Gallaghers overall score: 95
Gallaghers had recently closed down, was repurchased, renovated, and now has reopened, returning a once-considered-to-be NYC staple in the steakhouse world to its former glory. It had fallen on ill times for a while before it closed. I went a few years ago and was disappointed (if you are curious, the old, defunct review is HERE). But now, with a new chef, decor upgrades, etc – it is BACK with a vengeance. I was totally blown away by the improvements they made, so I figured I would write an entirely new entry for the joint. Out with the old, in with the new.
We tried the rib eye and the marrow crusted filet. Both were incredible. I hate to say it, but I think the filet packed more of a punch than the rib eye in terms of flavor; probably because of the smashed, roasted garlic that was spread on top, and the amazing quality of the fat that was introduced back into the meat via the marrow. The rib eye was perfectly cooked, with a great sear on the outside that locked in the juicy pinkness inside. I found it to be just a hair under seasoned though, so decided to hold back on giving full points on flavor. Check out the pics. As you can see, the filet came with a little side of roasted marrow as well, and that was topped with a crunchy bread crumb crust to give it texture. Fantastic.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
Everything here is top notch quality. I mean, fuck, you can see it right in the window as it ages. They offer a porterhouse, two versions of a strip, a rib eye, a prime rib, a chopped steak, and several sizes and varieties of filet.
Portion Size & Plating: 10
Portions are excellent. The filet is basically 10oz or 14oz, which is pretty good for the vagina cut. The rib eye was around 20oz, probably more, if I had to guess. Side items and apps were good sizes too, and not as overpriced as one might expect from a prime theater district location. Plating was impressive; simple yet artful and elegant. Check out the crudo and carpaccio apps below. Gorgeous.
Obviously the cost is a bit inflated because of the location; I don’t even want to know what this place pays out in rent every month. You get a great meal for the money though, so it’s worth the splurge. Here’s the bill – see for yourself:
This is a bar of legendary status. It’s been around since the late 20’s. If you haven’t been there, please do yourself a favor and go immediately. They mix a fine martini, and the bartender Leo is awesome: a true master of mixing. I even tried an old fashioned from the cocktail menu and it was done incredibly.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
They didn’t read any specials to us, but everything is special here. I am really impressed with the turn-around this place made. Bravo. As for other meats, they offer veal, lamb, and chicken. They pulled the pork item they used to serve (no big deal), but they do offer some alternative beef cuts like the chopped steak (glorified burger) and the prime rib (rib eye for women). And I mentioned above the several different types of filet you can order, but I will list them here for you: blue cheese crust, marrow crust, pepper/Makers Mark crust, mushroom garlic butter, sweet chili rubbed, porcini and coffee rubbed, and cajun rubbed.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 10
We tried a few items: the hamachi crudo, the veal carpaccio, and the french onion soup, to start. The hamachi was crisp, clean and really nicely plated. The yuzu jalapeno dressing really punched it up. The veal carpaccio was so light and delicate. It was amazing. I didn’t care much for the beets, but hey, I loved it otherwise. The french onion soup was nicely executed. It wasn’t too heavy or overly salty, yet it still packed great flavor.
Dessert and after dinner drinks came to us on the house, which was just incredible. We had a sampling. We had the key lime pie, which was my favorite of the bunch, the banana cream pie (which came with a brulee’d banana), and the chocolate cake. They look every bit as good as they tasted. And for a guy like me who generally isn’t into sweets as much as others, they were not overly sweet – they were just right.
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s a good amount to choose from all over the menu. I like the nod to the man’s seafood steak: the swordfish, steak of the sea. Well played. We had a great seat near the open concept kitchen as well, so we got to drool over the shellfish display:
Impeccable. What an amazing group of people. Everyone. Hostesses, management, wait staff, kitchen team – all great people. Just to give a tribute, Nick & Caesar felt like family, had really great menu recommendations for us, and were attentive and genuinely nice guys. Nick is truly a work horse. The guy commutes well over an hour to get there, and I was happy to know he’s been serving guests at Gallaghers for 25 years. Awesome. The managers Charlie and James really went above and beyond and gave us way too much shit on the house and made us feel like kings. This place is really something else, and it is precisely because of the amazing staff that runs the joint. I also had the pleasure of meeting the chef Allen (forgive my spelling if it is wrong) as well. He was focused back there, but really happy to know that the guests were enjoying the new Gallaghers. His food was really delicious, and it was awesome that he let me back there to ogle his work station. Right as I snapped this photo of the coal fired brick oven, a massive tray of steaks came out to get fired up. My mouth dropped with joy. Wish I got a shot of that.
Since I have to mention the bread: good crisp bread, nice spreadable butter.
This place is historic. The remodel preserved all that great history but gave it a modern, clean feel. You still know you’re in an old steakhouse, like Keens, but you don’t have that musty, stale, dark atmosphere. The decor is classy, sophisticated, and loaded with history. Check out the open concept in the rear, where we sat. You can see right into the kitchen, and it’s bright and clean in there. State of the art.
But wait a fucking minute… What’s the first thing you see when you walk up to this restaurant off the street? MEAT. GLORIOUS MEAT!!! Just the meat locker window alone makes this place a stand-out joint in a city flooded with steakhouses. Are you fucking kidding me? This room is heaven. HEAVEN!
And what review would be complete without a discussion of “the office” – you know, where the magic happens. Clean, over-sized urinals, because, lets face it, men who dine here have over-sized cocks. Fine marble everywhere, nice tile work. Cloth towels to dry your hands after. Nice.
My wife and I also came in with my parents for restaurant week, January 2016. Well, I ordered a strip from the regular menu, but everyone else ordered off the price fix lunch menu. Here’s my steak – absolute perfection, and very good butchering/trimming – ZERO GRISTLE! This was a 10/10.
I grabbed one of my mom’s eggs… which I suppose I did as a sperm as well, some 38 years ago… but this time instead of burrowing my head into it, I put it on top of my steak:
I also put down some fries with it, and then ate bacon for dessert.
Okay so the main reason for this update is the restaurant week deal. For $25 you get an app/salad, an entree and a dessert. My wife got a wedge salad, lamb chops and cheesecake. Great price!
For $10 more you can get a 10oz filet, which is still a great deal, but they do also offer a sliced filet with peppers and onions for the same $25 price point. I guess it is smaller.
My mom got the split pea and ham soup to start, and prime rib hash browns with poached eggs for her entree:
The table started with this new chilled octopus salad too, served with onions and tomatoes. Very tender, but it still had a great char on the outside.
228 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019