Tag Archives: beef

Amber Steakhouse

Amber Steakhouse overall score: 83

I had heard good things about this place from a few different people recently, so I had to go give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised! First, watch my Ride & Review on YouTube below. Then read on!

Flavor: 8

We had the bone-in dry-aged rib eye, and the dry-aged t-bone. Both had a really nice char on the outside from the broiler, and both were just slightly over medium-rare. They were both really juicy, though, so that made up for any slight overcooking. Both were on the mild side for dry-aged flavor, but they both packed a punch for beefy, satiating flavor in general. I give the rib eye a 9/10, and the t-bone a 7/10, bringing the overall score to an 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

Everything here is Certified Angus Beef brand (typically prime) and dry-aged. They cover all of the major cuts in various sizes, with shared steaks coming to the table in “sizzling plate” format.

Portion Size & Plating: 10

The portions are great here. Our sides were quite large, and the appetizers were big too. The plating is standard clean white elegance, cast iron skillets, etc.

Price: 8

Some stuff here is really well priced, like the cocktails, whiskey pours, apps, sides, desserts… especially when figuring in the price. But the steaks themselves are at midtown prices despite the “mom and pop” nature of the place and the neighborhood.

Bar: 5

Sadly, I had to dock some points here because there is actually no place to sit at the bar. It is a service-only bar with no stools. Our table was beside it, though, so we got a good look at their bottle selections. They have a really awesome spirits list, and they made some great cocktails, so don’t let the score here deceive you.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they offer lamb, chicken, duck and numerous other interesting proteins that I’d like to come back and try. Next visit, we are definitely getting the bacon (had to be 1.5″ thick for $18 – like a steak in itself), the roasted duck legs (plural, for $39), and the lamb chops (looked like four per plate).

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9

We started with the escargots, which were served in a really nice creamy mushroom broth/gravy, and had to have at least a dozen snails in the order. A great deal.

The steak tartare was a little bit too finely minced or ground, but the flavor was great, as was the portion size.

The roasted potatoes with peppers and onions were also a massive portion size, but the only negative here was that the dill was a little bit overpowering. It did smell nice though.

The sautéed spinach and mushrooms side was soupier than I expected, but really nicely flavored. This was just the right side for the steaks in my opinion.

For dessert, we had a scoop of espresso ice cream (very nice and creamy), the chocolate mousse cake (perfect thickness, richness and you could tell it was homemade instead of pre-purchase from a box like many midtown steak joints give), a glass of Hakushu 12yr ($30) and a double espresso. The double espresso was the only bad item of the entire meal. it tasted like burnt bean water.

Seafood Selection: 7

This was a rare occasion in which we tried absolutely no seafood. I saw the shellfish coming out though, and it all looked nice. Next time we will definitely delve into their raw bar selections and broader seafood entree menu.

Service: 10

Service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and super helpful/attentive without being pushy, annoying or intrusive.

Their table bread is similar to Luger’s style – a stuffed onion roll.

Ambiance: 8

For a small neighborhood mom and pop joint, they really did a great job with making the place feel like an old-timey, age-old steakhouse that’s been there forever. It’s been there since 2010, and in that time it has established itself as a staple for the neighborhood drawing in weekly regulars as well as exploratory outsiders like us.

I will definitely be back for more!

AMBER STEAKHOUSE
119 Nassau Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Oak Steakhouse

Oak Steakhouse overall score: 83

My wife and I visited Charleston for the new year, and I was determined to try another steakhouse in the wonderful city. This time I hit Oak. Read below!

Flavor: 8

We had the dry aged rib eye as well as the filet mignon steak frites. Both were juicy, well seasoned and flavorful, but the age didn’t really come through too strongly on the rib eye. That said, both were cooked to medium rare perfection. 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8

There’s a good selection of cuts here, and most claiming to be dry-aged for around 60 days. The selections are prime Certified Angus Beef brand, so they are generally going to be high quality.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

Portion sizes are good here, with most individual steak entrees ranging from 14-22oz. The plating is standard, minimalist elegance; common for steakhouses.

