Frankie & Johnnie’s (37th St.)

Frankie & Johnnie’s overall score: 83

In a last minute, game time decision to grab some steaks, I took my wife and the super awesome guy who built this website out to dinner as a thank you gesture for all the work put into getting this page into legitimacy. It turned out to be a really fucking good meal.

Flavor: 9

We got the peppercorn crusted ribeye for two that was on special here. It was beautifully cooked to right between medium and medium rare, like we asked. If I had to guess I’d say it was maybe 36-40oz, but it had no waste on it. It came pre-sliced, but not in the shitty style of how most places serve the “porterhouse for two.” You know the drill and how it is at those shit boxes; it comes out on a screeming hot bowl-plate, and the bleed-out liquid pools underneath the carcass. It’s like a culinary horror movie where the star of the film gets killed at the end instead of living happily ever after. Then the meat becomes dry unless you destroy the soft tissue in your mouth and eat it right away, while it is still 17 million degrees. No – Frankie & Johnnie’s respects the meat! They let it rest and cool down, and there was absolutely no run-off under the sliced meat. NONE. It held all its juices, and the deliciousness was locked in tight. It has a great char on the edges, and the peppercorn crusting added interesting flavor, though I thought the peppercorn was not really necessary. Even the blubber was smooth and edible on this fucker – like you could smear it on bread instead of using butter, kinda like roasted bone marrow but less gamey. It was served with a gravy boat of sauce – likely a catching of flavorful drippings and juices from the cooking process, clarified, and reduced just a bit for cohesion. It was fucking drinkable. Bravo to this place.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
The menu online is very different from what they have on site, so I was pleasantly surprised to see more variety than I expected. They had the basics in the following form: filet with a mushroom cap (in two sizes), ground filet mignon (think elevated “chopped steak”), “sirloin steak” (which I assume is a lesser version of a strip cut, but aged nicely), a ribeye, a t-bone (a “lesser” porterhouse, but for one), and porterhouses for two or three. In addition, and on special, they had the ribeye for two that I described above. All the beef is dry aged and prime quality, and on top of the good beef selection they also have a great selection of alternameats (see the other section below). All that was missing was, say, a flank or a skirt cut.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Sizes here are good but not off the charts. As I mentioned the ribeye for two was certainly enough given the fact that there was no waste. It was in the 36-40oz range, and while I have had ribeye for one at 39oz, the quality here surpassed nearly all other large portioned cuts that I’ve had. The filet comes in 8oz flavor, or 12oz flavor. You see the trend? Not too massive, but all good. So you get bang for your buck.
Price: 9
The prices here are actually really great for NYC. Nothing breaks $50 for a singular cut of meat, and most items from the beef side of things come in around mid $40s. The ribeye for two was $90. For a special cold seafood tower, an order of oysters, a bacon app, a special ribeye for two, two sides, a dessert, and four drinks the bill only came to $281 after tax. Not bad at all for a thoroughly enjoyed meal. I only took a point off because they mistakenly charged me for and served me a scotch that cost $4 more than the one I actually ordered.

Bar: 7

Frankie & Johnnie’s is set up a bit odd, but they make good use of the space. When you walk in, you are in a small entry hall with the greeter. There is a stairway up to the main dining room, and a short stairway down into the bar area, which extends backward on the ground floor level. It is dim, but lively. It has one flat screen tv, and across are a bunch of tables for bar dining. The martini was made perfectly, though a bit on the pricey side at $13-$14. Since it isn’t adjacent to the windows, it lacks a certain feel that I’ve come to want at restaurant bars. Contrast with Del Frisco’s bar, which is big, open, and right along the windows. See a picture of the bar and seating area below:

Specials and Other Meats: 8

On special was the ribeye for two, a hot seafood platter app, a cold seafood platter app, and an apple smoked thick cut bacon app. I would have liked to see a marinated flank or skirt to round out the beef selection, but otherwise it was a decent showing, especially considering we ordered three of the four items on special. As for other meats, they offered a great and unique selection; double loin lamb chops, pork chops, veal porterhouse, calves liver, and chicken (for pussies and broads).

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7

We started with a plate of Pine Island oysters and the apple bacon app. The bacon was nice and thick, though one piece I had was a bit stringy since it was the end of the belly. The apples added a nice sweetness and acidity to contrast the fat. The oysters were creamy, crisp, cold, clean, and packed a lot of flavor. My wife had the cold seafood platter. It’s meant to serve two people, but I thought it was a little small for that (and pricey at $54). It had two oysters, two clams, two shrimp, some lump crab meat, and a half lobster (likely a small 1lb jammy). It was all very tasty though, so size was the only issue. The creamed spinach is a staple at any steak meal. Here it was average – yummy but not stellar. It was creamy, but a bit too loose. I’ve had better at Wolfgang’s. The mushrooms and onions were sweet and earthy. They did a good sautee job on them – not too salty, oily or buttery. For dessert we tried the coconut sorbet; it was airy, natural tasting, and creamy, yet did it not feel or taste like dairy. I guess that’s why it’s called sorbet and not ice cream, but it had the consistancy of ice cream.
Seafood Selection: 9

They offer Maine and African lobster, broiled salmon, shrimp scampi, Chilean seabass, and pan seared tuna for seafood entrees (along with a quiffy surf & turf). There’s also lots of the standard stuff on the app side of the menu, like the raw bar, crab cakes and all manner of cocktails.

Service: 9

The waiter was great – he gave us enough space but he was always there when we needed him. He was cheerful and happy, but not in the fake “TGI Friday’s” kind of way. He was genuine. All the servers were dressed with formal attire (vests and ties), and the staff was mixed male and female. The bread assortment consisted of some onion bread, garlic bread, flat bread, and other dinner rolls. The bread was warm but the butter was cold.

Ambiance: 8

Despite a slight lacking in the bar area, Frankie & Johnnie’s main dining room has elegant decor, lofty ceilings, and plenty of space. It is classy but not stuffy. In the rear there is a huge fireplace with lots of dark wood trim surrounds. Very nice. One down side is the lack of a bathroom on the dining floor. You have to go down to the back of the bar area, and that shitter isn’t that nice to begin with. Mediocre at best.

FRANKIE & JOHNIE’S
32 W. 37th St.
New York, NY 10018

2 thoughts on “Frankie & Johnnie’s (37th St.)”

  1. I eat luch there quite often (Try the chopped filet).  It’s a gem.  On the nites I get to eat dinner alone I sit at the bar and enjoy the food and ambiance.

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