Madame Vo is a Vietnamese joint on 10th Street near 2nd Avenue.
My wife and I have been itching to go, since we have been on a quest to find good Vietnamese food in NYC since the early 2000’s. I think we finally found it here, so let me give you the rundown of our meal.
First, Autumn Rolls. These are soft rice wrappers filled with jicama, egg, sausage and shrimp. The brilliant thing about these is that they’re sauced with a brush of hoisin prior to wrapping. Just a little hit of sri racha and you’re all set. They’re delicious.
Next up, the “Madame Pho” soup. This is served with short rib.
Awesome deep, rich beefy flavor. No sauces needed whatsoever. The broth is on point. And the meats are all high quality. It has a variety of cuts like flank, brisket, meatballs, eye round and marrow. But that short rib! So good. And the noodles were cooked perfectly.
The Bun Bo Hue, however, was even better. It’s very hard to find good pho in NYC, but it’s even harder to find good bun bo hue.
So many times, bun bo hue noodles are overcooked and fall apart when you try to pick them up with chopsticks. Here, they are nicely cooked and hold up to pulling and grabbing. The broth has a great pungent richness, bright with herbs and lime, and really deeply satisfying. Just the right amount of heat, too.
Last, the rib eye Bo Luc Lac, or “Shaking/Shaken Beef.”
I’ve often seen this made with lean cuts like sirloin and sometimes filet. This is the first time I’ve seen it made with rib eye, and also the first time I’ve seen it served with an egg.
The result is a nice sticky sweet molasses flavor, with a great sear from the sizzling cast iron skillet. The fat rendered out nicely, making for a delicious sauce sludge through which to drag your rice. I really enjoyed this dish, and it’s a perfect example of what a good chef can do with a choice grade cut of beef when he – in this case, Jimmy – knows how to coax out great flavor. 7/10.
For dessert, we shared a nice avocado shake. While pricey at $8 (avocados are expensive these days), its filling and well made. Not too sweet, and super creamy.
Antique Bar & Bakery is a new joint in Hoboken. I know what you’re thinking: Fuck Jersey! But for real, everything at this place is absolutely amazing. And I can’t in good conscience fuck with Jerz: I’m from Long Island, and everyone knows that LI, NJ and Staten Island are all retarded cousins from the same demented family.
Anyway, when you walk in, you feel like you’ve entered someone’s home. It has an old school feel to it. There are a few nice nooks for seating, and a great bar with really nicely fashioned cocktails.
In the back room, you’re basically IN the kitchen, which is really fun to experience. The skylight overhead illuminates the room with a nice, pleasing natural light.
The back wall boasts an insane coal oven that cranks up to over 1000 degrees, and then to the left of that, there’s a cooler area (about 500 degrees).
On the side wall is all your normal kitchen gadgetry like a gas oven, burners, sinks, expediting station, etc.
Okay but enough about that – let me get to the food. Chef Paul Gerard is doing amazing things here. Everything has a sense of familiarity, but also a sense of “newness.” He’s accumulated aspects of Soul Food, Cajun/Creole, Italian, American and French cuisines and balled them up into a delicious, enveloping and immersive experience: especially when you sit in the back near the kitchen (a must-do if you’re anything like me).
We started with a snack of blistered shishito peppers and pickled watermelon. The peppers go into the hot coal oven and finish up really quickly – like within a minute. It’s pretty neat because you can feel the capsaicin in the air once they get cranking. If you sit close like we did, you may sneeze or cough a bit. That’s how IN the kitchen you are. So cool. It makes you feel like you’re part of the staff.
Raw Fennel Salad with Burnt Orange Marmalade: All the burnt items are done right in their crazy oven. They add a great natural bitterness to the food (and cocktails), which cuts the fat and sweetness of any complimentary ingredients. This salad was awesome: crisp, fresh and satisfying.
Hot Oil Shrimp: Incredible dish. Really nice heat from the peppers, and the shrimp retain a lot of shell flavor from being blasted in the oven. Perfectly cooked.
Rice Balls: I mean, these guys even managed to make rice balls interesting, new and fun. The outside is really crisp and the inside is soft and gooey from the provolone fondue. You need to try them.
