My wife and I came here for a quick meal and to take photos for Instagram.
The porterhouse was a 7/10. It was cooked nicely to medium rare, but it lacked a bit of seasoning and dry-aged flavor. The strip side had a bit of a chew to it, but still pretty good. The filet side was perfect!
The “sauce” we ordered on the side was the “cherry peppers and onions” selection, which I knew in advance wouldn’t be an actual “sauce” as listed on the menu.
Four Cuts Steakhouse is owned by the same folks as Tudor City Steakhouse, and I recall that I enjoyed the cherry peppers and onions there (it, too, wasn’t a sauce, but, rather, a toping or a side item). I dig it. And these are perfect to use for leftover steak and eggs the next morning.
We also tried the filet “oscar” style.
This was a 9/10.
The lobster meat and hollandaise really worked nicely together with the steak, which was perfectly cooked to medium rare.
I highly recommend that filet, and I’m looking forward to trying more cuts the next time I visit.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
You can see here on the menu that all “four cuts” are represented (not counting the lamb chops):
However, they also offer specials like the filet “oscar,” and this tomahawk that I unfortunately didn’t get to try:
It looked and smelled delicious! The meats hail from Masters, and are all dry-aged for 28 days.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are large here, and plating is pretty standard in the steakhouse style. Elegant and simple.
The prices here are all very fair. In fact some are a huge bargain considering what neighboring steak joints are charging, much like their sister restaurant, Tudor City Steakhouse.
There’s a cozy little stretch of bar that was seeing a fair amount of action on a Friday evening. I liked this little guy sitting on there:
Drinks are pretty good too.
First they brought out a vodka martini by mistake, but they knew before I did (I hadn’t sipped it yet). They just brought out a gin martini and told me to keep the vodka one too. Bonus!
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There are definitely some steak items that aren’t listed on the menu. The tomahawk steak and filet “oscar” style that I mentioned above, for example. Make sure you ask what they have. By way of alternative meats, you can go with either lamb or chicken.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
The crab cake was meaty!
The star of the apps were the oysters Rockefeller and the clams casino. These usually come six to an order, but the chef did us a solid and gave us three of each so we could try both preparations.
I also really liked the tuna tartare. Big portion, clean and fresh taste, and simply executed.
Sautéed asparagus with garlic:
Hash brown potatoes:
Sautéed spinach with garlic:
For dessert, my wife liked the raspberry cheesecake best of the two:
But I liked the raspberry creme brûlée. This was a unique take.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s branzino, salmon and tuna on the menu for you non-carnivorous losers out there. But based on the quality of the baked shellfish apps, I would say you’re in very good hands ordering a seafood entree here.
Tony is incredible, and the wait staff is top notch. You really are treated like royalty here. My favorite service aspect of the meal at Four Cuts was the table bread. It comes with a really tasty garlic, olives, capers and tomato oil spread that will blow you away. It’s almost like a “bagna cauda,” but I’m not sure if there are anchovies involved.
This little “mom and pop” steak joint exudes a cozy yet elegant atmosphere that really makes great use of the space. It felt like the right balance between a traditional steakhouse and a local neighborhood joint. Go give it a shot. There’s even free garage parking for four hours right around the corner on 58th Street.
FOUR CUTS STEAKHOUSE
1076 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10022
I was invited into Mifune with my wife to sample some of their meat dishes and post some photos on Instagram. But we started with some cocktails, because Shingo Gokan, the man behind the cocktail menu, is an award winning “mixologist.”
This is the Seven Samurai, which is made with rye, aged sake, East India sherry, bitters and smoke:
Pretty beautiful, and really tasty. The smoke aroma was as intoxicating as the booze, and it was similar to a smoked old fashioned.
The Throne of Blood is made with Japanese whisky, Bourbon Antica, Torino and bitters. This is similar to a Manhattan.
The Hidden Fortress, made with bourbon, milk, honey shrub, orange cordial and bitters, is super smooth and tasty.
Finally, we tried the Drunken Angel, made with Hibiki, Umeshu and shiso. This was also great. Very light and crisp.
Now on to the food. The first thing we tried was the steak tartare.
This is made with Angus beef, poached egg and tosazu sauce (a seafood style vinegar). Watch the video as the egg breaks into the tartare:
It was delicious. More like a beef tartare soup – very interesting.
This next item was on special: bluefin tuna temaki. It’s a rib section of bluefin tuna, served with seashells for scraping the meat out and making hand rolls with all the fixings.
Check out this video. Pretty insane!
At just $40, this is a great deal. We probably got about 10 or 12 hand rolls out of this baby.
Okay now on to the meats! First, a straw smoked rack of lamb!
The lamb was perfectly cooked to medium rare.
It came with roasted garlic and grilled fennel. But the real treat about this dish is that when it comes to the table for eating, it’s served in a clay dish that has a smoking chamber underneath, so you get to smell that awesome straw smoke aroma the whole time while you eat.
Next up was washugyu tenderloin.
Washugyu is an American Black Angus and Japanese Wagyu cross breed that achieves a great balance of beefy flavor and tender marbling. This is the same stuff I sell in my shop, pretty much. Anyway, it was incredibly tender and flavorful. They got a nice sear on the meat too. 9/10.
It’s plated up with a shallot puree and some roasted veggies.
