I agonized a bit over whether I should review 4 Charles Prime Rib within my 10 categories for steakhouses. In the end I decided to review it as a regular restaurant, as I felt the steak selections were so LASER-focused on prime rib that the overall score would be artificially low if plugged into the steakhouse review framework.
But who cares, right? You bastards just want to see the pretty pictures and know whether I think you should eat here.
The short answer: YES! Eat here immediately.
I was here with my wife and two other friends to do a full-cavity search on this restaurant menu’s ass. No gloves. No lube. Raw and dirty. Here’s what we ate:
We split this as an appetizer, and yeah, I know: We didn’t get it “au cheval” style like in Chicago, with the egg and bacon on top. There were several reasons why we didn’t: (1) Overkill. It would be too fucking tall with thick cut bacon and a fried egg sitting on top of this double cheeseburger. And with the addition of lettuce and tomato? Fuhgettaboutit; (2) One of my friends can’t eat egg yolk; and (3) After I spoke with some friends whose burger opinions I value, it was clear that baconless and eggless was the way to go.
So how was it? Great. It’s crafted in a similar style to Genuine Roadside or Hard Times Sunday, where they serve up classic American doubles. However, at those places you’re paying half the price for something that I felt was just as good, if not better. My opinion: skip the burger. It’s great, but not worth the $20 price tag (fries not included).
On a second trip, I was able to get it with “the works” because I wasn’t sharing with someone who had an egg allergy. Much better.
THE FRENCH DIP
This isn’t on the menu but it’s often offered as a special for the day, and they pre-cut it for four people (even though we told them they didn’t have to). Thin sliced beef, provolone cheese, cherry peppers, great sandwich bread, jus and horseradish sauce.
Verdict: amazing. Get this and split it as your appetizer like we did. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll probably be as amazed as we were. Another great app is the bacon. Braised, super tender, peppered crust, and slightly candied.
DeBragga supplied this porterhouse, which was offered as a special for the day. It was only dry aged for 10 days, but it packed a great earthy flavor while still retaining the character of the beef. It was 32oz and $120, marketed as being “for two.”
How was it? 10/10 – perfection. Well, I mean, the crust could have used a slight bit more char on the outside, but the flavor was so tremendous that it didn’t matter. The quality was insane, and texture was incredibly tender. Served with a Bernaise sauce.
THE “4 CHARLES CUT” PRIME RIB
This is 24oz of bone-in, slow roasted Anderson beef out of Chicago. It cooks for three hours at 250 and then five hours at 125. The result is an incredibly juicy and tender roast.
That’s horseradish cream sauce there in the picture, and the steak also comes with jus. This is easily in my top three for prime rib here in the city, with a very close Keen’s and Burger & Barrel also in that top three. 10/10. The English cut version is great as well. It normally comes with three slices, but, since we were an even number of people, they offered us another slice so we could all try. That’s great service!
Blue Cheese Creamed Spinach: I thought this would be really potent and harsh, only good for a bite or two to add richness to the prime rib, but it was mild and tasty. While I really enjoyed it, it was not my favorite creamed spinach. I would say that it’s worth a try if you fancy yourself a creamed spinach connoisseur.
French Fries: Solid. Not amazing, but not bad by any stretch. They get the job done, they’re nicely fried, and they’re crisp. Served with a garlic aioli.
Roasted Broccolini: Despite the typo on their menu (brocolinni), these were really nicely done. I love this fucking veggie, so I like to get it every time I see it on a menu. These fuckers prepared it just how I do: Simply seasoned and dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic; and then roasted until it’s cooked through, developing a little bit of charred texture on the heads.
Lemon Meringue Pie: Really nice thick meringue on top. Super fluffy and lots of flavor. The pie itself was just right: not too tangy and not too rich. I loved it. I’ve always loved a good lemon meringue pie. And look at those peaks! Also the serving size is tremendous – basically a quarter of the entire pie.
Chocolate Cream Pie: The good folks at 4 Charles Prime Rib brought this baby out for us on the house. I was really blown away by this gesture, not to mention how cool everyone was with the four of us taking photos of the food. I like to think that we weren’t too obnoxious, though. In any case, this was really delicious. The bottom was a sort of Oreo crust, and the whipped cream and chocolate sauce just took that rich, flavorful chocolate pie filling to the next level. Great stuff, and I’m usually not huge on chocolate desserts.
Boom. You need to eat here. I can’t wait to go back.
UPDATE 4/18/21: BEST RIB EYE I’VE EVER HAD! Such amazing aged flavor on it, beautiful crust and perfectly cooked.
Lamb was great too.
4 CHARLES PRIME RIB
4 Charles St
New York, NY 10014