Fresh Mozzarella: This shit is made to order, right there at the prep counter. You can watch the guy stretch and pull until its ready. It’s topped with some cracked pepper and a few cherry tomatoes. Eat this quickly while it’s still warm, otherwise it can firm up a bit and lose its softness.
Burger: The only slight I will make about this entire meal is that the burger was a bit overcooked for our liking. But the flavor was off the hinges, even though our burger was medium-well. It gets some dry aged fat (carved right off the steaks), some chuck and some flank in the grind – made in house, obviously.
It’s topped with shredded cheese, spicy fries and pickled chili peppers. Despite the shape of the burger being spherical, it really was formed well: Loosely packed and not overworked; hollowed out top bun so it isn’t too tall and unwieldy. This burger has real potential to be one of the best around. I need to come back and try it again, and make sure the temp is pink through the center. Don’t shy away from ordering it just because mine was a bit over.
Whole Octopus: This is a special menu item, which you can order as a half or whole portion. The octopus is treated in a similar way as the shrimp, but it is tossed in an olive puttanesca sauce that really blew me away. It was cooked very nicely too: snappy to the tooth, but not chewy. Great char flavor from the oven.
Whole Fish: This was black bass, and it was really damn delicious. When you cook seafood hot and fast, you retain all that great juiciness in the flesh, so that nothing ever dries out. That’s what happens with the fish here. You can’t go wrong.
Whole Chicken: Absurdly delicious, and I’m not even really a chicken man. This is plenty big to feed the table.
Dirty Rib Eye: I was amazed. I watched as Chef Paul went through the entire process, and I even got some good video.
First, he broke down a 28-day dry aged rack of ribs that the restaurant got from DeBragga Meats. Antique Bar & Bakery has its own shelf in the DeBragga dry-aging room.
The steaks are allowed to come up to room temperature so that they cook better.
Once they’re ready, they’re coated with coarse salt, slapped on a cast iron skillet, and then popped into that ripping-hot coal oven for about five minutes. This hell-fire licks every square inch of surface area on the meat, giving it a great outer crust.
The steak is then pulled out of the crazy oven, placed onto a bed of herbs, hit with some drawn butter, and then finished in the other oven until the center comes up to the proper temperature.
Finally, it rests for a while before being sliced and plated – sometimes up to 20 minutes. While resting, it gets brushed with more herbs, so you really get that great herb flavor with each bite.
Alright here’s the video. I made you suffer through reading all of that first before linking it, because I’m a dick.
The herbs really make it. In fact, they have herbs drying and hanging all over the back room. It was pretty cool, and reminded me of my dad’s garage, which always seems to be decorated with dangling peppers and herbs from his garden.
Needless to say, this steak is an easy 10/10 for flavor. It’s really unbelievable. I suggest you get out there immediately to try it.
Hard Herb Hanger: Perfectly cooked, great crisp on the outside, and wonderful flavors from the herb roasting process in the ovens. This is a great option for those who aren’t willing to go big with the rib eye but still want to eat beef. Just $23? Awesome. 8/10. We actually had this come out alongside our desserts and we still devoured it instantly. Haha!
All entrees can be consumed with a variety of available sauces. We tried them all, but I really liked the herb puree and puttanesca the best. As for the steaks? No sauce needed. There’s so much flavor on those babies already.
Okay let me address some of the fantastic sides we tried.
Charred Kale with Pickled Chilis: Really nice acidic punch. This is similar to something like collared greens in Soul Food cuisine, only with a new twist.
Blackened Beets with Goat Cheese and Walnuts: Awesome. This is my new favorite beet dish. And if you’re one of those weird bastards that doesn’t eat meat, then this is the way to go for you. Very satisfying, satiating and fulfilling.
Fava Beans: Holy shit! Traditional French styling here with butter and shallots, and finished with mint, but so great. I kept going back for more of these green delights. Probably because they’re served with Spring Brook Farm Reading Raclette, a raw cow’s milk cheese.
Fingerling Potatoes: As I said above, Chef Paul is making things in a new way here. These babies are roasted with dried, aged, shaved Bottarga fish flakes (similar to what you might see being used to make dashi broth, but more specific). It might not sound that appetizing, but it adds such an amazing earthy flavor to the potatoes. Trust me. And with a topping of cheese and that awesome crisp from the hot oven, this side is not to be skipped.