This was easily one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. I highly recommend this place, especially for that bluefin tuna temaki. You should go ASAP if you have any interest, because I don’t know how long that will be available on special.
Last week the owner of Tuscany Steakhouse invited me in to take some photos and try out the food. This place used to be called Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse, but just before the new year they did a big remodel and upgraded the place big time.
I was excited to try it, hoping that they made some improvements. I didn’t have the greatest meal at Nino’s, but this new joint was a much different experience. Check it out:
We ordered the porterhouse for two.
Let’s take a peek at the inside…
Oh fuck yes… nice and pink. Let me spread her open a little bit.
Okay… so this thing was perfectly cooked to medium rare. It had a gorgeous, crispy, well-seasoned crust on the edges. This is one of the better porterhouses I’ve had recently. 9/10.
I came back for a second visit and tried the rib eye.
This was cooked perfectly, just like the porterhouse.
It just needed a bit more seasoning and it wasn’t as potent in terms of the dry aged flavor on this particular cut. 7/10, but increased to an 8/10 on average after several visits.
The porterhouse was still incredible though. Perfect.
The filet mignon was also excellent. 9/10. Thick, tall, like a mountain of meat.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
While they only offer the basic four steakhouse cuts – filet, strip, porterhouse and rib eye – they do a bang-up job on them, and they dry age everything in house. My porterhouse was aged for 29 days, and it came from Masters up in the Bronx next to my facility.
A couple next to me ordered the strip and it looked and smelled amazing. This place gets the job done nicely.
After several visits, one thing that really strikes me is how consistent they are. Every time I go, I get excellent quality, flavorful cuts. That is rare to find.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions are big here. The sides are definitely large enough to share with two to four people, especially if you’re going heavy on steaks. Plating is basic for the steaks and sides, but the apps can get a bit more flare to them.
The prices are very fair here. The steaks come in slightly cheaper than average for the location. Some of the pasta dishes seemed high, but the one I tried was worth it, and the sides and desserts are all great bargains, especially when you factor in the quality of the food for the price.
This is a nice little bar, and it was getting a good crowd on a Saturday as we were leaving. Same set up as the old restaurant bar, but nicer and remodeled.
I snagged a few of the potato chips that they serve at the bar. I like that touch.
They mix up a great martini too.
There’s also a great selection of wines here, and a little wine room in the back.
We tried some muscat with our dessert and it was just right. Not too sweet, not too potent.
Specials and Other Meats: 10
There were no special meats offered up, but there were specials of the day like soups. As for other meats, they had lamb, veal two ways and chicken two ways. Not a bad showing at all. In fact, I saw a veal parm come out after finishing the porterhouse, and I was so tempted to order one to go. It looked amazing.
Here it is:
Absolutely incredible. An easy 10/10. I would eat this every day if I could. It’s really surprisingly light, and super flavorful. The beef was so tender inside, and the crispy crust was the perfect contrast to the soft melted cheese.
Oh, so cheese isn’t your thing? How about the broiled veal chop, then? It’s a veal porterhouse, and it comes with grilled greens. This is amazing, and you definitely don’t see this cut very often in steakhouses, or anywhere else for that matter. 10/10.
Or the veal Milanese, which is essentially just a salad on top of a fried veal chop. 8/10.
I also gave the lamb chops a try. The serving size is incredible: three thick, double-cut chops.
They really nailed the crust.
And the inside was perfectly cooked. 9/10.
The “Pollo Tuscany” is essentially chicken breast, marsala style, but with roasted red peppers and melted mozzarella on a bed of spinach.
One thing I will note here under specials is the lunch menu. That veal Milanese is just $28 at lunch, and it is the full dinner size. They also have a special cajun rib eye at lunch too. This thing is amazing.
It’s a slightly smaller portion size than the dinner menu, but still around 18oz.
And for just $30 it also comes will full sized creamed spinach and mashed potatoes sides. Incredible! 9/10. You can also get the cajun rib eye as a full entree size at dinner if you ask, even though it isn’t on the menu.
Same goes for the porterhouse.
By the way, that cajun porterhouse was the best porterhouse I’ve ever eaten! An easy 10/10.
Looking for something more refined? How about surf & turf? Massive 16oz lobster tail and a 10oz filet mignon. Easy 10/10!
This was two slabs of thick cut Canadian bacon (we cut them each in half).
Te second trip the bacon came out a little more burnt on the edges, but still really delicious.
This shit was amazing. Easily on par with places like Angus Club and Maxwell’s Chophouse. This is a must order when you come here, and it goes very nice with their steak sauce (a tomato-based and horseradish-heavy sauce – also good with seafood).
Next was the tuna tartare. This was delightful.
It came with lightly salted avocado slices, lime slices, cucumber slices, toasted bread slices and a slice of tomato, along with some unsliced arugula. It was bright and fresh, and dressed perfectly.
I am tempted to get that every single time I eat here. But you have to explore. For example the salads are even pretty good, like this chef’s salad that comes with sliced shrimp and bacon.
We also tried an order of oysters. Just a half dozen, to see how the quality was.
They were excellent: Perfectly shucked with no bits of shell in them. Great size – not too big, not too small. Crisp, clean, briny, and fresh. Here they are, all dressed up and ready to get raped by my mouth:
For our sides, we ordered sautéed spinach and hash browns. Both were great, and very large portions. The spinach was seasoned just right, nice and simple with salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic.
