Guest Review by “Hungry Dad” Hugh Gallon
Before I give this guest review, I need to take the piss out of myself and level-set the reader. I am not qualified to properly review a steak – at least not when compared to Johnny Prime himself. I’m still learning. But, I happen to have a keyboard and opinions (like every asshole on the internet), and I happen to live near some steakhouses Johnny has yet to review. As a steak-novice, my goal is to either: (a) provide enough information so people can decide whether they want to try BLT Steak for themselves, or (b) express such ignorance that both vegetarians and carnivores can finally agree on something – that I am a complete idiot.
I ordered BLT Steak’s 28-Day Dry Aged 20oz Prime Bone-In NY Strip. The top and edges of the steak were soft with little char. I like char. A pat of herb butter sat on top mostly un-melted.
Tasting little/no seasoning, I salted my meat and enjoyed one smallish fatty, crusty edge far more than the medium-rare center. Perhaps my palate does not fully appreciate aged beef?
For context, my favorite steak place was, and still is, Peter Luger (77), which I enjoy more than Old Homestead (81) and Ruth’s Chris (87). So right off the bat, I acknowledge my questionable credibility. Johnny and other reliable critics have often exclaimed that Peter Luger is good, not great. But as Woody Allen said, in a much creepier context, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
Maybe I should have gotten the porterhouse, since Peter Luger’s porterhouse is my personal yardstick for steaks (“yardsteak?”). But BLT’s $98 porterhouse was not labeled as “for two” like it is at Luger’s. And as Johnny’s “Meat 102” taught me, the NY Strip is basically half of a porterhouse, so the comparison should be at least reasonable.
Here are BLT Steak’s offerings:
Prime Hanger Steak 10oz / 32
Filet Mignon 8oz / 42 12oz / 51
28-Day Dry Aged NY Strip 16oz / 52
28-Day Dry Aged Prime Bone-In NY Strip 20oz / 57
28-Day Dry Aged Prime Porterhouse 98
Bone In Rib Eye 20oz / 54
American Wagyu Ribeye 12 oz / 94
American Wagyu Top Cap 10 oz / 84
In retrospect, I should’ve gotten the rib eye, which I assume would have been fattier, juicier, and more to my liking. Next time I’ll refresh my education before I go out by re-reading Johnny’s “Meat 102.”
Portion Size & Plating: 7
My beloved Peter Luger steak is delivered sizzling, dripping with juices and butter. BLT’s was not. The BLT steak was served in a mini iron skillet which was kind of cool. They did give me a heated dinner plate, empty to receive my steak and sides in portions and positions as I saw fit. I liked that. Portions were certainly reasonable. I ate up all of my sides and brought some steak home (I enjoy cold leftover steak the next day – or as a midnight snack).
The prices were fair for a high-end steak place. I was a little disappointed that the prices were on par with Manhattan prices. If there is any benefit to dining outside of NYC, its a little price break. I thought perhaps the proprietors would pay less in rent than a Manhattan joint and therefore pass the savings on to me.
I got adventurous with a house cocktail called, “Smoking Gun” (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters). It was strong and tasty with a particularly nice aromatic of orange peel. Nice to sip slowly. One glass lasted most of my meal.
I didn’t hang out at the bar. But walking by it gave a clear “hotel bar” vibe on account of the annexed Ritz Carlton. To be fair, we were dining on a 6PM reservation, hardly the hottest time for any scene.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
BLT’s non-steak offerings included Braised Short Ribs, Rack of Lamb (2 double cut), Herb-Parmesan Crusted Veal Chop, and a Lemon-Rosemary Chicken. If I go back, I’ll probably try one of these before I return to the steak. Somebody at a neighboring table ordered the veal chop. At the risk of being caught, I checked out this strange man’s meat and it looked impressive.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
While I am a self-proclaimed novice at steaks, I can confidently speak about sides and desserts. Here’s what we had:
Popovers – BLT is known for its gruyere popovers for good reason. They are huge, airy, tasty and served as the dinner bread before every meal.
Fries – Crispy batter-style fries in a nice large portion. I can be easily disappointed in French fries, but these were top-notch.
Creamed spinach – Creamed spinach is a mandatory side anytime I am eating steak. BLT’s spinach was a great compliment to my meal and appropriately garlicky.
Espresso brownie bites – Like the popovers, the espresso brownie bites were complimentary. They were sweet, chewy, and a great ending to the meal – especially since I almost never order dessert. I personally find a large cup of frozen yogurt from down the street to be more enjoyable than restaurant desserts – at least for the price and portion.
Seafood Selection: 8
BLT offered sautéed Dover Sole, Sautéed Branzino, Grilled Spicy Miso Tuna , and Grilled Lobster. My wife had a “Lobster Cobb Salad,” and enjoyed it alongside some of my French fries and stolen sips of my soda. She said the salad was good. I tried to get her to tell me more, but she had no other words. I might buy her a thesaurus for Christmas.
I found the service to be just fine – appropriately polite and professional. My wife left annoyed for two service-related reasons. First, when we made the reservation, they asked if we were celebrating anything. We noted that we were, in fact, celebrating my birthday. Usually when we are asked this by a restaurant a little piece of cake, a drink, or an appetizer is provided compliments of the house. BLT didn’t do anything special. Then, as they wrapped up my leftover steak to go, they offered one of their popovers to go with it. I thanked them and enthusiastically accepted the kind offer, noting how much my wife loved them. When our to-go bag returned, there was no popover. I’m a capitalist and I’m not going make a complaint about failing to get free stuff. But they probably shouldn’t ask questions and set expectations if there is no follow-through.
As I noted, we were dining on a 6PM reservation (we tend to fall asleep if we are out past 8PM on account of our early-rising, energy-draining little kids). So I’m not in much of a position to judge the ambiance. The restaurant had very large windows, and it was still very light out, so the restaurant was bright. It was a casual early-bird crowd and the place was not buzzing with patrons. I am willing to guess after dusk BLT Steak takes on a much busier but more intimate vibe.
221 Main St.
White Plains, NY 10601