Now on to the desserts. We tried a few, and all of them were excellent, just like every-fucking-thing else in this meal.
Lady Ashton’s Dirty Chocolate Cake: Served family style in a large cast iron skillet, this is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten. I’m not huge on chocolate either, but I loved this.
Frozen Cannoli: This is essentially a cannoli in sundae form. Incredibly tasty, and equally beautiful.
Dandy’s Decadent Cookie (with sweet milk ice cream): This baby is baked to order, and it is a massive, soft, delicious cookie with ice cream on top. This is my kind of dessert.
Burnt Lemon & Marshmallow Pie: I have a weakness for this type of stuff. It was a great twist on lemon meringue pie.
TCB Sundae: This is based on the Elvis sandwich. Burnt banana bread, caramelized banana, peanut butter ice cream, candied slab bacon, milk chocolate covered potato chips, and all of it draped in gold! Just like Elvis would want it baby! Chef Paul rocks harder than Elvis, if you ask me.
Holy shit. Is that everything? I’m dying to go back here. Get your ass out to Hoboken ASAP. You will thank me.
ANTIQUE BAR & BAKERY
122 Willow Ave
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Primal Cut is a newly revamped steak restaurant within the Sapphire gentleman’s club. I was invited in for a free meal to help promote the joint. Take a look below:
Chef Thomas Perone does a great job with the 40oz tomahawk rib eye for two.
The 37 days of dry aging gave it a really nice aroma.
And Perone and his team nailed the crust on this thing.
Perone leaves soon for The Lambs Club, but he assures me that his staff runs the kitchen extremely well, so you’ll still be in great hands.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
Two sizes of filet, two sizes of rib eye (a cowboy cut and a tomahawk for multiple diners), a porterhouse for multiple diners, a strip, an A5 wagyu strip and a wagyu spinalis round out the menu here. Really fantastic showing, and the majority of the beef cuts hail from Strassburger Steaks. Can’t go wrong there.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
The 40oz tomahawk was a great size for sharing with another person. And all the other items were well-hung too. The plating is basic steakhouse style: minimal and elegant.
I was expecting skyrocket prices for a joint that’s located in a pricey strip club. But $55/pp on the steaks for two is really fair, especially if ogling tits and ass while you dine is your thing. All soups and salads are $12, and apps range from $14 to $25. Very fair.
The bar here is on the small side, but they do mix a nice martini. The bartenders are sporting some revealing lingerie style attire – which I think is actually sexier than the gowns that the dancers walk around in – so that boosts up the “stay for another drink” factor in what would otherwise be a not-so-impressive stretch of bar.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There were a couple of specials that weren’t on the menu, usually a different kind of house-made pasta that’s rolled out on specific days (like their lasagna, which all the strippers love). Big points here for the wagyu presence on the menu, otherwise there is just chicken and lamb for alternative meats.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We tried a few apps and sides. The salmon poke bowl was really tasty and tropical, with a nice pop of flavor from the pineapple.
The half pound slab of bacon is great too, with a nice sweet and savory sauce that will change your expectations of bacon.
The 5-cheese truffle lobster mac is decadent and tasty, and had a great crispy crust on top. You should definitely order this.
I was disappointed with the asparagus. These are the thin, limp, fibrous kind and not the thick, long, stiff ones you expect to sprout up at a strip club… I mean steakhouse.
This French toast style ice cream sandwich dessert not only tasted great, but for some strange reason I kept subconsciously seeing caramel drizzled tits every time I looked at it.
Maybe because I was in a strip club?
Seafood Selection: 7
There’s salmon and sea bass on the menu, aside from the nice array of appetizers.
If you dine here, try to get Alfonso as your waiter. He’s really friendly and helpful, knows what to recommend, and is just really on top of his shit. Everyone is friendly, there are no pushy dancers trying to get on top of you while you eat, and aside from the occasional girl walking around in a skimpy outfit as you hear the DJ calling her name to the main stage, you’d never really know that you were dining in a strip club. Whether that’s good or bad depends on you.