Price: 7

The prices here are a bit high for a non-NYC steakhouse. Charleston is an expensive city too, but I felt like $115 for my steak was a bit hefty.

Bar: 9

The bar here is very nice. I was almost hoping we would have to wait for our table when we checked in, because I kinda wanted to sit there with a martini for a few minutes.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

There was a special 30oz dry aged porterhouse offered, which wasn’t on the menu. As for other meats, I did see some lamb, chicken and pork. A nice spread!

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We started with three appetizers: a pair of oysters Rockefeller, a pork belly dish, and beef carpaccio. All were good, but I feel like the carpaccio could have been larger.

We took down some crispy fried Brussels sprouts with bacon as a side. These were great.

The sticky toffee pudding a la mode was a nice dessert option.

Seafood Selection: 8

There was a curry red fish on the menu for the night, which sounded delicious, but I had my mind on other things. If the oysters were any indication of how the seafood is prepared here, I’m sure it would be good.

Service: 10

Service was great here. They even took note that it was my wife’s birthday, and they were kind enough to comp the dessert. They even included a little happy birthday chocolate and a candle.

Ambiance: 9

This joint is inside an old downtown townhouse, so it is really nice inside. The only downer is the middle floor which, if seated there, I imagine it can get both hot and annoying due to the proximity of bathrooms.

OAK STEAKHOUSE
17 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401

La Marchande

La Marchande overall score: 80

My wife took me here for a nice dinner last week. I’m calling this a French steakhouse. Not sure if that’s correct, but I feel like it fits into my review categories nicely.

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

 

Flavor: 7

Sadly, the boneless domestic wagyu rib eye was WAY over salted. I hunkered through half of it, but I could not finish and had to give up. It was a beauty though, with a great crust. 5/10.

My wife had the bacon wrapped venison loin, which was much better, despite the little snaggle of connective tissue in the middle.

Nicely cooked. Irony without game flavor. Lean and clean. 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7

There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long, but they don’t have enough dry aged selections. I would also like to see more traditional Angus on the menu, as opposed to all the fancy wagyu cross breed shit.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

My steak was like $105 for a pound, which is about right for the domestic wagyu varieties. Portions here are good for everything else, and plating is definitely understated but elegant.

Price: 8

The prices here are average to slightly above, which makes sense for the location near lots of FiDi businesses.

Bar: 8

The bar here is small but nicely appointed as you walk in. No sidewalk people watching views, but its snug and cozy. They made some nice drinks too, both standard cocktails and their signatures.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

I mentioned there was venison, which is rare and nice to see. They also offered a Peri Peri chicken dish, which I’d love to try. It feeds two and is only $68.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7

We started with the beef tartare summer roll with lemongrass sauce. This was really nice, but they just need to wrap it a bit tighter. This was probably the best dish of the night, with a close second to a side that I’ll discuss below.

Skip the marrow. The table-side service is unnecessary (at least it wasn’t theatrics), and it was mainly just a fancy bread service or sandwich. Probably better off getting a burger and fries for a few dollars less.

The mushrooms were ever more over-salted than the steak We actually had to send them back, which is wild because we NEVER do that.

They replaced it with this bean cassoulet thing, which was actually quite good and was a close second for my favorite dish of the night.

The miso creamed spinach was nice. As you can tell, there’s a distinct theme for trying to bring Asian fusion into the menu.

For dessert, they forgot to bring out our Vietnamese style egg coffee, but the basque style cheesecake was nice enough.

Seafood Selection: 8

We didn’t take on any seafood, but they did have some nice looking shellfish and tower selections, as is common with steakhouses. The king crab cake was a whopping $45. I wonder if that is any good. Too rich for my blood!

