Porter House overall score: 90
My wife and I came here after hearing good things abut this place forever. I was looking forward to trying some of famed Chef Michael Lomonaco’s dishes. Check out how the meal went:
Flavor: 7 (increased to 9)
My wife and I had the cowboy cut bone-in rib eye. We ordered it medium rare. It was pretty much cooked properly, if not very slightly undercooked (which I don’t normally mind). The first few bites were great…
…but then we started having some stringy bits, gristle and not-so-flavorful uncooked pieces.
The down side was that there wasn’t much fat cap around the eye either, which meant my favorite parts were missing. We ended up with lots of scraps (maybe 12oz worth) – even when sharing the approximately 24oz piece of steak – which I ended up bringing home for making stock. Bummer.
The prime rib, available on Wednesday and Thursday, is a 9/10. Very juicy and comes with a delicious bone marrow side.
I also got to try the porterhouse (9/10)
The chili-rubbed rib eye (9/10)
And the veal chop (8/10)
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
You have a ton of selections here. Two different rib eyes (bone-in cowboy, and chili rubbed 45-day aged), a filet, a porterhouse for two, and two different strips (bone-in and boneless). Everything is aged and prime, and the filet is black angus. They masterfully hit all four basic cuts. It’s just that the cuts were not executed nicely.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are good. I’d say our steak was about 24oz, the apps were large, as well as the sides.
Prices are high here ($63 for the bone-in rib eye). Normally I’d say that you are getting top quality beef and an amazing view of the park from Columbus Circle, not not all seats have such a nice view, and at $63 my steak should have been fucking perfect. I think it’s fair for the slight up charge based on location, but they need to execute at that price point. The apps all hit their marks, however, and they were reasonably prices along with the drinks. This improved, though, on a second and third visit.
The bar here is pretty decent for being stuck inside a mall. There was a good crowd here, and I can definitely see myself chowing down on a burger and throwing back a few beers. That’d be better than dropping another $63 on a steak, for sure. They have some nice cocktails and a great wine selection as well. I really liked the Peacock Tonic, which had muddle cucumbers, Hendrick’s gin, tonic and rosemary.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
There are lots of alternative cuts of meat here. There’s a roasted chicken, lamb, veal, duck, pork and even a minor cut of beef like skirt (or the steak frites cut that they use for the lunch menu). On special, there was only a soup of the day, which was New England clam chowder. I was hoping for a bit more.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We tried three apps. First up, the hand cut filet mignon tartare. This was really great. The capers popped, it was dressed just right, and seasoned well.
Next was the roasted bone marrow. This was also delicious. It was lightly salted, and oh-so-smooth to spread onto the grilled country bread. Excellent.
They recently made this even better by adding morels to it.
The fois gras and chicken liver pate was interesting, though I thought it needed a sprinkling of salt. This would shave been better served with the raisin and nut bread that they passed around in the beginning of the meal (see below) instead of the toasted bread that it came with, stacked like Jenga blocks.
We also tried the creamed spinach. Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of this at all. It was a little watery, too much cream in the ratio, and also had a very strong nutmeg quality to it that reminded me of all the pumpkin spice bullshit you get shoved down your throat in the pre-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas madness. I almost didn’t want to take it home, but I felt like it’d be such a waste if I didn’t. Maybe if it wasn’t pouring rain outside I would have found a bum to give it to.
We skipped dessert since, after our steak, we were a little underwhelmed.
But on another visit, I think I tried every dessert imaginable, and they were all great:
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s a good variety of seafood in this place. They offer the chilled seafood towers, caviar, scallops, shellfish and crab cakes on the app menu. The three main seafood items on their entree menu looked nice too: lobster, salmon, and swordfish (the steak of the sea, as I call it). Cheers for putting a man’s fish on that menu!
Service: 9 (increased to 10)
No problems to report here, and equally no “stellar marks” moments to report. It was a regular meal that went smoothly, just the right pace, with friendly servers, bus boys and waitresses. On a second visit they treated us to a round of drinks and desserts for no apparent reason at all. Amazing.
Ambiance: 8 (updated to 10 after remodel)
I was hoping for a better atmosphere here, being that the place overlooks Columbus Circle and the corner of Central Park. Unfortunately only some of the seating overlooks that area. The restaurant is nicely lit and decorated, but the white table cloth atmosphere gives it a slightly more formal feel than I was looking for. Nothing wrong with that, but the crowd did seem a little older and stuffier.
I went back in for a burger. This double cheeseburger is only $16 on the bar menu. The burger itself is smothered in delicious, gooey American cheese, and topped with red onion jam and pickled jalapeños. It is damn near perfect, given its placement on a potato bun. Perhaps just a leaf or two of iceberg is all it needs.
The chips were way over-seasoned. My mouth is still sweating from eating them. I think lots of Old Bay or something similar. Heavily salted as well. Skip those unless you plan to suck down several beers to quench your thirst afterward.
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Cir.
New York, NY 10019