I know, I know: How can you rate a steak joint within a strip joint anything lower than a 10 for ambiance?!?? That aspect is excellent, obviously, especially for the waning existence of hetero-normative, straight, cis-gendered alpha males like the majority of my readers. But the dining room is in need of a little sprucing up. It’s a relatively small spot too, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they certainly have the ability to upgrade this place to the level of the untouchable midtown giants. There are low ceilings, it’s a bit stuffy (I think there was a ventilation and AC situation when we went), and the overall feel is very cavern-like. I think they should go all out in this place, maybe throw a few dance cages or a stage in there too. They don’t need to be topless dancers, but just embrace the strip club vibe! All that said, I went in at 6pm. Maybe things heat up later in the night.
I’d been to Felix a few times for drinks in the nice weather, but I never actually sat down to eat until yesterday. I was invited in to take photos of the food and post some stuff to Instagram, so my wife and I went for dinner and tried some good French classics.
First, the foie gras terrine.
This was incredibly smooth and creamy. It was served with toasted bread and some caramelized shallots. Highly recommended, but I actually liked eating it better with the table bread than the toast.
I had to get the beef carpaccio, just because, you know, beef.
It was beautifully plated with arugula and shaved parmesan. Also really tasty, and also recommended.
My wife went with the cassoulet.
This baby was packed with a massive assortment of meats: chicken, duck, pork and two types of sausage.
I went with what was described on the menu as both a cote de boeuf and an aged 40oz prime rib for two. However, what came out was more like a traditional steak as opposed to roasted prime rib.
It also felt like it was a little smaller than 40oz. Perhaps maybe 32oz.
I ordered somewhere between rare and medium rare. Some parts were spot on, and others were over. But the flavor was pretty good at a solid 7/10. It also came with a nice vegetable medley of string beans, carrots, mushrooms and baby Brussels sprouts. The fries were really great too.
The three sauces that came with it were Bernaise, peppercorn and blue cheese (and a small dish of dijon for the fries). My favorites were the peppercorn and the blue cheese, but I was going into the peppercorn more because the blue cheese sauce was strong.
For dessert we tried the apple tart (tarte tatin).
This had a great texture on the outer edges of the tarte, with a soft and tasty apple inside. A nice pairing with some vanilla ice cream.
TESSA is a modern Mediterranean tavern on the upper west side that blends southern French and Italian cuisines. Their opening in April 2014 was the culmination of a years-long journey by first-time restaurateur, Larry Bellone, and long-time restaurateur, Will Tracy. The joint is named after Larry’s daughter. Will has been involved in the restaurant business for over 30 years.
Executive Chef Eric Cope has been at the helm since the beginning. Before his position here, Eric worked for the Rancho Bernardo Inn in his hometown of San Diego. The Pastry Chef is Yarisis Jacobo, and the Sous Chef is Ray Martinez.
The industrial and rustic interior design is absolutely stunning, and you can see the immaculate kitchen through the massive windows downstairs if you use the spotless-clean bathrooms.
The bar is really beautiful too, and the cocktail list is inventive. I tried three drinks (Kilt & Dagger, 349 and UWS Manhattan), and they were all delicious.
But let me get to the food, because that’s what you really care about the most, right? We started with three apps.
This was nice and fresh. It had a middle-eastern flavor profile, especially when eaten with the soft naan-like scallion pita bread with which it was served. The pomegranate, cucumber, pearl onion, black sesame and saffron aioli really worked well together.
This a la plancha style octopus was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It was really nice! It’s served with marble potato salad, fried capers, black garlic puree and aged balsamic. This was my favorite of the apps.
These “drunken” Hollander mussels were beautiful. The broth boasts tequila, tomato, garlic, kafir lime leaf, dried guajillo and cilantro. Super aromatic and tasty.
Next up we tried a duo of appetizer-sized pasta dishes (half of what you’d get for a full order). I must say, the app sizes were generous!
This was really good, and was offered as a special for the night. Duck sausage and duck confit lent a great savory component to the dish, complementing the fresh greenery of peas and fried basil.
Lobster Rye Trumpet
This beautiful rye pasta dish was topped with a generous amount of lobster for an appetizer portion. This was the better pasta of the two, for me. It was tossed with chanterelle mushrooms, celery root, chorizo, buerre blanc and chives.