Service: 10

Service was really good here. They brought out some complimentary bubbles at the beginning and end of our meal, since my wife told them it was our anniversary on the reservation. They also comped the drinks, desserts and the bogus side for us, which they replaced gratis as well. This was a really great gesture, and they genuinely tried to make the evening nice despite the mishaps. They did forget our coffee, though. I was done complaining for the night, so we just let it slide. A for effort, I guess.

Ambiance: 9

Gorgeous dining space, with big private booths that you can curtain off if you’d like. I really dig the space. Very elegant but casual. A nice balance.

LA MARCHANDE
88 Wall St.
New York NY, 10005

Prime 112

Prime 112 overall score: 78

My wife and I had one night to squeeze in a steak meal when we were in Miami. Since most steakhouses in South Beach seem to be chains, we went with Prime 112 based on a totality of recs we got from friends. The other contender was Papi Steak (next time).

Flavor: 9

We had the t-bone and the veal rib chop. Both were nice, and aged flavor came through. Both solid 8/10 in my opinion. I was impressed for Florida steak!

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long,. In fact the menu is pretty gigantic. There’s both a T-bone and a porterhouse, a rib eye for two and for one, bone-in and boneless strips. Plenty of dry aged selections as well.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The portions are on the large side here. Sometimes I forget how small portions can be in NYC, even at steakhouses. Plating was on par with minimalist upscale modern steak joints.

Price: 7

Steaks for one here will range between $80 and $140, which is mighty high. They’re really raking the tourists over the coals here, but at least the food is good.

Bar: 6

The bar here is small. I was expecting a bigger, nicer/better bar for a hot spot like a Miami beach steakhouse.

Martini was nice, however.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

There are plenty of non-beef options to explore here, and as I mentioned earlier, the menu is massive. We tried the veal and we were impressed, so I think 8/10 is fair here for not having tried any other items.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6

We started with the foie gras and broiled Louisiana style oysters. The oysters were the better of the two, and they were great. After the apps, things went slightly downhill, and then they fell off a cliff.

I wish I knew the veal came as a composed dish with a side (spinach, cheese and breadcrumb stuffed tomato). I would have skipped the gummy creamed spinach and maybe even the scalloped potatoes.

Dessert would have been great if a couple of the mini donuts weren’t raw inside.

Inedible.

Seafood Selection: 8

Based on the quality of the broiled oysters, I think it’s safe to get all manner of seafood here and it will be good.

Service: 10

Our waiter was great, friendly and knowledgeable, so I have to give a full 10 here. A few things to note, though, was that there was a musty/moldy smell to the warm/moist towels they brought out for us between courses. Don’t use

The table bread was a nice assortment of cheese biscuit, nut roll and pumpernickel onion. Really liked this.

Ambiance: 7

This joint had a smell throughout that was wet/musty. It did just rain when we went there, and it is Miami/south Florida, so maybe this is common. But it was sort of like the entire place smelled like the moldy hand towel! Strange.

PRIME 112
112 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Press Club Grill

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I had been eyeballing Press Club Grill for a while because they have some nice looking large format items, so when @Jennerous_Eats suggested that we go as a foursome on her press invite, I was psyched to do so.

We tried a LOT of stuff, so let me get to it.

First, sourdough bread with fancy piped butter. The butter was a little on the cold side (not as spreadable as you would think for the shape), but I imagine they need to keep that cold so it doesn’t lose its structure or melt.

Next up, steak tartare. This was great! It reminded me of the new version they serve at The Lambs Club, but with a shrimp chip instead of toasted bread of potato chips.

The generous folks at Press Club Grill brought us out a trio of additional starters with the summer salad, the crab rangoon, and the buffalo carrots.

I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the buffalo carrots. They really ate like eat in texture. Also, the crab rangoon was light on that “cream cheese” flavor, so we all enjoyed that as well. Even the salad was bright, fresh and flavorful. Hits all around.

We also tried this mushroom ravioli pasta, which was very nicely executed. The broth was really flavorful and could have doubled as a consomme.

Alright, now on to the big stuff. First, the chicken schnitzel.

