The PR company that helps promote this restaurant invited me in for a free meal in exchange for some social media posts. I brought a couple of other friends from the Instagram food world and we gave it a shot.
We had three steaks here. First was the tremendous cote de boeuf, which was roughly 28oz on the bone, meant to be shared among two diners.
This comes out sliced with a hotel herb butter on top. Great presentation.
While this wasn’t dry aged and left a little bit to be desired in terms of texture, it was quite tasty, juicy and nicely cooked. 8/10.
Next up was the dry-aged strip steak.
What this lacked in crust and thickness, it made up for in flavor. The age definitely came through. 8/10.
A delicious crust on this chateaubriand filet mignon for two at 20oz for under $100. 9/10.
Finally, we tried the hanger steak.
This was the winner of the three, especially when eaten with the peppercorn cream sauce. It had a great hard crusty sear on the outside, it was cooked to a perfect medium rare on the inside, and it was properly sliced against the bias. 9/10.
I should also discuss the “Burger Francaise” here, which was a stellar dry aged patty cooked to a nice juicy rare, topped with gruyere, stone ground mustard, crispy fried shallots and gherkins, on a freshly made brioche bun. GO GET THIS!!! It’s a 10, and it was probably the best item of the night.
Their French Dip sandwich, offered at lunch, is killer. While a bit pricey at $34, you will definitely leave there very satisfied.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
There’s a lot to choose from here, including some large format items meant for sharing like the chateaubriand. All the meats come from the great folks over at Pino’s Prime Meat Market.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
This place came through with good sized portions. The hanger, for a lighter appetite, is 9oz. The strip is 16oz on the bone, but it felt more like 12 or 14. The larger format steaks for two are just under the 30oz mark. Slightly light, but maybe fine for many diners. The presentation is nice, French and simple.
The pricing here is very fair. $35 for the hanger, $65 for the strip and $88 for the rib eye that’s meant for two people. I like that.
The bar here is nice, and it was crowded while we were there, even on a nasty weather night. It can get a little cramped since there are high tops close to the back of the bar seats, as well as a row of tables behind the high tops, making for some narrow passing. Otherwise, nice cocktails and great beer and wine selections.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
There were no real specials read to us, but they do offer a rotisserie chicken that I’d like to try next time I go. At the bar, they’re offering 12 duck confit sandwiches per night (until it graces the lunch menu permanently. This was an easy 10/10. Absolutely insane! It’s cooked in duck fat at 165F for 24hrs.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with steak tartare, escargots, foie gras terrine and duck pate. All of these were great, but to me what stood out the most was the escargots. They were different than what’s typically presented at other French bistros. I liked that they came in a bowl/tray and had chunks of French bread already soaked in the delicious puddle of herb butter/sauce in there. The fries are also outstanding here, and they pretty much come with every meat item.
The green beans were good (not pictured), but we mainly ordered them just to have some green shit on the table.
On a second trip I tried the frisee lardon salad, which was stellar!
The Paris Brest is nice as well, with hazelnut.
The brest was swapped out recently for the eclair. Similar flavors.
The chocolate mousse was very nice too.
Also really loved this almondy, grapey, blueberryey baked thing called a claufutis.
Seafood Selection: 8
I didn’t try any seafood here, so can’t really rate it. But I think they would do a great job on the mussels given how well they prepared the escargots. I always felt they were similar, in many ways
UPDATE – I tried these large, plump and juicy mussels. They were really nice! Ask for extra baguette to dip.
Oysters also delicious.
Impeccable service here, and the bread game is on point! Just ask for extra butter.
The location of this place may seem odd to some, but I always thought the area had a unique flare to it. Inside, they did a great job with the decidedly “French bistro” space they have, minus one point for the narrow passing areas that I noted in the bar section. I’ll definitely be back!
Side note: Brunch is pretty great here on weekends. Quiche Lorraine, Moroccan Baked Eggs, and Croque Madame – all top notch.
STEAK FRITES BISTRO
496 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10018