Tag Archives: american cut

American Cut (midtown)

American Cut (midtown) overall score: 89

My wife and I came here for a $29 restaurant week lunch. It happens to be one of the better deals for restaurant week, so we had to give it a try.

Flavor: 5 (updated to 7)
Unfortunately we were not that happy with the skirt steak on the price fix menu. While it was cooked to a perfect medium rare, it had an odd, rubbery texture and was under-seasoned (needed salt). I don’t mean rubbery like chewy. It was definitely tender, but it was an odd sort of tender that reminded me of some of the fake-tasting cuts my wife and I have had in Mexico while on vacation, which kind of grossed us out. Perhaps it was over tenderized? I’m not sure. I honestly don’t know what it is, but we know it when we taste it. On top of that, the chimichurri sauce added almost no flavor to the dish. It just tasted like “green” from the parsley. I didn’t get any salt content or even any garlic flavor from it. I was bummed. I didn’t even really want to finish it or continue eating, both because of the lack of flavor and the odd texture.



I recommend sticking to the standard cuts and regular menu for steak here. If they are anything like the downtown American Cut location, then you’re in VERY good hands.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9 (updated to 10)
I took a point off here because the steak that I did try was sub-par, but I do know that the other cuts here should be okay, in theory. I hope to get back again soon and try a proper cut to get a better sense of both this category and the flavor category.

Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions vary here. For the steak, they are pretty good. All are large sized cuts for a fair price, and even though we didn’t like the skirt, there certainly was a lot of it. I thought the beef tartare was a bit small in terms of the amount of actual beef on the plate, but the salad that came with it, and the marrow as well, make up for that (see below). The tots and shrimp cocktail items we got with the restaurant week menu were a bit skimpy (three medium-sized shrimp and about 15 tots). There’s a strong possibility, however, that these items are cut back a bit in size simply because they are included with a discounted lunch promo like restaurant week. American Cut also runs a regular $28 lunch price fix menu. I’m not sure how that differs from the restaurant week menu that we tried for $29.

Price: 7 (updated to 9)
Our bill came to about $75 after tax and tip for one $29 restaurant week lunch with a glass of wine and an order of beef tartare. Not bad, but not awesome considering we weren’t too happy with the skirt steak. Even though the place is pricey, the best value you get is when you order steaks from the full dinner menu and stick to that. My sense is that this score will increase after a second trip with a better steak-eating experience.


Bar: 8 (updated to 9)
The bar here is great. It’s spacious, nicely art-deco in style, and seems like a really great place to hang out after work. I’m guessing that this isn’t the greatest place to be on weekends, but that doesn’t mean the bar isn’t gorgeous. The only down side is that the space is ground floor level, so no windows or natural light.

Specials and Other Meats: 10
Short rib, lamb, veal, chicken, and wagyu beef selections grace the menu here. I didn’t notice any pork, unfortunately. Perhaps the pig face from Marc Forgione could pop on as a special every so often, or a slab of pork belly served like a steak. That would be something worth adding to the menu. At the very least, I think an Italian style pork chop with cherry peppers and onions would work.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
Shrimp Cocktail: This was a bit small (three medium-sized shrimp), and there was something slightly bitter about the taste of the shrimp. They were nicely cooked, however, and I liked the fact that they were pre-dressed with a horseradish-based cocktail sauce. Presentation was interesting too.


Steak Tartare: This was great. While I think the plate could have had some more actual meat on it, the addition of marrow and a salad beneath was very good, and made up for the smaller portion. The salad was dressed just right, and included celery leaf, which added a great freshness to the dish. The grilled bread was soft inside yet crunchy on the outer edges.



Tots: These were pretty good, and had a good spice level to them, but they were lacking a touch of salt. The inside was soft like a mashed potato, and the outside was perfectly golden crisp.


Cookies To Go: These were tasty, and had a little bit of flake salt on top to make the chocolate flavors pop. They were soft and delicious.


Seafood Selection: 9
Similar to the downtown spot, there’s a lot of nice seafood to choose from here. Sole, halibut, tuna and salmon are on the entree menu, along with surf and turf lobster-based shit as well. And you can always hit the appetizer section for your cold shellfish, or the crabcakes, octopus, etc.

Service: 9
Service here is great, just like downtown. We did feel a bit rushed, however, which was odd because the restaurant had plenty of room for other diners to come in. It’s not like they needed the table to clear out. In any event, the people are friendly, and the table bread, as usual, is the delicious everything biscuit with herb butter.


Ambiance: 9
This place is gorgeous, large and spacious despite being a ground floor level joint. The only negative is that there are no windows, so it can feel a bit cavernous despite being grand and airy inside. The decor is awesome and it is similar in style to the downtown spot, very art deco.


UPDATE: 2/2/18

My wife picked up a flash deal from Blackboard Eats, which scored us 20% off our bill as well as two free cocktails. We started off at the bar for their $10 smoked old fashioned cocktails for happy hour.

Then, when we sat, we got our two free cocktails.

And of course those incredible everything biscuits with veggie and herb butter.

We shared the foie for our app. It was nice and soft. Not too rich, which I like. Just right.