We shared two entrees.
Long Island Duck
First, and actually my favorite between the two, was the duck. The breast was rendered perfectly, leaving just a layer of crisp skin above the tender, expertly cooked meat. This was served with a spiced honey sauce, a few crispy duck confit ravioli, baby carrots, cipollini onions and tarragon. The sweet and savory contrast to this dish was so amazing. I’d go back for this in a heart beat.
Cote de Boeuf
This beauty is pre-sliced and 32oz on the bone. Take a closer look at the meat though.
A little closer…
There you go! It’s a 45 day dry-aged DeBragga rib eye that carries a great earthy and funky flavor. The crust on this thing was excellent, and perfectly seasoned. It comes with roasted garlic, crispy fried shallots and roasted bone marrow. 8/10.
This was a great steak, but I was really torn between ordering this or the other two beef options that were on the menu: a hanger steak frites and a 45-day dry aged strip steak. Next time.
We also tried the fries and shaved Brussels on the side. Both were great, but I only snapped the fries.
In the background, you can also see some grilled romaine lettuce which came with the steak (along with a nice reduction-style steak sauce, and the sun dried tomato chimichurri that usually accompanies the steak frites).
To finish off the meal, we tried two desserts.
I’m usually not a fan of ordering doughnuts at a restaurant. I always end up liking doughnuts from specialty shops better. But these ones were incredible. It was tough to choose a favorite between the two styles (vanilla cream vs glazed). Both were incredible, and came with a hazelnut anglaise dipping sauce.
Coconut Cheesecake Sundae
Yes, you read that right. It’s coconut sorbet with malted vanilla sauce, diced mango and macadamia crunch. Really inventive, refreshing and exotic.
Is that everything? I think it is. But I want more. I highly recommend this place. The quality of the food and attentiveness of service is top notch. You won’t be disappointed.
The Fat Monk has one of the most incredibly ambitious and delicious looking menus I’ve ever seen. Just about every item sounds unique and awesome, and I pretty much got to try them all.
Chef Rob McCue, who has been honing his art for 25 years, elevates American comfort food by using only the finest ingredients sourced via his close relationships with local artisans. He achieves the unexpected through molecular gastronomy, a style of cooking that you don’t often associate with American comfort cuisine.
And the unexpected delights are not limited to the food here, either. The cocktails are equally as exciting. Cory Goldstein, founder of Muddling Memories, put together an amazing cocktail menu.
We tried a whole bunch, but the standouts for me were the “Emma Stone’s a Ginger” (bourbon, peach, Lapsang Souchong tea, molasses, ginger beer, cookie “snack back”), “Say a Dirty Word” (barrel aged gin, vodka, house dirty brine, white pepper, chili oil, Boursin cheese stuffed olives), and “Paul Bunyan’s Flask” (rye, pine infused maple, Oloroso sherry, Bergamot bitters, apple wood smoke) cocktails. In fact, that’s the order in which I would recommend drinking them, the Emma to start the meal, the Dirty with your main course, and the Flask – which is a treat to see being served – with dessert.
Their PR person contacted me, and we arranged to bring in a crew of savage meat eating wackos to get down on all the tasty shit and post some pics of their joint on Instagram. So here’s what we had:
Oyster Escargot: Yeah – I know. Making you think a little, right? Oysters served with a parsley and pernod crust. Lovely.
Kale Caesar: Ours was more arugula and mixed greens than kale, which I was actually happy about. Kale is a bit woody for my liking. All that said, I didn’t even eat any salad. I had my sights set on tons of other delicious stuff.
Crispy Duck Wings: Crisp on the outside, super tender and fall-off-the-bone on the inside. Really amazing Thai/Viet flavor combo too from the sweet and tangy fish sauce glaze and scallions.
Double Cut Slab Bacon: This delicious shit tasted like spiral ham, but more bacony, if that makes any sense.
Deviled Eggs: That’s a “chicken-fried” oyster on top. The balance of textures here is what really sets this deviled egg apart from all the rest. It was a nice crisp against a velvety smooth egg.
Dungeness Crab Tater Tots: If these were around when I was a kid, I may have never found French fries. They’re like part carb cake, part tot. Really genius.
