My wife and I tried this place because she got a great deal on a steak dinner for two from Gilt City. The regular coupon was $99 for two apps, two sides, and two entrees. But my bargain hunter wife got it for $84. The kicker was this: EVERY item on the menu was included in the deal – no restrictions. With that said, I chose the regularly priced $95 Wagyu rib eye for my entree. It was either that or the $79 longbone rib eye. So my single steak cost more than the coupon. Crazy. Verdict is below:
After asking the waiter twice if the Wagyu rib eye was included, and being told emphatically “yes,” I was convinced that all was right with the world. It was delicious. Small (14oz), but delicious. Cooked perfectly, well seasoned, juicy, tender, and good to the last bite. However, if you are going to pay full price for something like this, I think the better bet is to head over to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle; I found their Wagyu rib eye to be superior (double the size and better flavor, yet for the same price). My wife had the lamb chops (two double cut chops). She ordered them medium rare but they came back medium to medium-well. Shame.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
Everything is good quality, and they cover every type of cut possible; two rib eyes, a few filets, porterhouse, strip… Nothing outside the basics though.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
The plating was basic, and I thought the portion size was a little small for my rib eye, but the Wagyu’s are sometimes smaller than the American cuts. At $95, if I paid full price, I would have been a little upset with a 14oz steak. In fact had I been paying full price I would have gone with the 30oz longbone rib eye, which looked awesome when I saw a waiter carry it to another table. But I had to jump on the Wagyu since it was essentially free.
I really can’t say shit about price since we had an amazing coupon deal, and it included their most expensive cuts. We paid $100 over the initial $84 because we each had a drink, we ordered a dessert (not included), and then tip.
There bar room is tremendous and beautiful, and that’s why it has seven points. I had to yank three. The main problem was that there weren’t enough bartenders to deal with the mobbed, crowded room. Perhaps we were just there at a bad time? It took about 20 minutes to get the attention of a bartender who had been ignoring my friend and I when we first stepped up to the bar. To top it off, the drinks were insanely overpriced. Two Johnny Walker blacks cost me $45, and drinks were $20 a pop on the cocktail menu as well (“Winter in Manhattan” – $19 – orange and cinnamon infused whiskey). Fuck that shit.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
The waiter didn’t read off any specials. Not sure if that was because there were none, or because it was busy and he forgot. As for other meats, they offered veal, lamb, and chicken.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We tried the crab cake and the day boat scallops for starters. Both were really good. The crab cake was meaty and crispy on the edges, and the scallops were cooked perfectly and dressed with a nice sauce.
On the side we had creamed spinach and truffle french fries. Deliciousness oozed from both. The creamed spinach was a little bit creamier than I normally like (ratio was off a bit) but I was surprised by how nice and well-balanced it tasted. The fries were awesome. Really great earthy flavor from the truffles, and they were nicely seasoned with Parmesan cheese and garlic.
For dessert we tried the maple bacon ice cream, which had actual bits of bacon folded into the ice cream. It was breakfasty. Interesting and yummy at first, but three scoops was two too many for the taste buds.
Seafood Selection: 8
The appetizer section is a little light on the normal types of seafood items you usually see at a steak joint, but the entree menu has an ocean section with several types of fish to choose from.
Shit was busy as fuck in this place. I don’t know if it was because tourists were in town for the previous night’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, or if this is a regular thing… But getting a drink at the bar was a nightmare, and the time lapse between being seated, ordering, getting drinks delivered, getting apps/entrees, etc. was very long. Our waiter was great though, so no complaints there. Just insanely busy. On a lighter note, the table bread came out with a really soft and creamy whipped butter – very nice.
Both the bar room and the restaurant itself are beautiful, which is to be expected of the Waldorf. Dark wood paneling rises all the way up the walls to meet the high vaulted ceilings, where elegant chandeliers hang down to dimly light the room. The floor is carpeted with a wide red plaid pattern that makes for a warm, cozy atmosphere. It’s gorgeous. I only took a point away for the general feeling of “too busy.” Perhaps a different night would make for a more intimate dining experience.
BULL & BEAR PRIME
540 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10022