The hash browns were nice and crisp on the outside, while still tender and soft inside. I loved these.
Fries are perfect.
The Clams Oreganata were excellent as well.
Lumb crab meat is a generous portion size:
Crab cake was really nice and classically prepared, Maryland style.
The lobster cocktail was flavorful and generously sized.
I didn’t get a shot of it, but the creamed spinach here is the “creamless” style that I love.
The calamari had a nice batter and were perfectly cooked.
Here’s a special they had: burrata with portobello and roasted red peppers:
For dessert, we had a slice of tiramisu and a piece of chocolate mousse cake. Both were excellent, and I really loved their shlag.
Here’s their apple strudel – HUGE!
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s sea bass, tuna, salmon, lobster and shrimp in the entree portion of the menu. That’s a fantastic showing, and I bet they do a great job since this is essentially an Italian joint, and Italian joints are known for having good fish. While I only tried the apps and a bowl of lobster bisque, I am confident that this section of the menu is well above average.
Their seafood linguini was incredible. It was jam packed with perfectly cooked shrimp, clams, calamari and even a half lobster.
Upon multiple visits now, I can confirm that the seafood is excellent. I tried the grilled tuna and the grilled salmon. I would definitely get both of them again, and the portion size is great.
The waiters are awesome here, and the management is super nice and engaging. They all know their stuff and can answer any questions you have, whether it’s the basics of the steak cuts or the specifics of aging. They’re even great with super old bottles of wine with delicate corks.
The table bread consisted of onion rolls and some sliced Italian bread, served with butter. This stuff is also great with their steak sauce.
This place made a great turnaround in ambiance. I loved the brick walls in there last time, and the overall cozy feel to the place. Now, with white-washed brick walls and deep, elegant wood finishes, this place feels more like what it is – a really nice steakhouse.
It still has some nooks and crannies in the dining room where you can get a more private feel, which I really like, and there’s even a separate room where you can host a party or larger group. They’ve really done a great job in here.
No bull: this place is really nice, and I’m glad it’s only a block away.
BURGER UPDATE! Awesome burger here. Well seasoned, juicy, tender, nicely ground and packed, excellent cheese coverage, great fresh sesame seed bun. I only wish it has a little bit of dry aged flavor, and it would be a rival to Lugers.
PRIME RIB UPDATE!!!
On Wednesdays, this joint is now offering massive 26-28oz slabs of prime rib for $70. The cut is a la carte, but comes with some nice jus or gravy type sauce poured over the top. They only offer about seven or eight portions each Wednesday, so make sure you get there early to secure yours!
117 W 58th St
New York, NY 10019
He became wildly famous for being aggressively sexy with his meat – slapping it and rubbing it and what not – and then sprinkling salt on it with a highly unorthodox curled forearm slide technique. It became an internet sensation. At one point I even paid tribute to the craze:
Over the course of the year his fame and steakhouse brand has spread. He eventually opened up shop here in the greatest city on Earth, NYC, and right in my hood, no less.
Admittedly I had very low expectations for this meal. I read a few negative reviews beforehand, and I was never really a big fan of Saltbae’s elaborate displays on his Instagram profile. But there can be no denying the fact that Nusret is an incredibly talented butcher. He makes it look easy, and it isn’t. He’s also a very nice dude. Despite his showmanship, he’s quiet and humble.
Here’s how it went down:
What really intrigued me about this place was the unique spices and marinades being used on some of the menu items. Usually I’m not down with that shit, but I was curious.
For example, the Saslik steak is tenderloin marinated in milk and middle eastern spices.
The flavors were very nice, and I did like the onions, but the meat lacked any char, and it was too wet. It was also incredibly small, and I didn’t like that it was sliced up like stir fry. 6/10.
The other marinade you’ll see here is mustard. This was new to me. But, indeed, there may actually be some unbeknownst food science behind the mustard marinade: The vinegar in it helps to tenderize the meat even further (as if wagyu needs it).
There are two mustard marinated steaks on the menu: (1) the signature Saltbae Tomahawk, which is about 32oz for $275 and also has some dry aging on it; and (2) the Ottoman Steak, which is a similar sized tomahawk for $130, but isn’t dry aged. We ordered #1, and he sliced it table side for us. Here’s the experience:
That’s right: Saltbae himself fed me from his knife.
There wasn’t much flavor coming in from the dry-aging or marinade, but you can definitely taste that there was something different and unique about this steak. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare as well.
The only place where the tomahawk suffers is in the lack of crust on the surfaces.
I chalk this up to the limitations of cooking with a charcoal grill as opposed to pan searing, oven roasting, broiling or cooking on a flat top. 9/10.
We also tried the burger. This is a juicy-ass, thick fucking patty that’s cooked to a perfect medium rare. The unique part is that it’s cut in half and then grilled on the sliced portion as well, for a little extra caramelization.
It definitely lacks in the French fry department, as this $30 monster just comes with a handful of potato sticks on the board with the burger.
The cheese is ample and nicely melted. The delicately-packed grind is nicely formed and has great wagyu flavor and fat content. The onions are perfect. It’s not in my top five but definitely worth trying.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
All the meat here is high quality, BMS 9- and 10- scored domestic wet-aged wagyu, just like the strips I sell in my shop. It’s the best domestic wagyu or wagyu/angus cross you can get, and Nusr-et sources it from various companies.
