSCALE" theme has backfired on that corner.

                                        I don't find that surprising, do you? They 'thought' they were creating NYC, but they didn't. As did not another dismally failed NYC clone, New Rochelle.

                                        But, Capelli had a good run.

                                        Hopefully in 2009 it will be Cental Avenue's chance.

                                        1. re: dolores

                                          I think they moved to soon and did not expect the market to be in the shape that it is in in the moment. The second tower at the Ritz was delayed for a long time... Maybe they will start to mix in some affordable restaurants.

                                          1. re: kaaaassss

                                            The second tower at the Ritz was delayed because City of White Plains would not issue builder CoO's until he honored contract and had affordable housing built or provided. He put them between garage and NYSC in a space that he had built to be retail and never filled.

                                        2. re: kaaaassss

                                          It's called the economy. Every price point restaurant is having a problem.

                                        3. re: billyparsons

                                          Thanks Billy. My numbers weren't current, just a rough estimate for illustration. The saving grace is still the banquet dept which keeps the entire operation too bad. I probably know your buddy in south beach if he's in culinary!