Bobby Van’s (East 54th Street)

Bobby Van’s overall score: 84

Flavor: 10
So far, this location blows away the other locations. I was shocked at how well flavored and well cooked the meat was here. Hats off to the chef, and a total redemption for the brand in comparison to the other two locations I have visited. I had the ribeye, and my buddy had the filet. Both were incredible, and both of us agreed that the filet was likely one of the best either of us have ever tasted. Perfection.
rib eye, filet
rib eye, filet

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

They’ve got it all and then some. The four basics, plus some specials and lesser cuts (corned beef, skirt, various preparations of the standard cuts, multiple sizes, etc). The quality was top notch, and the meat was treated right. You should always treat your meat right. Lube it up with some oils, rub it gently at first, etc.

Portion Size & Plating: 9

My steak was about 24oz, bone in, and the filet was 14oz. The filet also came in a “pussy size” at 10oz. The other choices were equally sizable as well. The plates were garnished with a little bit of green rubbish – not necessary in my opinion.

Price: 7

Prices are far too high for drinks here. I’ve mentioned before that Bobby Van’s is a little out of hand for drinks. Honestly – $16 for a Jameson on the rocks?  Who the fuck are you kidding? With tax and tip, a martini will run me $18-$20. Fuck that. I’d rather drink my own semen. Other than the unbelievable drink prices, the other stuff wasn’t too bad, with the exception of maybe the dessert or the espresso. The plus side to it; the food was well worth the money, especially since we were able to use a Groupon deal for “$100 gets you $200 worth of food.” Sweet.
Bar: 8
There’s a cool little bar here. Nice wood look, old style, and a decent after work crowd gathering for drinks (at $15 a pop minimum for booze, this would be a great place for gold diggers and high priced hookers to meet unsuspecting marks).

Specials and Other Meats: 9

They had a special in each category. The fish was halibut, the soup was black bean, the apps were oysters and seafood plateaus, and the beef was corned beef, for all the Irish folks celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We tried none of them. The other meats included lamb, veal and chicken, and, as mentioned above, they also had some secondary beef cuts as well. Solid.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with the slab bacon and lump crab. The crab was great – big lumps of meat, juicy, cold, and a good portion size; probably 4oz. The bacon was tremendously portioned. Look at the amount of thick slices they give you below. It was tasty, but one or two slices were WAY too salty. On the side we had sauteed spinach and mac & cheese. They were both above average to good, especially the mac & cheese. It had a great crispy baked top. Also big portion sizes. For dessert we tried the brownie ala mode. The brownie was dry, and most definitely needed the ice cream on top to moisten it.

Seafood Selection: 8

I have to be honest… other than the standard shellfish or tartare apps and the special halibut, I didn’t really notice any other fish on the menu. I also wasn’t really looking, because only a dumb broad would do something like look at the fish selection at a steakhouse. In any case, I can’t deduct any points from the base score of 8, so I will leave it at that.

Service: 7

The service was okay. When we first came in, they put us at a cramped seat close to the bar area, and the waiter was kinda short with us, rushing the drink order, etc. When we asked if we could move, he was all “oh there’s no room, we are all booked” … meanwhile the restaurant was nearly empty at 6:15pm. I looked around like “Am I in the fucking Twilight Zone? You’re booked?” A few minutes later, however, the manager came over and moved us to another table… a cramped one in the back, jammed behind a huge support column… in the empty dining room. The waiter there was better, but seemed a bit over-burdened for a half-filled house. On a side note… the bread was cold, but good quality.
Ambiance: 9
This location is better than the others. It has a classic steakhouse feel to it, although it lacks booths (all tables except for one or two half-booths – dumb). The waiters all have jackets on, all male. The decor is rustic, weathered wood, which is cool. The bathrooms are clean and decent, with thick paper towels for hand drying.

131 E. 54th St.
New York, NY 10022