Shells & Cheese: Really nicely executed adult mac and cheese right here. Smoked bacon and fontina cheese make it decadent, but it’s not too rich to the point where you don’t want to touch your main courses after.
Scotch Egg: Perfection. Just really nicely done. Crispy outside, perfect slightly yolky egg inside. Again, great texture contrast.
Foie Gras Bratwurst: The ultimate mash-up of cheap eats and decadent eats, this is a bratwurst served in a hot dog style potato bun with foie gras, crispy onions and truffle mustard on top. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Delicious.
Schweinshaxe: Good luck trying to pronounce that shit, but I think it kinda sounds like you’re saying “swine shank” with your hand in your mouth, which makes sense considering what this is. Successfully speaking the name of this item is one thing, but I know you’ll succeed wildly at eating it. It’s a pork shank with a crispy-as-fuck skin on the outside and juicy-as-fuck meat on the inside. It’s served with spaetzle and cabbage.
Not a Ramen: This is an American fusion version of ramen. The broth is a beef bone consomme, and it’s served with a soft duck egg, a hunk of tender short rib, marrow and egg noodles. Obscenely good.
Duck Burger: This is actually quite lean, so if you’re trying to be mindful of fat intake, this might be the way to go for you. It still had a robust duck essence without being overly gamey. It’s topped with melted Emmenthaler cheese and shallot confit, and served with house cut fries.
Monk Burger: This was my favorite between the two burgers; a house blend patty topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, shaved red onion and house pickles, served with smoked ketchup and fries.
Fried Chicken Sandwich: I actually didn’t get to try this, but take a look at that amazing batter on the chicken! The chicken itself is breast meat, but it has been pickle-brined. Very inventive!
Bone In Rib Eye: Here we go! This baby was cooked to a perfect medium rare through both the eye and the cap. It also had a pretty decent char-crust on the outside. It was seasoned nicely with flake salt and pepper, and served with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic and seared exotic mushrooms (my guess is Hen of the Woods). 8/10.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon: The bacon in this was thick cut style, and the smokey, sweet, meat flavor really permeated into the sprouts. Nice execution.
Seared Exotic Mushrooms: These also came with the steak, and were absolutely delicious. Earthy and savory.
House Cut Fries: The fries are pretty great! Usually I see thick fries like this and I’m immediately turned off. These were perfectly fried to a beautiful golden crisp, however, and nicely seasoned.
Also worth mentioning here is the homemade Irish Soda Bread that comes to the table at the beginning of the meal. Really good stuff.
You see how much shit I tried here?!?!? Well, I actually want to go back and try even more stuff. As I said, the menu is bonkers. Give this place a try. You won’t be disappointed.
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’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
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
Unfortunately this was a bit overcooked for our liking. Some parts were dry as a result, but the flavor was still nice.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
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.
Since this was a free event, I am giving full points for price here. However, the prices are on par with midtown NYC steakhouses.
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.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
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:
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!
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.
62 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
What NYC steakhouse review site would be complete without the obligatory Peter Luger entry? Luger is synonymous with steak in NYC. Within a minute of discussing steak in NYC, someone party to the conversation is guaranteed to bring the place up. If I am around, you will also get a story about Bill Murray (see the bar section below).
NOTE: This review was first published in 2011 and was updated a few times since then.
I’ve gone to Luger’s three times for steak, and I have to buck the trend here and say that I wasn’t super impressed with the flavor. It was yummy, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve had better.
Perhaps Peter Luger was hyped up so much by everyone as the greatest steakhouse in NY that I was expecting too much? I don’t think so, because my second and third trips were similar. The first two times I ate a variant of the porterhouse cut, and the third time I had both the porterhouse and the rib eye.
All three times the steak was good, but not awesome. You can definitely smell and taste the dry-aged beef flavor on these steaks, but they ultimately lacked seasoning. The rib eye also contained a lot of junk gristle on it, unfortunately.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 6
You may be shocked to see that Peter Luger really only offers two cuts of beef for traditional steak eating: rib eye and porterhouse.
While both are prime grade and aged, there is no filet, and there is no strip; you simply have to get the full porterhouse if you want either of those cuts.