We shared a porterhouse next, and I noticed that they revamped their menu with a lot more interesting and widely varying beef cut selections. Dry-aged, wet-aged, domestic wagyu and Miyazaki wagyu all grace the menu here. I was impressed.

This was their wet-aged for 28-days and then flambéed table side with marrow butter and some other deliciousness prior to slicing. 8/10.

We cleaned it off.

On the side we had their sun choke spinach, which I really loved. This might be my favorite version of creamed spinach.

For dessert we had the banana and Jameson donuts with chocolate chip ice cream. Very nice.

All in, we saved about $75 with the Blackboards Eats deal.


The “Big Mark” and the standard burger here are good, but as far as steakhouse burgers go, you can do better elsewhere for the same price point.

But that famous Pastrami Rib Eye is always good:

And so is the chili lobster.

109 E 56th St
New York, NY 10022

The Great Steak Debate

Last night I attended the Great Steak Debate with my wife.


The event was sponsored by Audi and Inside Hook, and hosted by Marc Forgione at his American Cut steakhouse (Tribeca NYC location). The idea was to try strip steaks from eight different meat purveyors and do a blind taste test to see which we all liked best.

The evening started with a nice cocktail hour, featuring Snow Leopard vodka martinis, Highland Park scotch (neat/rocks, or in a kickass cocktail with Cointreau, Drambuie, OJ and simple syrup), Peroni beer and Carnivor wine.





Steve Bryant, the executive editor from Inside Hook, gave an intro to the event and warmed up the crowd.


Chef Forgione spoke as well, but this pic of him listening to Steve came out a little more clear:


Then the fucking meat came out and I nearly crapped myself with glee. They assigned a letter to each purveyor’s strip, and provided us with a card and stamp with which to cast our votes.







This shot below has E, F, G and H from top down, since the plates got attacked too soon for me to snap photos.

DSC04051 2

A booklet we were all given contained some info about each purveyor, and it even had a few blank pages in the back for tasting notes. As you can see, I had them ranked as follows: H, G, B, E, D, A, C, F. The purveyors we were sampling were Belcampo, Bunn Gourmet, Chicago Steak Company, Crystal River Meats, Debragga, Kansas City Steaks, Main Street Meats, and Omaha Steaks.


The meat was also served with steakhouse classics like creamed spinach (Marc’s stellar “sunchoked spinach” is off the fucking charts amazing) and mashed potatoes.



The big reveal was made, and the judges chose E for first place, C for second, and D for third. That was Belcampo, Debragga, and Kansas City, respectively.

The rest of our votes were tallied from the crowd.


We chose G for first place, E for second, and C for third. That was Chicago Steak Company, Belcampo, and Debragga, respectively.

As for my votes, I chose Main Street Meats in first place, which I was excited about since they are from close to my home town on Long Island. In second place was Chicago Steak Company, and third place was Omaha Steaks. Caught me by surprise! What an amazing sampling of steaks. There was not one that I didn’t like.

The cool thing was that it turns out the purveyors from Main Street were sitting right at our table with us! Everyone at the table was great to chat and eat with.



Oh yeah! I forgot about this little shot of fizzy chocolate milk ice cream at the end of the meal. Very nice touch!


It was a pretty awesome night. At the end, we got to spend some time talking with Chef Forgione about his menu ideas, our favorite steakhouses, and family roots in food, and then we hung out a bit with Steve from Inside Hook at a nearby bar.

American Cut


After having one of the best meals of my life at Marc Forgione, I had to check this place out when I heard the iron chef was opening a steakhouse. Staying true to his innovative spirit, Chef Forgione excited us in every course with his unique dishes and menu items. Everything – from the cocktail menu at the bar, to the apps, entrees and desserts – has his envelope-pushing signature on it. I love that about his food. See below:

Flavor: 10

I had the NYC cut rib eye, which was a 20oz bone-in cut that was seasoned with pastrami spices (mainly mustard seed and rye seed). It was definitely different and unique. I loved it for the first half of the steak, but on the back end I was kinda just craving a regular steak taste. But the meat was cooked perfectly, it was juicy and tender, and it had great char and crust. Bravo for thinking outside the box on this cut. On a second trip I shared the rib eye for two with a friend and my wife. It was perfectly cooked, and absolutely delicious. I also got to taste a bit of the filet mignon from another friend who ordered it. Very juuicy and tender, with great seasoning.

new york cut (pastrami spice)
rib eye for two
rib eye for two


Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10

The quality is all fantastic from what I could tell; all aged for many weeks. They had several different steaks for two to choose from (rib eye, porterhouse), a standalone strip, a standalone rib eye (the one I had), a filet (plus one on special), a hanger steak, and a wagyu rib eye.

Portion Size & Plating: 9

The sizes here are good: 20oz for the rib eye, 14oz for the strip, 10oz for both the hanger and filet, 42oz for the rib eye for two, and 40oz for the porterhouse. Plating was nice – basic, elegant, but not overly fancy. A word of caution: the rib eye for two has a lot of bone on it – tomahawk style. I could probably take it down by myself, but if you load up on apps and sides, you will be okay with sharing it.