I believe only one cut is dry aged, and that is the tomahawk.
There is a stunning lack of porterhouse on the menu, so I am docking them two points for that. However there are three varieties of rib eye, several types of tenderloin preparations, and a strip/sirloin.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
As far as plating is concerned, something needs to be done with the Saslik and some of the other starters. They kinda look like a piles of dog vomit. Not sure what can be done to remedy that.
The larger, full format steaks look nicer on the wood boards, though. Perhaps the smaller, thinly sliced items need a little more artistry.
Portion sizes are a little bit on the smaller side for the price point, but that is to be expected with domestic wagyu. This product is also not as readily accessible, abundant or wallet-friendly as prime beef. As such, I took that into consideration.
Much of Nusr-et’s current criticism is coming in the form of value or price. I can understand that, especially to the untrained eye. But the meat here is the highest quality domestic wagyu available, and with respect to the tomahawk, even dry aged. I think it’s fair to compare the pricing to The Grill.
The Grill has a 36oz bone-in, dry-aged wagyu rib eye for $270. The tomahawk here it is 32oz at $275, but it also comes with a show, assuming he is in town (I was there for lunch on a Sunday and he was still bae-ing at that odd hour).
Beatrice Inn is even more expensive for the high-end cuts, and they’re not wagyu, just to put things into perspective. Oddly enough, value can be had at Beatrice Inn (pork shoulder, rabbit for two, etc).
Despite the staggering prices, there is value to be had at Nusr-et as well. For example, his unadulterated wagyu rib eye and strip/sirloin cuts are priced at $100 each. I saw his “Istanbul Steak” come out, and it’s only a little smaller than what I sell at $75 per pound, raw. So that’s not much of an upcharge. Here’s what the strip looks like in the meat case at Nusr-et:
As for the $100 rib eye, the menu describes it as “thinly sliced.” I hope that’s not like hot-pot meat. But here’s what the rib eye looks like in the case:
Great looking caps there. I’m down with that steak too, as long as “thinly sliced” means it’s pre-sliced prior to serving, table side, and not a glorified stir fry dish like the Saslik.
So is the dry-aging on the tomahawk worth the upcharge here? Probably not, but I’m still glad I tried it. I would have always been curious about it if I hadn’t.
But there were a few places where I did feel ripped off:
Asparagus: $15 for eight relatively unseasoned and boring stalks.
Saslik Steak: Funny that the accents on the S letters in that name closely resemble dollar signs, as the price tag of $70 for about six to eight ounces is too high. This is an appetizer at best.
Despite all that, I didn’t feel ripped off on the whole, at the end of this meal. Then again it was just a light lunch split between four people. Our bill with tax and tip included came to just about $500.
If I was here for dinner I probably would have ordered the same amount of food for two people. Then I might have felt ripped off.
My overall value analysis is this: There are some starters I want to try, so I would certainly go back, but that’s me. I’m also very interested in the asado short ribs. As far as the common cuts of steak go, however, I would much rather have the 32oz wagyu tomahawk at Del Frisco’s for $95, despite the lack of marinade, dry aging or Saltbae showmanship. It has such a great crust, and that price point is bonkers for the size. Cheaper and better. That is, essentially, my short form-recommendation.
There are no seats around the small, circular bar at Nusr-et. You can stand there and have a drink, I suppose, but that isn’t conducive for hanging out.
There are only a handful of standing-only high tops along the wall as well. I was expecting more from this midtown location. They could have easily attracted a good happy hour crowd and banked big bucks on booze, like the massive collection of Ciroc that sits on a shelf of its own – above even the Macallan 25 and Louis XIII – because Diddy and Saltbae are boys.
That said, I didn’t try any of their splendid looking cocktails. Maybe next time. But they’re a bit pricey.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
The alternatives to standard steakhouse beef cuts are as follows: (1) a full lamb rack, and (2) slow roasted asado short ribs. I would definitely like to try the short ribs. The lamb rack is too expensive at $250, however.
There is at least one item that was a special, not printed on the menu. Essentially it’s thinly sliced filet mignon that gets flash cooked tableside by pouring hot oil over it. If you’re a meat maniac like me, you’ve probably seen videos and images of this kind of thing circulating on the internet for months now.
I have no interest in this. It overcooks the meat, and it’s wet and greasy when you eat it. Fuck that nonsense.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
As I mentioned earlier, the asparagus pretty much sucked.
But we also tried the baklava for dessert. The staff puts on a ridiculous and unnecessary show to serve it. I hated pretty much everything about this. Observe:
Do you feel like an asshole for having watched it now?
I noticed waiters doing similar shit with some of the appetizers as well. Also dumb and unnecessary in my opinion. The only show should be Saltbae, with the exception of torching shit for the meat sushi appetizer. Fire is pretty much always cool, no matter what.
In any case the baklava was awesome. Not overly sweet, nice moisture, great texture, and it’s served with a crazy good “ice cream” that is somewhere between gelato and cream cheese in texture. Very interesting.
I think this is $15 a slice, by the way. They may have forgotten to charge us for it, unless it was on the house due to how long it took them to bring us the check (see below).
I need to try more apps here, but for now I’m splitting the difference between a ten for the dessert and a three for the asparagus.
