Bistecca Fiorentina

Bistecca Fiorentina overall score: 80

My wife and I came here for a quick meal before catching the opening night performance of Rocky (the musical) on Broadway. Stallone showed up at the end of the performance so it made all the singing and dancing worth while.

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Anyway this little pre-theater joint had a great looking menu. It turned out to be a great meal.

Flavor: 7
For steaks, we shared a rib eye and a single cut porterhouse. The rib eye was flavorful and cooked nicely at a medium rare. It had a few gristled spots and was generally pretty thin, but overall I liked it. The porterhouse was good too, and served with a gravy of some kind, as well as a rosemary, butter-garlic and white wine gravy (and a steak sauce, which I didn’t use much). Since the porterhouse was served on a hot plate and pre-sliced, however, it overcooked a little as it sat there. Still pretty tasty though.

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Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
The cuts were aged and in general good quality. As noted above, my rib eye was a little gristled and thin. They offered all the four basics in terms of cuts, and even a few outliers.

Portion Size & Plating: 7
Portions here are good. My rib eye was probably about 14-16oz, bone-in, and about an inch or slightly less in thickness. ALthough that’s a little small, it was reflected fairly in the price at only $36. It compared with the rib eye sizes at Keens, Bull & Bear and Dylan Prime. The porterhouse for one was 32oz, which was a good size, and also at a fair price.

Price: 9
Our bill came to $180. Pretty great considering how much we got to eat. We ordered two cocktails, a big seafood tower, two steaks, and a side.

Bar: 7
This place is situated in the ground floor space of a brownstone building just west of the theaters, on 46th between 8th and 9th. I didn’t expect much from the bar but it was actually set up in a nice spot where you could gaze outside and hang out for a drink. The martini was well made as well – maybe could just use some bigger olives.

Specials and Other Meats: 9
There was a big menu of special items that I assume varies each week or even each day. They offered lamb, veal, chicken, pork, all of it. They even had this incredible looking hunk of prosciutto sitting in a vintage, hand-cranked meat slicer right in the middle of the dining room. I asked about it: fully operational and they use it when people order prosciutto.

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Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
For an app we had the seafood tower, which I will discuss in more detail below. On the side we had a plate of fried artichokes. They were interesting. A little dense/heavy, and you had to eat around the pinchy parts just above the quartered heart, but I enjoyed. To our surprise the porterhouse for one came with a small side of creamed spinach. It was actually great; not too salty or overly creamy, great spinach flavor. We had no room for dessert, plus we wanted to get to the theater.

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Seafood Selection: 9
There’s a lot of nice looking seafood on the menu; and I assume it is all nice quality because the price points were almost the same as the steaks. While we didn’t get the branzino or the sea bass, we DID order the hot & cold seafood platter for two. That came with four oysters, four clams, four scallops, three shrimp, three grilled & breaded langostines, a lobster tail, and a king crab leg. Everything was delicious, and the platter rivaled those in some of the best steak joints in the city.

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Service: 10
The staff was excellent. All the waiters were dressed to impress, including the bartender. Nick, one of the guys working the floor, is actually related to the Ben & Jacks folks, so you know this little steak place comes from good breeding stock. Our waiter served slices of the steak onto our plates for us, dressed it with sauce, and even did it all again when he saw we were clearing the first set of slices. Water was always filled, and the table was cleaned and neatened between courses. The table breads consisted of bruscetta (two pieces) and a nice hunk of crispy bread. Maybe one suggestion would be to bring the bread out at a warmer temperature, and with softer butter.

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Ambiance: 7
Obviously this place isn’t set up for the kind of experience you get at Keens or Quality Meats, where they dump millions of dollars into the decor. The walls are exposed brick, the floors are weathered wood, and there are no big fancy booths. But it is clean and nice, and they do have Sinatra on the stereo system. Take it at face value: this is a nice little bottom-of-the-brownstone restaurant geared for the pre-theater crowd, with curbside dining during the nice weather. It serves good food (and great seafood) at fair prices, and the staff is incredible.

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BISTECCA FIORENTINA
317 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036

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