Category Archives: Non-Steakhouse Steaks

Bad Hombre

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

Amigo is now Bad Hombre! Ruben transformed the space and made it absolutely gorgeous inside.

What an amazing bar, matched by amazing cocktails.

We basically tried the entire menu, except for a few items here and there. As is common with Ruben’s restaurants, everything was off the charts delicious. These were some of the best, most delicious oysters I’ve ever had.

This scallop crudo was a great balance of natural sweetness with some seasoned heat.

Shrimp and octopus aguachile? HELL YES! The octopus here was cooked perfectly.

This corn gratin dip was a nice combo of sweet and heat too. It may not look like much, but it packed a wallop of flavor.

We tried three different tortilla based items: shrimp tacos, a fish tostada, and a mushroom quesadilla. I am hard pressed to choose a favorite among these, but I think the mushroom was a real standout to me. Much like the mushroom carpaccio at Nai and Emelia. A true winner.

The grilled octopus here was absolutely gorgeous, and the black bean puree sauce hits you with some Indian and middle eastern spices that will blow you away.

I could not resist the chimichurri skirt steak. Delicious!

These St. Louis ribs fell apart when I picked them up. So friggin’ tender! They were cooked confit style and glazed with soy and sesame.

But honestly, I was caught off guard by how insanely tasty these crispy habanero aioli Brussels sprouts were. I could eat them every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them.

Dessert was also a home run. The chocolate mousse with sea salt flakes was rich without being heavy. It was fluffy and extremely well balanced – not too sweet.

This semi-frozen panna cotta with pineapple granita was so creamy and delicious too. What an understated and gentle but powerful flavor bomb!

I can not wait to go back here for more meals. Everything Ruben touches is incredible.

BAD HOMBRE
29 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Veronika

Veronika is the restaurant inside the Fotografiska photography museum on Park Avenue near 23rd street. My wife took me here for dinner, and I have to say, everything was pretty great.

We started with two tartares: uni and tuna, and wagyu. I liked the wagyu better but both were really nicely executed.

This German style veal shnitzel with a fried egg on top was the perfect shared course for the middle of the meal. I think the batter could have used a bit of salt after it came out of the fryer, but the capers with anchovy in them definitely added salt to the bites we had with them.

For our mains, we did the bone in strip and the lamb saddle.

Between the two, the lamb was much better. Nice and roasty. Perfect. The strip was dry aged but again it could have used a touch more salt. Perfectly cooked though. 8/10.

For dessert, we had an interesting take on strawberries and cream, served inside a meringue tube of sorts. Here are the before and after pics.

I would definitely go back here again! The food was great, and the ambiance was absolutely stunning.

VERONIKA
281 Park Ave. South
Second Floor
New York, NY 10010

Allure

Allure is the new restaurant inside the Belleclaire Hotel on the upper west side, right on the corner of 77th and Broadway. The dining room has a beautiful skylight atrium overhead, almost like an old timey greenhouse.

My wife and I started with a round of delicious cocktails, my favorite of which was the smoked old fashioned, made with pistachio infused spirits.

Next, we had a trio of apps: prawns, tuna tartare and grilled baby cuttlefish. Of these, the prawns were definitely our favorite. The mole-esque sauce and spice levels were absolutely incredible.

For our mains, we had the rainbow trout with charred kale, olives and artichokes, along with the prime NY strip, which comes from Golden Packing.

Both were excellent, but, as predicted, the steak was the winner for me. The reverse was true for my wife.

The steak was a juicy and perfectly cooked center cut gem, smothered with a peppery au poivre cream sauce that I could drink every day. 9/10.

Served with florentino, a sort of broccolini meets cauliflower green-stalked flowering veggie, this is a steal of a composed meal at just $55. The steak was about 12oz. That’s blue cheese or gorgonzola on top, not butter.

We also did a side of mushrooms to go with this. Delicious.

For dessert, we had the “Nutella Kiss” with pistachio ice cream and merengue, and a creme brulee bread pudding. Both were top notch.