APP UPDATE: I tried the carpaccio a week or two later. It was a great value for $30, as I thought it would be much smaller.
Here’s how they prepare it table side:
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s only salmon and chimichurri lobster on the entree menu here. There are oysters, tuna and king crab on the raw bar menu. I cant even begin to think about what the pricing is on the crab and lobster. I think Satan charges less, since he only wants your soul, and not those of your unborn children as well. I didn’t try any of this.
Service here is a mixed bag. At some points it felt rude and obnoxious, yet at other points it was incredibly warm. The joint has only been open for a week or two, so in all fairness that could be a part of it.
The manager Rami is amazing. Great guy. And as I said earlier, Nusret himself is super nice. He took pics with us, shook our hands, and was a great host. After witnessing his show in person, I’ve almost grown to like it, if only for the reason that he’s so fucking skilled and fast with a knife. Impressive. Especially in a dimly lit restaurant while wearing sunglasses.
But some of the waiter service needs improvement. Examples:
1) We asked a lot of questions about the menu, particularly the Saslik, before ordering. Our waiter was patient with us and answered whatever he could, which was great, but we still didn’t really get an accurate understanding of what was coming out for the Saslik. Perhaps the menu should have described it as an appetizer-sized stir-fry dish. It certainly shouldn’t be a main course.
2) We asked for water and they brought out one glass of room temperature tap water with no ice for each of us. Then they took the glasses away for some reason after we were pretty much still drinking them.
3) It took forever to get our checks and leave. I honestly think they forgot to bring it out, assuming we had already paid. Not a huge deal, as it allowed us to chat more with Rami and get a pic with Saltbae:
This place is gorgeous inside. The only thing missing is a true bar, as I noted above. The wall of meat fridges near the glass case and grill is pretty fucking impressive, and the high ceilings and huge windows are stunning and reminiscent of Del Frisco’s.
And if Saltbae is in the house, you’re in for a treat.
NOTE – The numerical score on this review is based on merely five items, and I will do my best to supplement it over time if I go back and try more things. However, as my buddy who ate with me said: The menu is not designed for customer retention.
I was invited into Butcher & Banker for a special preview dinner with a group of people from Instagram. This joint has taken over the previously unused space in an old bank vault on the ground floor of the New Yorker Hotel. I was really excited to try out some items from their impressive menu. Check out the details below.
I tried two different cuts of steak here. I’ll start with the big boy; the tomahawk rib eye (individual flavor score: 10/10).
This beauty was big, juicy and flavorful.
It was cooked to a perfect medium rare with a really great crust.
While there was a good amount of fat on this chop, the fat was the high quality kind that you can eat like beef jelly. I was loving it. And the generously sized cap was absolutely incredible.
Next up was the smoked strip steak (individual flavor score: 8/10).
This thing was beautifully presented on a circular, hibachi style steel mesh grate that sat atop a cast iron grill pan which was covered in rosemary (that’s where the smoke comes from – firing the herbs up). This, too, was perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful. However I was only able to try a small piece, and I think I got one of the “lesser” slices that remained, as we shared two cuts among about 10 or 12 people. As such the 8/10 score is tentative, and I’m reserving full judgment on this cut until I can try another during my next visit. What I did have was great, but I imagine a slice from the center would be a perfect score, just like the tomahawk.
On a second visit, I tried the porterhouse.
It was a little overcooked, and only parts had that characteristic dry-aged flavor. I did like the rosemary aroma, however. 6/10.
More shots of the tomahawk, also from the second visit:
Not quite up to the first visit standards (7/10 this time), but a trusted friend went back again and he said it was much better. I chalk this inconsistency up to new-restaurant jitters. I’ve seen this happen with other places (like Boucherie), and the joints often times come out much stronger after working out the kinks. Overall they’re still at 8/10 after two visits, and I have high hopes for increases in the score with additional visits. I still need to try the culotte and rib cap steaks. More to come…
On a third visit I had the double filet mignon Oscar style, which was very tender and tasty at 8/10.
The rib cap filet with shrimp was nice too, but it is only available occasionally on special. 8/10.
This baby is very nice. I recommend ordering it as an appetizer and splitting with your friends. The cheese was a combo of gruyere and aged parmesan, which creates a really funky flavor profile.
It comes with a side of fries and a dynamite pimento cheese sauce for dipping. I think all this burger needs to reach perfection is perhaps a softer bun and a sauce of some kind. Perhaps the pimento sauce can be applied to the burger instead of as a dip for the fries?
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
Chef Scott Campbell sources all of his beef from Pat LaFrieda and a state of the art facility out on Long Island (apologies – the name escapes me at the moment). The cuts available here range far and wide: long bone short rib, tomahawk rib eye, porterhouse, rib cap, coulotte (top sirloin cap), hanger, strip (corn fed or grass finished), filet mignon, and cowboy rib eye. Insanity. And there’s definitely some dry aging going on here – they just didn’t print out the number of days for each cut.
Personally, I don’t care about the number of days as long as I can taste it. Lately I’ve had some dry aged beef that claims to be aged for so long, but the time didn’t translate into flavor. It really all depends on the aging room. Whatever the case may be here, I was able to taste it, and that is a win to me.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portion sizes here are pretty generous, and the plating is artful without being too fancy.