This was nice and juicy, but the breading didn’t cling very well to the meat. No matter though, I still enjoyed. It came with a little bowl of spaetzl and a beautifully smooth cream sauce on the side.

The beef Wellington was a sight to behold.

Once sliced, you could really see how perfectly executed it was.

Everything from the bright medium rare pink center to the crispy outer edge of the pastry dough was spot on… Enhance…

ENHANCE!

I would definitely recommend this. The only thing I will say is that it was a bit too heavily salted. I’m not sure if it was the duxelles or something in those outer layers, or maybe too much finishing salt, but I still give it 8/10. Stunning.

Next (oh yeah, we still had more…), was the duck three ways, but they call it Duck a L’Orange for two.

The first of the three ways was a perfectly seared pair of crispy crusty skinned duck breasts a l’orange style.

This was our favorite dish of the night. Big winner. The skin was so crisp and rendered out with textbook level skill, and there was a minimal amount of that nasty bittersweet boozy orange flavor you often get with that style. In fact it ate more Szechaun to me than French. Wonderful.

The second way for the duck was a bowl of wontons. I wished there were more!

The third way was this garlicky duck fried rice. It was lacking in crisp texture on the rice, but still tasty.

For dessert, we tried nearly everything except the baked Alaska (next time). The crowd favorite seemed to be the bananas Foster creme brulee.

My photos here don’t do the beauty justice, so make sure you watch the Ride & Review above.

I wasn’t a huge fan of either the cherries jubilee or the popsicle, though both really were nicely presented.

I think next time I want to try the porterhouse and the baked Alaska for sure. I’m also wondering if this joint needs to be placed into the “steakhouse” category. I’m just not sure. I didn’t do it for The Grill or Monterey, which are similar concepts, so I guess I’ll hold the line and say that this isn’t a steakhouse.

PRESS CLUB GRILL
1262 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

Mischa

First off, check out my YouTube Ride & Review video HERE.

This joint popped onto my radar via Instagram, and I saw a couple of dishes that I really wanted to try when I browsed their menu online, Namely, the mortadella and foie gras terrine, and the dry aged prime rib. There were some pasta items on the menu that looked good too, so I rounded up another couple to give this place a thorough try across the entire menu.

This joint serves eastern European flavors and derives inspiration for dishes from India, the Baltic region, Russia, Scandinavia and more.

The cocktails I tried were split down the middle: One was great, the other was too sweet. If you like margaritas, get this horseradish and cucumber version with smoked salt. Amazing.

Skip on the old fashioned – it’s way too sweet.

We decided to start with the foie gras and mortadella terrine. All of us were excited. It was good, but I think we all agreed that we like both items separate rather than together. Good flavor, thoughtful presentation, etc. It’s just that 2+2=4 in this case, not 5. Math.

Next up was the mushroom patty melt. The bartender recommended this, and it turned out to be our top two or three item of the night. I never would have ordered it otherwise. It was both beautiful and tasty.

It comes with two “long tots” which eat like a cross between tots, fish sticks and knish. Enjoyable.

For the middle course, we tried two items under the pasta menu: spaetzle and kasha varnishkes. The kasha varnishkes were bowtie pasta shaped noodles, cooked al dente, and served with a mix of caramelized onion, couscous and herbs. It was good but a bit heavy on the onion. My buddy said there wasn’t enough butter. The spaetzle was the better of the two. In fact, that was my favorite item of the night.

For the mains, we ordered the braised pork belly, the dry aged prime rib, and a side of saag (Indian style stewed spinach).

The pork belly was good. It had a nice flavor despite some of the leaner portions being slightly dry. Nice touch with the charred lemon.

The prime rib was dry and mealy/grainy in texture. I’m not sure what happened here, because even though it was overcooked there should have been a lot of juiciness left. The dry aged flavor was nice though, at least, but the jus should have been left in a gravy boat on the side rather than poured over the entire plate without asking. The jus was over-reduced and a bit bitter, sadly. Also, at $120 for 20oz it’s way steep, even with the boiled potatoes as a “composed dish” rather than “a la carte” like a steakhouse. 6/10.