I would 100% go back here again. What a beautiful and delicious restaurant!

ALLURE
2175 Broadway
New York, NY 10024

Press Club Grill

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I had been eyeballing Press Club Grill for a while because they have some nice looking large format items, so when @Jennerous_Eats suggested that we go as a foursome on her press invite, I was psyched to do so.

We tried a LOT of stuff, so let me get to it.

First, sourdough bread with fancy piped butter. The butter was a little on the cold side (not as spreadable as you would think for the shape), but I imagine they need to keep that cold so it doesn’t lose its structure or melt.

Next up, steak tartare. This was great! It reminded me of the new version they serve at The Lambs Club, but with a shrimp chip instead of toasted bread of potato chips.

The generous folks at Press Club Grill brought us out a trio of additional starters with the summer salad, the crab rangoon, and the buffalo carrots.

I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the buffalo carrots. They really ate like eat in texture. Also, the crab rangoon was light on that “cream cheese” flavor, so we all enjoyed that as well. Even the salad was bright, fresh and flavorful. Hits all around.

We also tried this mushroom ravioli pasta, which was very nicely executed. The broth was really flavorful and could have doubled as a consomme.

Alright, now on to the big stuff. First, the chicken schnitzel.

This was nice and juicy, but the breading didn’t cling very well to the meat. No matter though, I still enjoyed. It came with a little bowl of spaetzl and a beautifully smooth cream sauce on the side.

The beef Wellington was a sight to behold.

Once sliced, you could really see how perfectly executed it was.

Everything from the bright medium rare pink center to the crispy outer edge of the pastry dough was spot on… Enhance…

ENHANCE!

I would definitely recommend this. The only thing I will say is that it was a bit too heavily salted. I’m not sure if it was the duxelles or something in those outer layers, or maybe too much finishing salt, but I still give it 8/10. Stunning.

Next (oh yeah, we still had more…), was the duck three ways, but they call it Duck a L’Orange for two.

The first of the three ways was a perfectly seared pair of crispy crusty skinned duck breasts a l’orange style.

This was our favorite dish of the night. Big winner. The skin was so crisp and rendered out with textbook level skill, and there was a minimal amount of that nasty bittersweet boozy orange flavor you often get with that style. In fact it ate more Szechaun to me than French. Wonderful.

The second way for the duck was a bowl of wontons. I wished there were more!

The third way was this garlicky duck fried rice. It was lacking in crisp texture on the rice, but still tasty.

For dessert, we tried nearly everything except the baked Alaska (next time). The crowd favorite seemed to be the bananas Foster creme brulee.

My photos here don’t do the beauty justice, so make sure you watch the Ride & Review above.

I wasn’t a huge fan of either the cherries jubilee or the popsicle, though both really were nicely presented.

I think next time I want to try the porterhouse and the baked Alaska for sure. I’m also wondering if this joint needs to be placed into the “steakhouse” category. I’m just not sure. I didn’t do it for The Grill or Monterey, which are similar concepts, so I guess I’ll hold the line and say that this isn’t a steakhouse.

PRESS CLUB GRILL
1262 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

Pappas Taverna

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This joint is beautiful inside.

It’s part of the Dream Hospitality group (Dream hotels, etc), so they really went all out. It’s huge, and at night there are belly dancers, fire shows, a DJ… It becomes a nightlife spot.

Nice cocktails to start, all Greek flavor inspired and named, like the Hera Spritz.

We started with the Pappas Chips, which are thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, fried and served with yogurt sauce.

I expected these to be a bit more crispy, but they were still tasty.

The grilled octopus was incredible. Probably one of the best I’ve had. Super tender.

The boneless rib eye was cooked perfectly and had a nice Greek flavor profile of spices and herbs. 8/10.

This lamb shank was the winning dish, though.

There had to be a pound or more of orzo in that pot, and the meat just fell off the bone. So tender, juicy and flavorful.

