Michael Jordan’s overall score: 84
My wife and I grabbed a quick lunch here for NYC restaurant week, summer 2016. The menu was pretty good for three courses at $29. Here were the selections:
Flavor: 7 (now 8)
I went with the strip steak for $10 additional.
It had a nice peppery crust, but was missing something in the flavor department. I’d guess this was likely a prime cut, or at the very least high choice, but definitely not aged. It was cooked nicely to medium rare from end to end, and it was juicy as well.
The corn salsa that came with it was a bit too heavily dressed with red wine vinegar or something. I wasn’t a fan.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
They offer all four main cuts here. They also offer several selections with a bone, and without a bone. It would be good to see some aged selections, but they at least have some large format items. All of the beef is either prime or high choice, as far as I can tell.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are good here. My steak was probably around the 14oz mark, boneless. So this is a good amount of food for the money. Plating is basic, with a touch of elegance. Not too much, though, as the tables are all covered in white paper. It’s not overboard.
We did the restaurant week lunch special, which I thought was a good deal. However, the regular prices here are pretty fair as well. If the cuts served on the standard menu are superior, this might have a better score, as everything is under $50 per person, per cut.
The bar seemed to be split away from the dining area. As this joint is situated in Grand Central, they are constrained by where they can set up and what they can do. But since this spot is across from Cipriani Dolci, it is definitely a nice place to drink.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
Chicken and veal are your only non-beef, non-fish options here, as far as I can tell. Our waiter didn’t read any special cuts for us.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7 (now 8)
We were limited here for what we could try on the restaurant week menu, but here’s a breakdown of what we had:
Caesar Salad: Nothing too amazing, and nothing bad. There was a generous amount of shredded cheese on this, which I liked.
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad: A bit skimpy on the mozzarella, but the balsamic on the tomatoes was excellent. I liked the addition of cucumbers to this salad, and the onions weren’t too potent in their raw form.
Cheesecake: Unfortunately, the strawberry shortcake listed on the menu above was replaced with cheesecake. However, the cheesecake wasn’t bad at all. It was creamy, without being overly sweet. It had a pop of lemon brightness to it as well.
Raspberry Sorbet: This was tasty and tart. I actually enjoyed it better when combined with a sliver of the cheesecake.
Seafood Selection: 7 (now 9)
There’s branzino, lobster, tuna, salmon and swordfish here. That’s a good showing. My wife picked the salmon from the restaurant week menu. She ordered it medium, but it came back more like medium well. It had a nice char-grilled flavor to it, but it was otherwise a bit dry. The flavor was nice, it just needed some moisture.
Service: 8 (now 10)
Our waiter spoke pretty fast and it was tough to hear him at times, but luckily it was formality kind of speak that we were missing out on. Waters were filled up often, and service wasn’t slow or poor in any way. The table breads were nice little miniature loaves that were warm, and went nicely with the flake salt and butter.
Dining while overlooking the hustle and bustle of Grand Central is definitely an amazing experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find a place in NYC with a better view that is so readily accessible to people of all means, whether you’re out for a nice steak meal for a special occasion, or power-lunching with the bankers of midtown.
I had the porterhouse on my second visit. Very nice, and one of their only cuts that is actually dry-aged as opposed to wet-aged (the other is their prime rib). 8/10; this was good enough to move the flavor score up a point from the earlier review.
Good to the last bite.
Service was much better this time around as well. Full points, moving up to a 10/10. And I love the basket of fried onions that comes with every steak.
The apps, sides and desserts score has improved by a point as well (8/10). In that lunch review I was pretty limited. This visit, I had the seafood tower, which is jammed with great quality stuff for $85. A whole lobster, a few king crab legs, six oysters, four shrimp, lump crab meat, and tuna tartare were on this baby. This also ended up bumping the seafood score to a 9/10 as well.
The bacon was okay. I’ve had better, but I thought it was cool that it came out with grilled Romaine, grape tomatoes and dressing. Essentially this is a salad.
Truffle cream spinach? Really flavorful. A bit heavy on the cream but I don’t mind.
Mac and cheese was delicious. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch in an hour.
Desserts were on point too. The chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream was slightly more cake-textured than brownie-textured, but the baked Alaska was awesome with the pecan and chocolate ice cream inside, with pistachios as garnish.
UPDATE 8/10/17 – PRIME RIB
I came back again once I learned that this joint serves roasted, dry-aged prime rib every Wednesday and Thursday. It’s limited quantity, so you really need to get there early and order quickly. I ate at 6pm, and by 7pm they were out.
Although it’s not quite on par with Burger & Barrel or Keens, it is a delicious meal. Bone in versions are thicker, for $52, while boneless versions are a little more slim, at $42.
Clearly I went with the big boy. 7/10.
MICHAEL JORDAN’S “THE STEAK HOUSE” NYC
Grand Central Terminal
23 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017