Here’s a shot of the saag. I always love this stuff. It’s my go to order at Indian restaurants.

Dessert was a beautiful and warm sticky bun with apple and a touch of flake salt and spices like cardamom. This was a hit.

Over all this place served up a good meal, but not great. I was disappointed by the prime rib and probably wouldn’t go back.

MISCHA
157 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022

Benny John’s Bar & Grill

Benny John’s Bar & Grill overall score: 83

My wife and I came here as guests of the restaurant. They just opened last week, and they’re the same ownership team behind Atto Prime and Tudor City Steakhouse. Check out my Ride & Review video first, then read on.

Flavor: 9

We had the porterhouse for two. It was pretty great. Excellent crust, perfectly overcooked, and it was very tender. It was a bit mild on the dry aged flavor, and that’s why I took a point.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

There’s a good selection of prime cuts here all day long, and everything is aged in-house.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The plating here is 100% standard steakhouse style, and the portions are all big enough to share when it comes to sides, and most apps and desserts.

Price: 8

Prices have gone up significantly lately in the city, especially for beef. But this place is keeping it pretty friendly compared to others I’ve seen in the area that have really jacked up their prices. A steak for two is still under $120, and most single cuts are under $60.

Bar: 7

The bar here is beautiful, but they only serve wine and wine style cocktails, as they are still waiting for their liquor license.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they did have lamb, chicken, and this absolutely delicious, tender and mild “Serious NY Veal Chop”  on the menu. We loved it – 9/10.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

Excellent oysters Rockefeller, creamed spinach and truffle creamed corn. I highly recommend all of these.

For the desserts, I say stick with the creme brulee. The others were good, but not up to par with that one. The cheesecake was a close second, but it ate a slight bit salty. Great creamy texture though.

Seafood Selection: 8

Based on what I had (the oysters) this place is legit for seafood. I’d have to go back and try more to really level this section up though.

Service: 10

Service is impeccable here. Nobody does it quite like these lifelong steakhouse and restaurant industry professionals. Great focaccia and toasty table bread too.

Ambiance: 7

They definitely made the best of this narrow space, which, I think, used to be a sort of mini-market, perhaps Japanese. It looked familiar to my wife and I when we were there. Great job on the renovation, and I think the outdoor seating area is going to be awesome.

I can’t wait to go back and try more steaks!

BENNY JOHN’S BAR & GRILL
8 E 48th St
New York, NY 10017

Steak Frites Bistro

Steak Frites Bistro overall score: 86

The PR company that helps promote this restaurant invited me in for a free meal in exchange for some social media posts. I brought a couple of other friends from the Instagram food world and we gave it a shot.

Flavor: 9

We had three steaks here. First was the tremendous cote de boeuf, which was roughly 28oz on the bone, meant to be shared among two diners.

This comes out sliced with a hotel herb butter on top. Great presentation.

While this wasn’t dry aged and left a little bit to be desired in terms of texture, it was quite tasty, juicy and nicely cooked. 8/10.

Next up was the dry-aged strip steak.

What this lacked in crust and thickness, it made up for in flavor. The age definitely came through. 8/10.

A delicious crust on this chateaubriand filet mignon for two at 20oz for under $100. 9/10.

Finally, we tried the hanger steak.

This was the winner of the three, especially when eaten with the peppercorn cream sauce. It had a great hard crusty sear on the outside, it was cooked to a perfect medium rare on the inside, and it was properly sliced against the bias. 9/10.

I should also discuss the “Burger Francaise” here, which was a stellar dry aged patty cooked to a nice juicy rare, topped with gruyere, stone ground mustard, crispy fried shallots and gherkins, on a freshly made brioche bun. GO GET THIS!!! It’s a 10, and it was probably the best item of the night.