For dessert, we tried the baklava and the orange custard. Both really great, not too sweet, and large enough to share.

I would definitely go back!

PAPPAS TAVERNA
105 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Centurion

First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:

If you haven’t heard about this place, it’s a very exclusive Amex Black card-holders joint. You CAN get access to it you have an Amex Platinum card, which my wife has. We were able to snag a reservation for 6:30PM on a Friday, and the experience was incredible. Seriously – watch the video above for the full effect.

We started with some cocktails that we really enjoyed. The stand out for me was the incredibly beautiful and delicious Carbon Martini, made with squid ink!

Our apps were a pair of tartare dishes. Table side wagyu beef tartare, and tuna tartare. Both incredible!

Next, we shared a wagyu burger. This was perfect. Thin slices of tomato, onion, pickles and just a single leaf of Bibb lettuce. Crispy bacon. Melty cheese and a special sauce. Perfect cook temp.

For entrees, we had lamb loin and aged strip steak (Snake River Farms). Both beautifully plated. The strip was 45-days aged, and 10oz.

I think we both liked the lamb slightly better. It came with a killer lamb sausage meatball wrapped in spinach (watch the video). Steak 9/10. Lamb 10/10.

For dessert we had a Lebanese pistachio milk flan called mouhalabieh, and a vanilla eclair. Both great.

Excellent table bread and butter here.

Some of the incredible views:

If you ever have the opportunity to dine or have drinks here, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth throwing on your bucket list.

CENTURION LOUNGE
1 Vanderbilt Ave
55th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Da Toscano

First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife and I finally made it over to Da Toscano with my buddy and his girlfriend, who are huge fans of the place. We went big, so I’ll get right down to business.

For starters, we had the broiled oysters, which were bathed in crab fat butter. Absolutely delicious.

Then we ate five pasta dishes. Yes, five. My favorites were the lamb neck agnolotti and the orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe sauce.

Insane. So much flavor coming through in that orecchiette from the pickled cherry peppers. And the agnolotti were like little buttery packages of meaty deliciousness.

The squid ink spaghetti with crab and Calabrian chili was delicious as well. Perfectly executed.

The Scialatielli with sour beer and clams was incredibly unique and delicious. We really enjoyed this.

The gnocchi was our least favorite.

For our main courses we went with the veal strip parm and the Bistecca Fiorentina style porterhouse.

The parm was perfectly crisp and delicious.

The steak had a slight age on it from Allen Brothers, and it was rubbed with a porcini mushroom spice. 9/10!

For dessert we had the bomboloni with foie gras, peanut butter and jelly. It was pretty good, but we ended up liking the olive oil cake better.

I highly recommend this place, and I can’t wait to go back to try more stuff.

DA TOSCANO
24 Minetta Ln
New York, NY 10012

Tomino Taberna Gallega

First off, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife took me here for my birthday to try the Vaca Vieja (old dairy cow, popular in Spanish food). Here’s what we had:

Empanada with octopus and cheese inside. Really nice. The crust reminded me of pot pie dough.

Fried squid on a bed of fried zucchini. This was excellent!

Mussels with a pimento broth.

Wild mushrooms with sliced grapes and goat cheese. Totally unique and delicious.

As a mid-course we had this “Bomba Rice” with squid ink and squid, both on top and mixed into the rice. Amazing.

The steak was a cry-aged 38oz tomahawk for just $108. Crazy! This would be over $160 in a midtown steak joint.

It came with fries too, which were awesome.

The steak had both great flavor and great aroma, and was probably the best version of Vaca Vieja I’ve had so far.

I give this an 8/10 because it was slightly overcooked on the outside and slightly undercooked on the inside.

Dessert was a crepe filled with berry cream and served with yogurt ice cream. Really nice and refreshing.

I will definitely be back here again. I should note that they also have a great selection of Spanish imported beer.