The porterhouse is cut into various sizes and offered as “steak for two,” “steak for three,” and so forth (you can also get a steak for one). It’s typically served pre-sliced, sizzling on a hot plate with butter. Pictured here is a steak for two.
Luger’s does offer regular daily lunch specials that showcase other types of beef products like prime rib, chopped steak, corned beef, and pot roast, however these are not available at dinner and only sometimes at lunch. They also offer lamb chops.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Luger’s doesn’t advertise the sizes of each cut, but they are definitely big enough to fill you up. Plating is standard; nothing fancy. This is a man’s place, so we are good in terms of this section. Lots of the appetizers and sides are large enough to share as well.
Prices are average. I forget what the bill came to, but I think I recall a steak for two being somewhere around the $70 to $80 mark when I first came here years back. Now it’s a bit more, obviously.
I score top points for the Peter Luger bar because, well, my friends and I met the one and only Bill Murray there one evening, hung out with him, and had drinks with him. We were on our way to an obscure party in Williamsburg when we decided to pop in Luger’s for a drink or two beforehand. The bar here is great – a long stretch of ancient but nice wood, stocked with great booze.
It’s a classy bar worked by a classy old ostler who knows every drink in the book, especially the old timey ones.
So we order our drinks and a moment later we see none other than Bill fucking Murray beside us at the bar, just sitting there with his son and a friend. Naturally we bought them a round of beers, after which Bill thanked us, talked with us, and took some photos with us. To this day I kick myself for not asking him to come with us to the party. Knowing the way he is now, hanging out with randoms, we could have been one of the first. Imagine if he said yes and we showed up to a party with Bill FUCKING Murray? Legendary.
Specials and Other Meats: 6
Luger’s is pretty basic. There’s not much by way of specials, so pick something and stick with it. As I said earlier, they do offer a decent lamb chop, but don’t go looking for anything else.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
The creamed spinach here is fantastic. Rich and smooth; it goes perfectly with the steak. It’s of the “creamless” variety.
I also tried the french fries for two, which were crispy and tasty.
We split a burger for our appetizer as well, which is a solid move at a steakhouse. The burger here is amazing, and only available at lunch until 3:45pm. Get it. Especially if you love dry aged beef.
Skip the bacon on your burger, though, because you’ll be getting that on the side as an appetizer anyway, and when you stack the bacon on top, the burger becomes too tall.
Or you can pretend to be healthy and get the wedge salad, which had the same bacon chopped up and plopped on top. We shared this salad among four people.
The sliced tomato and onion is okay. It just always seems pricey for some sliced veg on a plate. I didn’t shoot that.
Desserts are fun here, and large. Here is a slice of key lime pie, with the signature unsweetened “schlag” whipped cream.
A bowl of caramel cone ice cream:
And the chocolate fudge ice cream sundae, meant for sharing:
Seafood Selection: 6
Basically, Peter Luger offers a salmon entree and a fresh fish item which depends on the season. This is not the kind of place to order food items other than red meat. Stick with what’s good and quit being a pussy.
Luger’s has become infamous for crappy service, but the times I have gone the joint exemplified traditional great steakhouse service. Especially our last waiter, Carlos, and another guy who even offered to take a photo of us at the table.
They employ an all-male wait staff, dressed usually in formal back and white with bow ties, often older gentlemen who have been working there for many years. They are very attentive, they know their product inside and out, and they are all about the customer.
My only issue was with the reservation-making process. I got some attitude from a woman on the phone when they asked me to call back to confirm my reservation. Not that big of a deal.
Food comes out quickly because it’s prepared quickly. Screaming hot ovens blast the meat with flames at upwards of 700 degrees, so the meal is ready fast. That’s a good thing.
The bread basket of onion rolls and various other items is massive, and you get it with a gravy dish of their steak sauce.
A traditional steakhouse, Peter Luger sets what can almost be considered the industry standard of steak eating environs. It features old wood floors that creak under foot throughout, dark wainscoting on the lower parts of the walls, and wood tables that have survived the test of time. If you’ve never gone to a steakhouse before, go here first so you get the full effect of what it means to eat at a steakhouse.
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!
My meal was free, so I’m giving full points here. Everything is reasonably priced, however. 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.