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Mar 30, 2009 07:46 AM

Best steakhouse near 341 W 36th St NYC?

Wednesday night I'm going to see "God of Carnage" and am staying at the Wyndham Garden Hotel Midtown which is located at 341 West 36th Street in NYC. I'd love to eat at a great Steakhouse nearby - any suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. Keen's is right nearby - check the board - there are tons of posts about it. It's great!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Barcelonian

      Hi ~ I did notice this place online, but it looked a bit touristy? It's okay then?

        1. re: jfb76

          If anything it's quintessential New York not touristy at all.

          1. re: bronwen

            A co-worker recommended Sparks on East 46th Street - Any thoughts? I'd have to take a taxi, correct?

            1. re: jfb76

              That's an emphatic NO! Keens is really a no-brainer. And I wouldn't trade it for Sparks in a million years. For meat (Keens: on the bone, Sparks: off the bone), ambience (Keens: old New York, Sparks: wedding reception hall), service (Keens: professional, Sparks: upselling obnoxious), and crowd (Keens: mixed, Sparks: frat-men). No contest.
              Also, all steakhouses have an endemic tourist element that is pretty much inescapable, especially in midtown, so I would discard that as a determining factor.
              And if you like lamb, then skip the steak altogether and get the mutton chop. It's really amazing and pretty much unique to Keens. Or the prime rib, which is downright Flinstonian. Otherwise, the porterhosue is outstanding.
              I'm not as vitriolically opposed to Uncle Jack's, but in IMO it's not in the same category.

              1. re: snaporaz

                Perfectly explained...i agree 100%...

                1. re: snaporaz

                  Well said. There really is no contest here. Unless you like overcooked steaks and overpriced wine, in which case sparks is your place. Sure sparks wine list may be extensive, but the markups are insulting.

                  1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                    You must be talking about a different Sparks, at least when it comes to wine markups. As I mentioned in a different post, I had dinner at Sparks recently with friends, and one of the wines we had was the Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay. This wine retails for between $30 and $40, depending on vintage and seller. Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn has this wine for over $90 (now THAT'S a ripoff), and I have seen it in other places for $75 and above. At Sparks it is $49.95.

                    That is but one example...

                    1. re: BrookBoy

                      I recall looking at their list of French Reds - I like a strong Haut -Medoc with my steaks, and finding the prices to be rediculous, compared with other steakhouses in the city like Wolfgangs or the Strip house.

                      In all fairness, it could be just a huge markup on their imported reds. Or it could also be that they've lowered the prices since I was last there about a year ago.

                      But the wine markups aren't what's keeping me away. It's the steak.

        2. Was looking for a nice steakhouse for a business dinner a few months back, and saw recommendation's for Keen's on chowhounds. It was really good. Loved the atmosphere, there are hundreds of old time pipes lining the ceiling in the reception area. Service was impeccable and food just what you'd expect at a high end steakhouse in Manhattan. There is also Uncle Jack's -not sure of the cross street, but it's on 9th and in the vicinity of where you are looking. Another long time favorite. Touristy is the last word I would use to describe either place. My impression in both were a lot of NY business people.

          1. Keen's is great, but if location is critical, take a look at Uncle Jack's. It's at 440 Ninth Ave., between 34th and 35th St. All the usual steakhouse foods done very nicely, good service and a lively bar scene. 212-244-0005.

            1. When I first saw this inquiry, I thought it was a trick question! There's no doubt that Keens is the right answer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Blumie

                I know. I wonder how many other Chowhounders just read the topic and automatically yelled KEENS!

              2. KEENS without a doubt. Snaporaz is 100 percent correcto forget Sparks they do not offer bone-in steaks. Bone-in is what makes a steakhouse's weight in gold.

                Go to Keens and get the porterhouse for two or king cut prime rib. Both sinfully delicious!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: steakrules85

                  Sparks is taking some hits on this thread, so I'm going to be the Devil's Advocate for a moment.

                  Let me begin by saying that I have been to both Sparks and Keen's A LOT. And I like them both A LOT, albeit for different reasons.

                  As noted above, Keen's is hard to beat on a lot of counts: that old-time New York ambiance, the quality of the food (especially that terrific mutton chop that I can never pass up), the good wine list and the great Single Malt Scotch list. All of the dining areas are great, and upstairs is probably the best. No question about it, you will get a great New York dining experience at Keen's, including the quality of the food.

                  But Sparks is no slouch either. Granted, they do not have the ambiance that Keens has, but if you can get a table in the old part of the restaurant (the area to the right of the bar as you enter), you will get a better ambiance, in my opinion, than in the large and impersonal main dining room. Sparks does offer quality steaks that I've always found to be on a par with the other top tier steakhouses in NYC (well, OK, my real favorite is that other place in Brooklyn whose initials are PL, the one that excites so much controversy on CH). It is true that Sparks does not serve steak on the bone (sadly), but they have some damned good lamb chops that are on the bone.

                  What Sparks has more than any other steakhouse, again, in my opinion, is a terrific wine list at reasonable prices (for wine in a NYC steakhouse, that is). One example is the Talbott Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow, which retails for about $40, give or take. I have seen that selection at $75 to $95 at other restaurants. At Sparks it is $49.95. I am not saying that all the wines at Sparks are such bargains, but there are definitely bargains on their wine list, and that is a factor worth considering.

                  So what I would say to the OP is this: Go to Keen's because it is easier and simpler to get to than Sparks, and then plan a trip to Sparks some other time, and maybe even a trek to Brooklyn to sample the great Peter Luger's. Then you can tell us what you liked/disliked about them all and which was your favorite.