TOMINO TABERNA GALLEGA
192 Grand St
New York, NY 10013

Casino

Check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This little Italian joint opened up down by us on East Broadway, and we were excited to try it out. The cocktails are all great, and the bar is stacked with lots of amari.

We tried three starters: the endive salad, the prawns and the fried artichoke. These were all fantastic; seriously one better than the next. These items are every day kind of items. They’re that good!

This smoked lamb ragu pappardelle was BONKERS!!! The pasta ate sort of like hand pulled noodles. A bit broken up in parts, but I would eat this by the bucket load. Amazing.

The dry aged duck was a bit of a let down. Not terrible by any means, but it was over seasoned, the skin was not crisp enough, and the flesh was a bit tough in parts. A 6/10. Maybe 7 on a good day. One half/slice was definitely better than the other.

This “crespelle” was sort of like a vegetable lasagna, and it was absolutely delicious. I was shocked at how much I liked this, considering it was utterly meatless.

For dessert we shared the midnight cake, which was definitely more like a mousse than a cake. We loved it. That little blob of white is creme fresche.

I would definitely go back, especially for those starters and the pasta dishes. They have a t-bone on the menu, so I’ll eventually have to try that as well.

UPDATE 7/20/2023

I had the steak!

This is an easy 9/10 and it is in the running for a best bite of 2023. The age was perfect on it, super tender on the filet side, nice texture on the strip side with no connective tissue (a center cut). Beautiful.

CASINO
171 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

Mischa

First off, check out my YouTube Ride & Review video HERE.

This joint popped onto my radar via Instagram, and I saw a couple of dishes that I really wanted to try when I browsed their menu online, Namely, the mortadella and foie gras terrine, and the dry aged prime rib. There were some pasta items on the menu that looked good too, so I rounded up another couple to give this place a thorough try across the entire menu.

This joint serves eastern European flavors and derives inspiration for dishes from India, the Baltic region, Russia, Scandinavia and more.

The cocktails I tried were split down the middle: One was great, the other was too sweet. If you like margaritas, get this horseradish and cucumber version with smoked salt. Amazing.

Skip on the old fashioned – it’s way too sweet.

We decided to start with the foie gras and mortadella terrine. All of us were excited. It was good, but I think we all agreed that we like both items separate rather than together. Good flavor, thoughtful presentation, etc. It’s just that 2+2=4 in this case, not 5. Math.

Next up was the mushroom patty melt. The bartender recommended this, and it turned out to be our top two or three item of the night. I never would have ordered it otherwise. It was both beautiful and tasty.

It comes with two “long tots” which eat like a cross between tots, fish sticks and knish. Enjoyable.

For the middle course, we tried two items under the pasta menu: spaetzle and kasha varnishkes. The kasha varnishkes were bowtie pasta shaped noodles, cooked al dente, and served with a mix of caramelized onion, couscous and herbs. It was good but a bit heavy on the onion. My buddy said there wasn’t enough butter. The spaetzle was the better of the two. In fact, that was my favorite item of the night.

For the mains, we ordered the braised pork belly, the dry aged prime rib, and a side of saag (Indian style stewed spinach).

The pork belly was good. It had a nice flavor despite some of the leaner portions being slightly dry. Nice touch with the charred lemon.

The prime rib was dry and mealy/grainy in texture. I’m not sure what happened here, because even though it was overcooked there should have been a lot of juiciness left. The dry aged flavor was nice though, at least, but the jus should have been left in a gravy boat on the side rather than poured over the entire plate without asking. The jus was over-reduced and a bit bitter, sadly. Also, at $120 for 20oz it’s way steep, even with the boiled potatoes as a “composed dish” rather than “a la carte” like a steakhouse. 6/10.

Here’s a shot of the saag. I always love this stuff. It’s my go to order at Indian restaurants.

Dessert was a beautiful and warm sticky bun with apple and a touch of flake salt and spices like cardamom. This was a hit.

Over all this place served up a good meal, but not great. I was disappointed by the prime rib and probably wouldn’t go back.

MISCHA
157 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022