Pace’s (Hauppauge)

Pace’s (Hauppauge) overall score: 79

Groupon had a great deal for Pace’s Hauppague location a month or two back: $30 for $60 worth of food and drink. After a good experience at the Port Jefferson location, I figured it was worth a shot. I’ve actually been here once in 1996, but I don’t remember anything about it, other than the fact that I ate a 36oz steak at the time.

Flavor: 7

I ordered the ribeye, which was a nicely sized (about 22oz) bone-in hunk of meat. It was cooked properly, allowed to rest nicely, etc… but it was just a little under seasoned. I needed to add salt and pepper. This places offers “blackened” and other sauced and marinated preparations of the steak, so I am thinking that the simple broiled version might not be their featured dish. The huge home made potato chips that come with your steak (two per plate) are really awesome though. I had a bite of the filet as well, but I wasn’t super impressed by it (6/10).

ribeye and chips

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7

On the beef menu they had a few variations of “New York shell steak” (broiled, marinated and double cut), which they were pawning off as a legit strip steak, porterhouse (for one or two), two sizes of filet, and a bone-in ribeye. I believe the cuts were choice quality, but they did a good job of imparting additional flavor into the meat, and you can always go marinated or blackened if you need an extra boost.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The steaks are good sizes here. The ribeye was 22-24oz, if I had to guess. The filets are 7-8oz for pussies, and 10-12oz for half pussies. If I recall correctly from way back, the porterhouse for one is about 36oz. I’m not sure about the shell steaks, but everything seemed well portioned. The two pound lobster was large and filling as well, and the sides were enough to feed two to four people.

Price: 9

Our total bill came to about $365 for four people (tax and tip and gift certificate deduction included). Check out the bill below for the details, but the steaks were definitely reasonable ($32-$47). I’m so used to NYC prices at prime joints that this looked like a bargain! Sure – you are not getting prime grade here, but it is pretty good for the money, and we ordered a LOT of shit (several drinks, apps, sides, etc).

Bar: 8

The bar here is pretty nice. As a matter of fact the martinis here were some of he best I’ve ever had. Ice cold, briney, and great blue cheese stuffed olives. The downside here is that it doesn’t seem to be a hot spot in terms of location, so it doesn’t strike me as the best place to just hang for a drink. There was also another problem we encountered: the poop cube. My buddy ordered a Jameson on the rocks, but one of the rocks had what looked like a black miniature poop embedded in the ice. Eww. Nasty looking (see below). I had to take some points for that, even though they did replace the slightly watered down drink.

the poop cube

Specials and Other Meats: 8

The waiter read us some specials as if they were not on the menu, but all the beef items he highlighted were not special at all – they were menu items. The only specials were those listed on the chalk board behind us (mostly fish cuts, and a lobster cocktail). They made up for the lack of beef specials with some alternative meat availability: rack of lamb, pork chops, roasted chicken, and duckling. One “special” item worth mentioning that was listed on the menu in a red box was the cherry pepper sauce. Ideally it is made for pork, but it sounded delicious. I was tempted to order it just to try with bread or even by itself, but at $5.50 it seemed too pricey. Last, take a look at the bottom of the bill in my picture. It shows some great weekly specials like half price wine, lobster bakes, and cheap drinks.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

Okay – lots to talk about here. The lobster cocktail was a half of a 1.5lb lobster, chilled. My buddy got it and said it was good. I had smoked salmon, which was delicious and accompanied by capers, diced red onions, and a nice mustard mayo sauce for dipping (and slathering). The oysters were crisp cold and fresh, as were the littleneck clams. The creamed spinach was soft and creamy, not heavy, and very flavorful. The mashed potatoes were just okay. It was nice to see chicken liver pate on the app menu. In hindsight maybe we should have ordered that as a side instead of the mashed potatoes. For dessert we had a trio of sorbets (coconut, lemon and raspberry), which was good, and a slice of cheesecake, which was bad. It was too eggy – like a quiche or something.

Seafood Selection: 8

As I mentioned there were a few fish cuts on special here that filled the bill for the seafood availability. Otherwise it was the standard lobster, lobster tails, and shellfish apps. My wife had the stuffed broiled lobster. It was a lot to eat!

Service: 8

The service here was good. I had heard bad things from a friend about the service and the food, but our only really bad experiences here were the poop cube in the drink (which was replaced), and the bad cheesecake. We thought we had a clump of hair in the petite filet as well, but it turned out to be a bristle from the lobster fuzz that got flaked off onto the filet plate. My buddy ordered a Macallan 18 but they were out. He decided on an Ardbeg instead and was happy with it anyway. I took one point for the poop cube and lack of Macallan, and one point for the dry, cruddy raisin bread. On the other hand, we DID ask for seconds of the bread since part of it was a home made, warm, delicious soft pizza dough type of bread that went perfectly with the olive oil, Parmesan cheese and spice mixture that came with it. The butter was semi soft/semi cold, and the corn bread was just okay.

Ambiance: 8

The rug should be ripped out and replaced with hard wood, but otherwise this place is on the elegant side of steakhouse decor. The bathroom is nice and clean, with mouthwash and cups available to rinse out. I thought the mouthwash pump was soap at first and blasted my hands with mouthwash three times after pissing, wondering “why the fuck is this soap so thin and watery?”

325 Nesconset Hwy.
Hauppauge, NY 11788