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Update on Peter Luger Meal - Big Disappointment

On 1/11 (Saturday night) 5 of us had dinner at Peter Luger's. I hadn't been to PL in several years (been to both Brooklyn and Great Neck) so I was looking forward to it, as were the other 4 guests. The following is a consensus review.

Drinks: My Manhattan was a killer, one of the best I've had in a restaurant in many years. Wife's Martini was similarly good.

We opted to skip appertizers, but did get a mixed salad with blue cheese dressing which was acceptable.

Main course was steak for four, German potatoes and creamed spinach. The potates and spinach were also acceptable, nothing great. (One diner enjoyed the spinach "very much")

None of us found the steak to be up to the PL hype. Three of us had eaten at PL and all agreed the quality of the steak was way below what we remember. As an aside, on New Years Eve I had a steak at Jubilee on 1st Aveue in Manhattan and it was tons better than the PL one.

We did have desert, the hot fudge sundae and it was good.

An observation: I am not an elitest snob, but I noticed that our room was filled with, how should I say this...no offence.."commoners." While waiting for our fifth guest to arrive, I noticed the better dressed guests and "regulars" were shown to one room, while the bourgeois escorted to the "back room."

Bottom line, will not return.

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  1. By "commoners" did you mean younger patrons? Or did you mean something else?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

      Not younger, although some were. They way they were dressed (casual) including us. No fancy duds.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. An observation: I am not an elitest snob, but I noticed that our room was filled with, how should I say this...no offence.."commoners." While waiting for our fifth guest to arrive, I noticed the better dressed guests and "regulars" were shown to one room, while the bourgeois escorted to the "back room."
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        First, sorry you were disappointed with your meal and experience.

        With regards to the highlighted paragraph....I've learned not to be judgmental over the years, as I do not know peoples circumstances....however, as someone who has owned restaurants and worked in Country Clubs at a time when dress codes are enforced...there is appropriate dress for some restaurants in my opinion. I would certainly have no problem going into PL in jeans, but I could not fault them for sticking me in a back room while putting other patrons dressed in suits and elegant evening wear in the front. ...or as you say, their regulars.

        In this day, casual dress seems to be the norm, but at a friends fine dining restaurant...I would never show up in his place in inappropriate attire....like shorts and jeans. It would be disrespectful to him.

        1. So someone is a "commoner" if they don't dress well? Just imagine If someone happened to not know of Mark Zuckerberg and labeled him a "commoner" because of the clothes he wears.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rick

            That seemed to be the way the hosts "segregated" the diners. I was in jeans and sneakers, and none of the other diners were well dressed. One of our diners was from a well known family which owns theaters in NYC. Hardly a "commoner," but still relagated to the back room. As for MZ showing up in his trademarked hoodie, I'm sure he'd be recognized and shown to a top table, as well as Kim Kardashian (sp) whom I consider as "common" as they come. But I digress.

            1. re: Rick

              i once saw rich kotite walk into the PL's in great neck in mesh shorts and sandals. i think he was fired as head coach of the jets that same year. not sure if there's a correlation there.

            2. I am so glad to hear that somebody else did not like PL. The night I went, there were three of us. I ordered the tomato/onion app, steak for 3 and home fries. Immediately after ordering, a woman in my party stated she did not want steak. My error. I shouldn't have assumed. I called the waiter back and ordered salmon for her (it was less than two minutes after the initial order). The drinks were terrific as you said. I was drinking whiskey sours (a throwback to old times). The steak did not have much flavor and very little char. The rest of the meal was, um, edible. When the check came, I was charged for a steak for three and the salmon. When I mentioned it to the waiter, he got an attitude and started arguing with me that it was too late to change the order when I called him back. We certainly weren't served enough steak for three. I asked to speak to the manager. He straightened out the bill but it still came to almost $300. Never, NEVER again. The way people rave about PL on this board, you would think they had been to heaven and back.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sluggo1407

                The one time we went to the one in Brooklyn, we were late by 10-15 minutes due to my BIL missing the turn so we went over the bridge and had to turn back. We had made our reservation at least a month before, but that 15 time gap made us have to wait way over another hour to get a table. Hard to truly enjoy the food when you feel like you're not welcome. I know it's their schtick but whatever. This was many years ago so I'm pretty sure we were dressed to the nines, or at least the eights ;-) I remember my BIL stressing that we had to dress up.

                1. re: coll

                  I always assume a wait (pump up the bar bill) but if I linger over a drink they figure out quickly that the premium barspace is better used if I am seated. The other post about the salmon.steak flap is distressing. I'd have gone back the next day at lunch and had a serious chat when things were calmer.

                  you never know about chop houses....it is easy to skimp and a reputation of forty years can vanish in a wisp of smoke. Luger shouldn't allow that, though. There's too much riding on this to screw up the future. Now if uit is sold to Acme Restaurant group, well you can write "finis."

                2. re: Sluggo1407

                  Thanks for your reply. Sorry you also had a bad meal.