Their French Dip sandwich, offered at lunch, is killer. While a bit pricey at $34, you will definitely leave there very satisfied.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8

There’s a lot to choose from here, including some large format items meant for sharing like the chateaubriand. All the meats come from the great folks over at Pino’s Prime Meat Market.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

This place came through with good sized portions. The hanger, for a lighter appetite, is 9oz. The strip is 16oz on the bone, but it felt more like 12 or 14. The larger format steaks for two are just under the 30oz mark. Slightly light, but maybe fine for many diners. The presentation is nice, French and simple.

Price: 9

The pricing here is very fair. $35 for the hanger, $65 for the strip and $88 for the rib eye that’s meant for two people. I like that.

Bar: 8

The bar here is nice, and it was crowded while we were there, even on a nasty weather night. It can get a little cramped since there are high tops close to the back of the bar seats, as well as a row of tables behind the high tops, making for some narrow passing. Otherwise, nice cocktails and great beer and wine selections.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they do offer a rotisserie chicken that I’d like to try next time I go. At the bar, they’re offering 12 duck confit sandwiches per night (until it graces the lunch menu permanently. This was an easy 10/10. Absolutely insane! It’s cooked in duck fat at 165F for 24hrs.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We started with steak tartare, escargots, foie gras terrine and duck pate. All of these were great, but to me what stood out the most was the escargots. They were different than what’s typically presented at other French bistros. I liked that they came in a bowl/tray and had chunks of French bread already soaked in the delicious puddle of herb butter/sauce in there. The fries are also outstanding here, and they pretty much come with every meat item.

The green beans were good (not pictured), but we mainly ordered them just to have some green shit on the table.

On a second trip I tried the frisee lardon salad, which was stellar!

The Paris Brest is nice as well, with hazelnut.

The brest was swapped out recently for the eclair. Similar flavors.

The chocolate mousse was very nice too.

Also really loved this almondy, grapey, blueberryey baked thing called a claufutis.

Seafood Selection: 8

I didn’t try any seafood here, so can’t really rate it. But I think they would do a great job on the mussels given how well they prepared the escargots. I always felt they were similar, in many ways

UPDATE – I tried these large, plump and juicy mussels. They were really nice! Ask for extra baguette to dip.

Oysters also delicious.

Service: 10

Impeccable service here, and the bread game is on point! Just ask for extra butter.

Ambiance: 9

The location of this place may seem odd to some, but I always thought the area had a unique flare to it. Inside, they did a great job with the decidedly “French bistro” space they have, minus one point for the narrow passing areas that I noted in the bar section. I’ll definitely be back!

Side note: Brunch is pretty great here on weekends. Quiche Lorraine, Moroccan Baked Eggs, and Croque Madame – all top notch.

STEAK FRITES BISTRO
496 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Cafe China

This place was really good! I forgot my light, and I didn’t take a lot of pics, but this Michelin starred Chinese joint really delivered the flavor! My favorite was the crispy fish filets (last pic), but over all everything was high quality. I would definitely go back for more.

CAFE CHINA
59 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

Il Monello

Il Monello is a newly opened Italian joint by some of the same folks behind Tuscany Steakhouse and Il Tinello. My wife and I came here with two other couples, so we got to try a lot of the menu! Take a look:

Beautiful little bar in the entryway. I enjoyed their negroni.

Starters: fried calamari, carpaccio, “cozze” mussels, bianco salad, and Il Monello salad.

Pasta Dishes: Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage, bucatini cacio e pepe, and lobster ravioli.

Entrees: porterhouse for two (9/10), potato crusted sea bass, and Il Monello Chicken (the crowd favorite).

Mixed dessert platter:

Everything we had was delicious. For their third day being open, there was not one hang-up with the food or the service. These guys are professionals! They know a thing or two about opening and running a restaurant. This one was a few years in the making too, since COVID and then licensing and inspection processes caused them some delays. I can’t wait to go back and try more, especially the eggplant parm, the veal milanese, and any of their daily/weekly specials.

IL MONELLO
337 E 49th St
New York, NY 10017