Charlie Palmer Steak overall score: 89
NOTE: This joint has MOVED locations.
My wife read an article about Charlie Palmer’s new steakhouse opening up at the old Rothman’s location. They were offering a 15% off promotion since it was their soft opening, so we jumped on it. My wife also made mention that we were celebrating a birthday on her OpenTable reservation (this will be important later).
We had two cuts of steak: the bone-on rib eye, and the teres major. I had never heard of that cut before. Apparently it is off the shoulder area, and is tender like a filet. To me, it was somewhere in between a hanger and a filet in flavor. It had a great char on the outside and was cooked perfectly medium rare on the inside.
The rib eye was really nice. Also perfectly cooked, and very juicy with only a little bit of bleed out going on. My only gripe is that I think the rib eye needed some more seasoning. I found myself dipping into the sauces too often for a boost of flavor, but the sauces were very good (see below).
Here’s a shot of the bernaise sauce, though I think I enjoyed the horseradish cream and the Charlie Palmer signature steak sauces a little better:
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
This place has a really big selection of cuts. See below:
I was excited to see stuff that I had never heard of before, so that’s a big win for this joint. Also the presence of high end meats makes for a dynamic dining experience: you can always come back and try something new each visit.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions here are average. I know the trend is “bigger is better,” but that’s not always the case. At least here you know you are getting great quality. The plating is pretty nice too, which you will see in the shots below.
This score is subjective, I know, because we got an incredible 15% off promotion, AND our waiter, Charles, took a few items like sides and desserts off the bill because we were celebrating a birthday. That was pretty awesome. Had we not had those benefits, I may have scored this an 8 or possibly even a 7. Prices are really starting to skyrocket these days. I know rent is high, but it may start to turn diners away when they see a steak for almost $60.
The new modern bar is nice. It’s got a direct line of sight to the street, through large windows that open like shutters, so that’s cool. It is definitely going to be a vibrant lunch and after work spot in midtown, especially since they kept the magnanimous bar tender Mike from the old Rothman’s. He’s somewhat of a famous cat in there.
The drinks were really nice too. My martini was mixed perfectly, and the “Doctor’s Note” was absolutely delicious with the Laphroaig added in there for smoke.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There were no specials read to us at the table, so not sure if this will be something they plan to add once the main opening happens. Otherwise, they do have a nice selection of other meats to choose from aside from beef. As a side note here, they do offer a seven course tasting menu that looks out of this world.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We started with the chicken liver and fois gras pate, which was creamy and rich, yet not heavy at all. The fig jam that it came with was delicious, with healthy chunks of the fruit within:
Next was the yellowtail sashimi served up on a salt rock. Very nice and fresh, with a touch of herbiness:
We shared a shellfish platter for one ($38). It came with two each of crab claws, oysters, clams, and shrimp, with a half a lobster tail and a single lobster claw. Not bad, but I felt the clams were not that great (may have been a larger variety than Little Necks), and the amount of shellfish was a bit lacking for almost $40, though probably fine for one person I suppose.
On the side we had a nice variety of items. First was grilled oyster mushrooms. These were meaty and earthy. Very nice:
Then we had a truffle twice baked potato. This was the star of the show. It was like mashed potato mixed with cheese and truffles and then put back into the baked potato carcass. Really good shit.
Then we tried the Jersey corn. Nothing special here but it was very tasty and fresh, and nicely seasoned.
For desert we had two items: a cheesecake pudding, which was fucking delicious. Lighter than a cheesecake and really silky smooth, with graham cracker crumble on top.
The other was a blueberry and raspberry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. This was heart warming and comforting.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s a great deal of seafood on the menu. We only got to try the shellfish platter, so I can’t really judge this category based on only that item. Next visit.
Charles, our waiter, was amazing. He had some nice suggestions for us, and he was really nice. I was really shocked that he had some items taken off of our bill because we were celebrating a birthday. Total class act! I hope you readers are fortunate enough to have him as your waiter if you decide to go.