My meal was free, but the prices are fair for the area, and reflect normal pricing for a midtown Manhattan steakhouse. There’s a variety of cuts available for the discerning carnivore, ranging from $32 for the budget savvy to $63 for the big spenders (per person).
The bar is cozy and interesting. Being down in an old bank vault, it can be out of the way or an effort to get to, as it isn’t a visible spot from the street. But I really liked the vibe.
The cocktails are great here, and they reflect a modern twist on the art deco design of the New Yorker Hotel.
Raffles Singapore Sling:
A Proper Manhattan:
Our Bountiful Martini:
Specials and Other Meats: 10
There’s plenty to go around in the “other meats” department. The menu boasts a duck steak, veal, lamb and chicken. But the big star of the non-beef items is the Kan Kan Pork.
The menu description of this dish – “a grand arch of double loin chops, belly and cracklings” – doesn’t quite do it justice. Order it and you’ll know what I mean when you see it come to the table.
It’s garnished with caramelized Catskill apples, and served with an apple cider reduction.
There is no other pork dish like it in the city, and nothing even comes close to it. This is meant for two at $41/pp.
I’m not sure if the waiters will be reading off-menu specials each day, but when you have stuff like this on the menu, what else can possibly be “special” in comparison?
On a second visit, this baby was even more impressive than the first time. I fucking love this thing.
It kinda looks like a sleigh (as aptly pointed out by a friend):
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We tried a bunch of apps and sides, so I’ll just rattle it all off and let you know my thoughts about each.
Banker’s Bacon Double-Thick
As you know from following this website and my Instagram account, there are very few bacon apps that can compete with my top five list. This Banker Bacon was delicious though – no doubt about it – and definitely worth getting as an app.
Short Rib Taquitos
I didn’t see these listed on the menu, but they were great. Super tender stewed style beef with a hit of cooling avocado cream inside a crispy shell. Can’t go wrong.
Colossal Shrimp Cocktail
Delicious and big. The fresh shaved horseradish on top was killer.
Calamari, Rock Shrimp & Shishito Fritti
These come with a great wasabi cream dipping sauce and a little bowl of curry salt for personal seasoning. That salt is really something else, and I love the flavor combinations when you dip into the wasabi cream and then finish with a pinch of curry salt. Perfectly crispy and lightly battered, and the shishito is a great touch.
Three Minute Diver Scallop Ceviche
Really light and well balanced. The scallops were meaty and delicate, and the bright yuzu and grapefruit dressing made them really pop.
Crisp Piri Piri Oysters Rockefeller
These were excellent. I usually don’t like cooked oysters very much, but these were almost like just the outside was cooked, with a crispy fried shell encasing the juicy, creamy oyster inside. Perfect with that dollop of creamed spinach underneath.
Roasted Wild Mushrooms
A great blend of fungi, simply treated with butter, herbs and seasonings – and looking beautiful.
Foie Gras with Grilled Pineapple
The pineapple was a bit too thick and not quite soft enough from the grilling process, but the concept is amazing, and so is the quality of the foie. Worth ordering.
I didn’t get a shot of this stuff, but the texture was so rich and creamy. It was awesome. Chocolate, vanilla and bourbon pecan (incredible and unique).
Seafood Selection: 8
I didn’t try any fish entrees, but all of the starters I tried involving seafood were excellent. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to ordering a seafood entree, as there are still so many meat items I need to try when I return. In any case there are scallops, salmon, shrimp and tuna in the seafood entree department – a fair showing.
The wait staff is on top of their game. They know the cocktails inside and out, and they can explain everything on the menu with precision.
Also worth mentioning here is the homemade skillet bread that comes out to the table with a pair of different butters.
Light, airy, and fluffy inside with a buttery and savory outer crust. One of these days I’ll write up a top five table breads list, and I’ll certainly be considering this as a candidate.
What else can be said about an old bank vault? The details in this place are all original and completely stunning.
And the modern touches from the renovation to turn this place into a steakhouse are elegant, yet still warm and inviting.
The space itself is divided into three locations: the vault, the bar/lounge, and the bifurcated dining room. It’s not a large restaurant, but they really made the best of the space. It feels like it belongs, and I can’t wait to go back.
BUTCHER & BANKER
The New Yorker Hotel
481 8th Ave
New York, NY 10001
Greenwich Steakhouse is a newly opened French-inspired steak joint in the West Village. Chef Victor Chavez helped open Smith & Wollensky, and is a 30yr veteran chef from there. He tried retirement, but decided that he wanted to be back in the game. As such, he opened Greenwich Steakhouse.
I recently set up an “influencer event” here to help get some photos and reviews out there. Take a look at all the crazy shit we tried, and enjoy the review below.
Cajun Rib Eye: 10/10 (I have had it several times)
I’m starting with the best steak first. This baby was cooked to a perfect medium rare from end to end with an awesome savory crust on the edges.
But the hint of cumin in the Cajun rub really sets this baby off as the best steak in the joint.
The spicy oil at the bottom of the place is reminiscent of the delicious sauce you get with the cumin lamb noodles at Xian Famous Foods, which I love.
When you come here, this is the steak to get. Chef Victor just absolutely nails it.
48oz Porterhouse: 8/10 (had this a second time and it was 9/10)
This is nice and thick, and really goes great with the marrow butter sauce addition.