Price: 9

The steaks are very fair in price ($44 for the rib eye), but I thought some of the apps were a little too pricey. For example, the chili lobster was $27 and it was, at best, a half of a 1-pound lobster. I’ve had bigger and better lobsters for $3.99/lb from my local grocery store; it WAS really tasty though, and you are paying for the work that goes into the preparation of this dish. Also the bacon – two thick cut slabs is $16. A bit expensive. Both dishes were yummy though (see below). On the plus side, I had $100 from a contest I won on Tabelog for my restaurant reviews, so I used that toward the bill.


Bar: 9

The bar is nice here. It’s set back behind the greeting station, but it’s a good set up, and it attracts a lot of people who are out for the night, regardless of whether they are eating at the restaurant. It’s a fun place. They have a great cocktail menu with some really nice, interesting things. My wife tried a fig margarita and an artichoke sour. Both were good in my opinion, but the artichoke cocktail was a little too bitter in the back end of each sip. They mixed a good martini, but the martini could definitely benefit from some better quality olives. With dessert I tried the homemade sambuca: it was nice and potent, with strong hints of vanilla, ginger and coffee.

artichoke sour
artichoke sour
homemade sambuca
homemade sambuca

Specials & Other Meats: 10

Our waitress offered us three specials: a baby greens salad with squash, a 7oz filet with hunter’s sauce (reduced red wine, bacon, mushroom), and a brussels sprouts with pearl onions side dish. We didn’t try any because we were too enticed by the regular menu items. In the “other meats” department they offer a braised short rib; lamb, veal, and pork porterhouses; a clove chicken; and as I said above some wagyu and alternative cuts like hanger. I guess I’ll mention it here – why he fuck not… the steak sauce was nice and tangy, and would go well with any meat. My steak was heavily spiced with the pastrami stuff, so I didn’t use it, but it might be good on something like chicken. I like the cool old-timey apothecary bottle it was presented in too:

steak sauce
steak sauce

Apps Sides & Dessert: 8

We started with three items: bacon, octopus, and steak tartare. The steak tartare was a bit too tangy and vinegary for our liking. It came with a soft-boiled, pickled quail egg that sat at the bottom of the meat. It was served with toasted bread and homemade sweet pickles. Overall it was just too sour and salty for our taste, but we did eat it all.


The bacon was delicious. Crispy outside, soft and fatty inside, great flavor. Just a bit pricey as I mentioned before. It was topped with a nice sort of onion marmalade:


Here’s a shot of the bone marrow app, which my wife tried on a second visit. Gorgeous and stunning, and really fucking delicious:

20131207_220715_LLS (1)
bone marrow

The octopus was excellent. I’ve had better at a local Italian place on Long Island, but that place is hit or miss and I really liked the array of different flavors that came through with each bite here. Olive oil, shaved celery, roasted red peppers, lemon and garlic. It was great, and super soft:

puss o' the oct
puss o’ the oct

On the side we had the sunchoked spinach. it was a nice take on creamed spinach. I love the flavor of sunchoke so I was excited to try this. They put some fontina cheese on top to give it the extra salt and cream, but I thought maybe half or three-quarters of the amount of cheese would have been plenty.

sunchoked spinach
sunchoked spinach

For dessert we tried the AC car bomb – Guinness ice cream on a bed of chocolate bread pudding and topped with a Jameson caramel. It was delicious, even though we were already stuffed.

AC car bomb
AC car bomb


On the second trip we had the crackerjack sundae – fun, but a bit too sweet:

crackerjack sundae
crackerjack sundae

Seafood Selection: 9

They had a lot to choose from for fish: planked salmon, swordfish, halibut, and a bunch of goodies over on the app side of the menu like shellfish and seafood platters. We tried the chili lobster, which seems to thread its way through both the app and main course sides of the menu. It had a great buttery, spicy flavor in the broth, but the app portion was a bit too small for $27 (as mentioned above, a half of a 1-pound lobster at best).

chili lobster
chili lobster

Service: 10

Everyone was great here. Our waitress Sonja was helpful, informative, friendly, and attentive. So were the bus men and the management. They all dress in nice grey suit vests with ties, and they swoop in like hawks when you finish up with a plate or if you need water or anything. At the start of the meal, they bring over some really nice, warm “everything biscuits” with a vegetable butter. Nice way to start the meat-a-thon. These things are addictive though, so be careful not to spoil your appetite before you even get your apps!

everything biscuits & booze
everything biscuits & booze

At the end of the meal they even had some nice snack sized freebies to munch on while paying the bill (think elevated girls scout cookies):

free cookies
free cookies

Ambiance: 10

The art deco decor was nice and warm for a change. The seating is all top notch, club style arm-chairs, and there’s plenty of room at the tables. The bathrooms are fitted with small circular tiles on the floor, marble all over the rest, with big, raised urinals and tall pedestal sinks. Very nice smell for a shitter too, I must say. The cutlery was nice too – take a look (his new knives even have his signature etched into the blade):

THAT's not a knife... THIS is a knife.
THAT’s not a knife… THIS is a knife.

363 Greenwich St.
New York, NY 10013