Abe & Arthur’s overall score: 82
Unfortunately this place is now CLOSED!
My wife and I came here with a deal from Gilt: $76 for a shared app, a porterhouse for two, two sides, and a dessert. The porterhouse was really good. It was a shade above medium rare, but I do recognize how difficult it is to cook a porterhouse properly: two different meats that should really have different cooking methods and times. The strip side was cooked better than the filet, but both were great. The meat was well seasoned, juicy (except for the edges that went a little over), and well rested before serving. I was shocked at this, since most times porterhouses come out sizzling like the obnoxious fajitas at fucking Fridays, which, in my opinion, completely destroys the steak. Bravo Abe (or Arthur) for knowing not to participate in that most fucked up of steakhouse cliches. The steak sauce was nice but better for something like chicken.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
They fall short here because they don’t have a rib eye on the menu. They have a strip, a filet, a porterhouse, and some other beef (and non-beef) meats, but the lack of a rib eye is a three-point loss right off the bat.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
The plating was cool here; the porterhouse was served up on a cast iron skillet. This place clearly knows how to serve meat the right way (rested rather than sizzling). The portion size was a bit on the small side at 38oz for two. Don’t get me wrong; I was full, since my tiny wife didn’t eat more than a third of it… but two grown men going at this thing? A bit on the small side.
I can’t really complain at all here. We nailed a big score with that Gilt deal, so the total for the bill was something like $72 (with tax & tip) plus the initial $76 layout for the coupon. Not bad. See the before and after for the bill:
The bar is okay. it’s close to the window for people watching in a hot neighborhood, and I would imagine it gets a good crowd since it’s the famous meat packing district. They offered some interesting cocktails that were actually pretty good and boozy, and the martini I had was just right (though they didn’t have blue cheese olives for me – oh well).
Specials and Other Meats: 8
The waiter didn’t read off any specials to us since he knew we were there for the Gilt deal. The place had a lot of non-steak items on the menu, so I assume there were specials of all kinds for the regular diners (of which there seemed to be few; everyone had the Gilt deal in hand. As far as other meats go: they had lamb, pork, and some alternative beef items to chow on. A decent showing.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We had a mixed bag here. Our octopus app was incredible. Soft, succulent, and tasty. The creamed spinach was borderline bad. I didn’t like it. It seemed like it was too watery in the cream department, but also not cooked down enough as far as the spinach goes. Tough to explain. The mac & cheese was good though. It had nice crunch on the breadcrumb layer, not too assertive or biting on the cheese, not greasy at all… but a little on the dry side. For dessert we had the doughnuts, which were great (soft, chewy inside, and slightly crispy outside). However the caramel sauce wasn’t too good (too salty). The strawberry and chocolate sauces were nice though.
Seafood Selection: 8
Sorry guys – I didn’t even fucking look. I have to insert the standard 8 score here. The online menu shows a decent selection though, if you go by that. Good looking raw bar selection, apps (octo was awesome), and three different fish entrees plus the standard scallop item.
Good service. Our waiter kept out of our hair, he was nice, and he did a good job. Refills were often, the table was clean and neat, etc. One thing to note here is the nice table bread: popovers. They’re not quite as awesome as BLT Prime, but still fun to gobble up before the meat comes.
The ambiance wasn’t really my cup of tea. It’s modern and classy, but it felt like it was in need of a revamp. From what I hear about this place, there is going to be some new ownership or management in the near future. I think they will go the more trendy route based on what I think I know of who is taking over. That could be a very bad thing, or it could be a really good thing, depending on how tastefully it is done. Let me also put it this way: I am not a fan of what this area of NYC has become in general. It used to have character and ruggedness. Now it’s a quiffy mess of wanna-be socialites and forced trendiness. Fuck that, and fuck those people even harder. No offense to the ownership of this fine establishment is intended here, but I think they could remodel so that they stick out as a beacon of uniqueness simply by going back to the cobbled and rugged roots of that special corner of Manhattan. Even a Quality Meats style “new-but-made-to-look-old” treatment of the interior would fit right in with the history of the meat packing district neighborhood. Meat hooks, bare bulbs, thick wood and marble slabs. You get the picture.