There was some grey banding since this is such a thick cut of steak, but nothing was dried out.
48oz Tomahawk Rib Eye: 6/10 (had this a second time and it was 7/10)
Unfortunately this was a bit overcooked for our liking. Some parts were dry as a result, but the flavor was still nice.
Strip for Three: 9/10 – extremely good crust, really nice texture.
Filet Mignon: 9/10
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
All the meat here come from Strassburger, a great supplier. Chef Victor dry ages them for three weeks in-house to develop a bit more flavor for his guests. There are several sizes of the four major cuts available.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are pretty big. The plating is on the nicer side with steel pans being used as serving vessels.
The prices are on par with midtown NYC steakhouses, but since they are slinging some of my favorite food in the city, I have to say this place offers a good deal.
The bar is a short stretch on the first floor with some seats along the window for people watching.
It’s on a nice stretch of Greenwich Ave in the village too, so likely will be a good spot for nightlife.
Cocktails are nice, particularly the Great Kills.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The waiter read us some specials that were not on the menu. We tried one of them, a shredded Brussels sprout salad. I thought it could use some more dressing, but it was tasty.
For alternative meats, they offer a nice variety: veal, chicken and lamb. Perhaps a pork chop would round it out. We tried the lamb and it was incredible. So nicely seasoned and flavorful.
While the lamb may no longer be available, they do offer a veal parmesan that was excellent:
And a veal chop that is absolutely delicious.
A recent addition to the menu is a Saturday prime rib roast.
Check out this video!
At just $59 this is a steal. 7/10.
And if filet mignon is your thing, try the whole roasted tenderloin:
An easy 9/10 for that. Feeds 6-10 people at $295.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
This is the best thick cut bacon I’ve ever had. It was about a half inch thick, and each order comes with three massive slabs. We cut them each in half since we had a table of six.
The fries are pretty good as well:
The marrow is overkill. If you are eating steaks here, each cut will come with some roasted bone marrow, so no need to go for the app. Here are three delicious boats of bone meat though:
Creamed spinach was also nice:
As well as the hash browns:
The crab cake is top notch. This thing rivals Del Frisco’s.
Especially now that the sauce for it has a cajun flavor profile:
Nice hand cut steak tartare:
For dessert, we went with the ice cream tartufo:
And chocolate cake:
All were good, but my favorite was the creme brulee.
Seafood Selection: 10
We tried the seafood tower, which comes with oysters, king crab, shrimp, lobster and lumb crab meat.
The shrimp were massive! For entree items, they offer tuna, halibut, lobster, sole and salmon. Branzino was on special as well. That’s a serious variety!
Crab & Avocado Salad:
The staff here is all top notch. The guys are pure gentlemen and it doesn’t surprise me that Chef Victor would staff his joint with such people. The table breads are served from a basket at the outset.
They’ve done an awesome job with the space here. The main dining room is on the second floor and boasts elegant chairs and a bright space. Very different from other steak joints.
The third floor has a huge table for parties, and holds about 8000 bottles of wine in elegant glass-windowed rooms flanking each side.
This is also one of the only places you can actually eat beside a roaring fireplace, on two different floors. Amazing.
I was recently invited by @JustAFoodieNYC into Palm Too for an influencer dinner with a group of Instagrammers. We tried an assload of shit, and all of it was pretty fucking tasty. Take a gander below, you goddamn savage meat maniacs:
I tried a bit of every steak on the menu (aside from the prime rib, which is only offered on Fridays and Saturdays). I’ll break the scoring down for each cut here.
Filet Mignon (14oz): 9/10
This baby had a nice crust on the outer edges, adding a really pleasing charred flavor that was the perfect contrast against the buttery smooth, pink flesh inside. If that reads a bit sexual to you, that’s because it was a jerkworthy piece of meat and I fucking intended the sexual innuendo.
Let’s move on…
This baby was pretty solid. While it’s not as thick as I’m used to seeing a porterhouse cut, this was meant as a “for one” steak. That’s nice, as most joints only offer a porterhouse for two or more diners. At 28oz, it did the trick for filling my bottomless shit-pit stomach.
Wagyu Rib Eye (12oz, boneless): 7/10
I was expecting a bit more from this cut. It was still good, but when eaten side by side with the other offerings at the table, it just didn’t hold up. There was a slight bitter element to it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – just a character trait of the meat.
This fucker was tasty, and I’m torn between this and the filet for my favorite of the night. I’m leaning toward the filet, but that might only be because I tried more of the filet than the rib eye. But what I did try of this rib eye knocked my balls back into my stomach and made me feel like a little girly boy. My buddy @Food_P.o.r.n_NY took that cool shot, by the way. I can’t take credit for his genius.
Strip Steak (14oz): 8/10
The strip on this solo cut was on par with the strip side of the porterhouse, only here it’s obviously a thicker, dedicated cut.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
There are a ton of size options available here for the main four steak cuts, aside from the porterhouse (only one size). The selections are all prime quality and wet aged for 35 days or more. The meats hail from the Chicago area, a place called Consumers Meat Packing.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are generous here, and the plating is basic – nothing fancy. I mean there’s sawdust on the floor for fuck’s sake. This joint is old school and I like it!
Everything is reasonably priced here. In fact there’s even a whopper strip steak for three that only costs $99. That’s a steal if it’s your cut.