A few other mentions here: the table bread was really good. Three different types of bread in a sack. One was a sliced dinner roll, another was a really tasty and crispy-crusted Italian bread, and the last was a potato and onion roll that had actual pieces of potato and onion in the bread.
They’ve made a good improvement on the old Rothman’s decor. Although I tend to prefer traditional over modern, the modern they chose for here is toned down and elegant. Take a look:
There’s even a small private dining area in the back:
And the cutlery is pretty cool looking, and felt really natural in your hands:
SECOND TRIP UPDATE
On a second trip, my wife and I noticed that they changed up the decor a bit (those ball lights were replaced, and the private room got a make over). Still a similar vibe though. Charles is unfortunately no longer working there. Bummer! But hopefully he is on to bigger and better things.
We used a Gilt City deal that got us an app, a porterhouse for two, a side, a glass of wine each, and a signed cookbook. My wife, of course, got that at a heavy discount as well, so I think our entire meal with all the perks cost her like $15 less than the porterhouse itself.
To start, we got this awesome thick slab pork belly/bacon dish that came with a fried quail egg and potato hash, served in a hot skillet. This was probably the best bacon dish I’ve ever tried. Sticky, crispy, meaty, fatty and packed with flavor.
We also tried the Alaskan king crabcake with fried green tomatoes and corn relish. This was really tasty, and it reminded me of a similar dish we had at Minton’s. The tomato added a nice zingy tart punch.
At first bite, I thought the porterhouse was a bit under seasoned, but the dish was served with a bowl of freshly shaved sea salt for you to flavor to taste. Excellent! Check out the beautiful presentation of this steak. I usually hate the “sizzling platter” for a steak, because I worry about the steak continuing to cook while it sits in the skillet. But nothing got messed up here, as you can see from the perfect medium rare cooking temp.
On the side we had the truffle mac & cheese. We were excited about it because the truffle baked potato was so good last time, but this ultimately fell flat. The pasta tasted grainy and watered down. The cheese sauce lacked punch, and the truffle was more aroma than flavor. I would have likely ordered those oyster mushrooms again from above, but they were no longer offered on the menu.
For dessert we shared what was probably the best carrot cake we have ever tasted. It was moist and flavorful without being overly rich. So good.
A nice bonus was being able to meet Chef Ryan Lory, who I have been following on Instagram for a while now. I encourage you to do the same – his food pics are really awesome, and most of his shots are what he is whipping up for the tasting menu in the kitchen at the steakhouse. Check him out below, getting some tourist love:
THIRD TRIP UPDATE 6/25/17
I was recently invited into Charlie Palmer to help influence for their new 50/50 burger, which is a grind that’s half bacon and half beef. It’s available on Fridays for 50% off through Labor Day.
I have to say, I really liked this burger. Honestly, it didn’t look like much coming out, and I was skeptical of the grind for various reasons (can’t cook bacon – even Neuskes, which is what they use – to medium rare and hope for a good texture). But this thing was majorly good.
It had the sear quality of a steak on the patty, and it was cooked nicely to medium rare all the way though. No rubbery bacon content, and you got that smokey sweetness without it being overboard for the sake of “baconness.”
The fries are really something special too. Somewhere in between regular thickness and potato sticks – shoestring, if you will. Beautifully cooked and nicely seasoned.
Martini game is still on point.
And this time I tried a bolognese tagliatelle pasta dish that was really rich and flavorful. Nicely prepared.
As for the steaks, this time I tried a bone-in strip steak.
A solid 8/10 for flavor. Wonderful ashy char on the outside and nice temperature inside.
Asparagus was good.
Really enjoyed the tomato-based steak sauce with the mashed potatoes.
Olive oil cake dessert was a bit dry in parts but still flavorful.
I was bummed out to see that their oyster mushroom side was no longer offered, and neither was the terres major or the rib eye for one. On the bright side, we did get to meet Charlie Palmer himself. Such a nice man, extremely hand-on and talented.
CHARLIE PALMER STEAK
5 E 54th St
New York, NY 10022
Archer Hotel New York
47 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018