The bar area is a bit small for hanging, but it’s really charismatic and old timey. I’d definitely love to plop my ass down and sip on some old fashioneds or martinis here, especially while snacking on some thick cut bacon. In fact two of the guys I ate with did that exact thing just a few weeks back on a steakhouse bacon crawl. Awesome idea.
They also mix a good dry martini to boot.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
In addition to a special featured steak, there’s veal, lamb and pork here for alternative meats – even a wagyu beef selection for those with the bug. Fuck chicken.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We tried a ton of shit so I’m just going to rattle them off and highlight the best ones.
Green Beans: Very nice and distinctly “Asian” in flavor profile.
Half & Half (potato chips and onion straws)
Nova Scotia Lobster Mac & Cheese (with bacon crust): So rich and decadent. One of the better sides I’ve ever had. Sorry – no pic!
Doughnuts (also no pic)
Key Lime Pie: A classic, tried and true dessert done right. No pic!
Cheesecake (nope! no pic!)
Carrot Cake: Seven layers of pure joy for me.
Seafood Selection: 8
The lobster is definitely the way to go here. They offer a variety of preparations and several size options, depending on your budget and appetite.
Salmon and sea bass are also available as well as entree sized portions of the sesame crusted ahi tuna and crab cake apps.
The shortest amount of time that a waiter has worked here is about 20 years, so these guys are seasoned experts and absolutely phenomenal when it comes to congenial service. It’s also pretty impressive that they can sling all this food out in such a small kitchen (we took a little tour of the back).
Since I always chat about the bread basket in this section, here it is:
The sesame bread was my pick of the bunch. Butter could be softer.
This place is classic. There’s a cork floor with sawdust sprinkled throughout; a tribute to the old days when The Palm first opened, and the staff would track sawdust into the restaurant while running in and out to get steaks from the butcher shop across the street.
At first, The Palm was an Italian joint. The name was supposed to be “Parma,” after the city in Italy to which the owners were paying homage with their cuisine. The licensing folks at City Hall didn’t hear the brother owners correctly, and so the word “Palm” was licensed instead of Parma. They rolled with it.
Early on, an artist customer was unable to pay his dinner bill, so he offered to do portraits of the customers and staff as payment. That’s how the artwork all over the walls became a feature.
It’s a great place with a great history. The simple decor and manly vibe is a beloved calling card of a traditional American steakhouse like The Palm.
Formerly the location of Prime & Beyond, Ikinari switches up this dedicated steak spot from Korean to Japanese, only this joint lowers the price tag “big league” and creates a casual, standing-only environment.
What a great bargain for good quality meat! All of their beef is choice grade from Aurora Packing in Illinois, and wet-aged at least 40 days. Most importantly, the beef is cooked properly and treated with respect. But what’s surprising is that, for a “fast food” style joint, this place can actually compete with mom and pop restaurants (and even some big name steakhouses) on quality and flavor, for sure. And definitely on price.
Here’s how it works: You pay 8-11 cents per gram, telling the butchers exactly how thick you want your cut of steak. They offer filet, sirloin and rib eye.
Naturally, I had a proper sized steak cut from each:
I’m fat. Here’s what my bill would have looked like, had this not been a press/media event:
There are a variety of sauces and condiments to use for both your salads/sides and steaks. I was prone to keep hitting the wasabi.
The Ikinari sauce is thicker and sweeter, while the hot steak sauce has a little bit of spice and is a thinner liquid. Both are soy based.
The onion and pepper dressings went nicely with the radish salad. This was a small size:
So after choosing your cuts, the guys cook it up for you and you wait for them to bring it over to your standing/eating area.
Very casual! The steaks then come out sizzling on a cast iron plate with corn and onions.
Here are some more shots of that sirloin:
They serve the steaks rare, so that you can continue to cook it to your desired temperature directly on the hot skillet. I pretty much left mine as-is.
Here’s the filet:
Freaking HUGE for just $27.
And cooked perfectly inside.
My rib eye was cut a bit on a diagonal, and thinner than the other two, but no matter. It was excellent, and since I ate all of these steaks myself, like a real man, I didn’t mind so much.
The filet was tops, with rib eye close behind (if not tied), and sirloin next. If I had to put numbers on them, they’d all be in the upper 70th percentile for flavor, especially if you add some of the earthy sauces into the mix.
When you think about how much steakhouses are charging for on-par and sometimes lower flavor scores than these, it makes you question the entire steak scene!
Another thing worth mentioning: the pepper garlic rice was wildly tasty! It even had bits of steak thrown into it, and it also comes out on a sizzling cast iron plate.
Mix it all up and then let it sit and sizzle, so that a good, tasty crisp develops on the bottom of that rice.
Essentially, this place is everything that you wish Tad’s could be. You go into a place like Tad’s (do you even go in?) with high hopes and a hunger for steaks while you’re on the go. But, without question, it fails you, every time. The meat sucks, and it’s cooked like garbage.
Ikinari won’t let you down. I’ve eaten hundreds and hundreds of steaks in this great city, and I can tell you that this is a fantastic value, striking a bizarre but fascinating and attractive balance between steakhouse quality and budget dining. Give it a shot! Just don’t go there when your feet ache, because, as I said earlier, STANDING ONLY!