Tag Archives: bmc

STK Rooftop

STK Rooftop overall score: 87

I came here with a group of friends for a steak night. I have to be honest; I wasn’t expecting much from a scene-heavy location on a rooftop in the meat packing district, but this place delivered. Everyone seemed happy at the end of the meal, especially me, which is all that really fucking matters anyway.

Flavor: 10
I ordered their off-menu special cut, which was an 8-10oz spinalis (the fat cap of the rib eye). It was topped with pickled mushrooms, pickled jalapenos and chimichurri sauce.

DSC05705

This fucker was perfect. Unlike Bowery Meat Company, which ties together several slivers of trimmed cap to form one round cap steak, this seemed to be one full hunk of the same spinalis. I was impressed with the flavor and cook quality of the meat, and the pickled items added a nice pop of brightness and flavor to the meat. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare / medium temperature, it was juicy and I could taste the dry-aged flavors come though (this was the only dry-aged offering). 10/10. Also note that this is the only other place in the city aside from BMC that offers a version of this cut, so go get it.

DSC05726

I also had a taste of a bone-in tenderloin that a friend ate, and it was very tasty as well (9/10). To clarify, he actually ordered a rib eye but they delivered a filet. He was a little bummed about it but decided to keep his filet. In the end I think he was happy with the steak.

I noticed that all the steaks had a good charred crust on them, and they all seemed to be seasoned generously. I snapped a few photos to demonstrate:

DSC05717

I didn’t get to try the rib eye this time, but here’s a shot of it:

DSC05712

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
All the steaks on the menu are prime quality beef, but they didn’t offer anything that was aged aside from the special that I got (which was not on their menu).

DSC05681

The good news is they have several sizes of steaks to suit whatever kind of pussy appetite you might have, and two people can probably share the large steaks.

Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are pretty good here. While two of the large cuts seemed a bit pricey, I felt the porterhouse was fair and that all the other cuts were correctly priced as well. Side items and apps were also good. Plating was basic but with a touch of attention to beauty.

Price: 9
We were eating with nine people and the bill came to $187 per person, with tax and tip included and two of the diners not paying (they won credit card roulette). There were lots of cocktails and wine involved too, so I thought this was pretty fair, though we did skip dessert. For the quality you get, this is a good deal.

Bar: 8
The main bar here is a bit small, but you’re up on a rooftop that looks out across the Hudson. It’s a nice spot, and there is also a lounge on the other side of the dining room if the bar area is too crowded. I think it just would have been better planning to have the bar and the lounge adjacent to each other rather than split by the dining room. In any case, the drinks were made well, and the cocktail menu was pretty interesting.

Specials and Other Meats: 9
There is chicken, lamb, duck and beef short rib for those who don’t want a real cut of steak. As I mentioned above, they had a great spinalis special. But they also have some wagyu selections available as well, for those with fatter wallets.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with some oysters for the table. They were small, which I don’t mind, but some people do. They were west coast fuckers too, so a bit more fish and brine flavors involved.

DSC05686

I had the octopus appetizer, which is done two ways; grilled and braised. They’re served together on the plate with nice purple potatoes and roasted, skinless grape tomatoes. While some bites had a bit more snap to them than others, overall this was a tasty dish and the octopus was tender.

DSC05693

I also tried two other sides that we ordered for the table: truffle fries, and mac and cheese. The truffle fries had a good truffle flavor but they weren’t crispy enough. That was a bummer, and it made me think that the truffle flavor was just an oil-based add-on that was poured on top before serving, which could have been why they weren’t crispy. But the mac and cheese was awesome. It was topped with a nice baked bread crumb crust, and the cheese was top notch quality. Apologies for not getting a pic of either.

Seafood Selection: 8
There are at least three or four fish items on the entree menu to choose if you have a snatch and don’t eat meat, but we certainly didn’t try any. The appetizer fare is chock full of shellfish and other seafood items, however, and some of those, as mentioned earlier, were pretty good.

Service: 10
Our waitress, Sue Ann, was great. Not only did she properly explain each cut of steak on the menu, but she was forthcoming with her opinions on which steaks were better than others. She was also looking out for us, because when we first arrived, three of us were not yet there. They wouldn’t seat us at our table for nine until all guests arrived. The table for six, at which we were originally sitting while waiting for the final three, was really just comfortable enough for four people. There’s no way we could have eaten there, even if the last three didn’t make it. She told us to start ordering and when the others arrived, it’d be timed right as another large group would be finishing up their meal, so we would swap tables. It worked out nicely.

Ambiance: 9
The rooftop is beautiful. I’m only taking a point off because I thought the space could have been laid out and organized a bit better. I think it’s great that they have cover in the event of rain. Also some areas are still uncovered so if the day is nice, you can get some sunlight. They even have temperature control, at least near the bar. It was a muggy night but we were still very comfortable while eating dinner up there. Nicely done.

DSC05696

STK ROOFTOP
26 Little W 12th St
New York, NY 10014

The Ainsworth

My wife paid a little under $50 for a Gilt City flash deal that got us two drinks each, an app to share, two entrees and a side to share at The Ainsworth. Pretty great deal if you ask me.

We started with these crab tacos. These are $21 regular price, so I thought that was a bit high considering that these are small and the plate comes with four pieces. Do these look like they’re worth $5.25 each (before tax and tip)? I don’t think so.

DSC05070

DSC05069

They were tasty – good crunch on the shell, though I wasn’t sure if the crab meat was actual lump crab or some kind of crab substitute. Either way, I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for them.

For a nominal upcharge ($12), I went with the 20oz bone-in, 28-day dry-aged rib eye.

DSC05115

This was spectacular. The aged flavor really popped for just a 28-day stint in the aging box. I could taste the nutty and funky qualities with ease. While it was grilled instead of seared, didn’t have much of a spinalis (fat cap), and there was a bit of hard gristle in the meat, the cook temperature was a perfect medium rare and the flavor in the eye was excellent. 8/10.

DSC05121-2

DSC05119

As you can see, the steak was topped with some crispy fried shallots. Nice touch!

DSC05109

DSC05074

DSC05082

At $42, this is a great deal, especially considering that the flavors of this thing can easily rival some of the best steakhouses in town. I guess it was just a bummer that I got a cut with little fat cap and a few bites of gristle.

My wife went with the famous mac and cheese burger.

DSC05088

That’s a fried mac and cheese patty on the bottom, a cheeseburger patty on top of that, and then mac and cheese on top of the burger.

DSC05125

While that is all totally unnecessary and probably only done for Instagram fodder, it was indeed a fun item to eat. Here’s a little animated image for you to ogle:

It didn’t taste that special to me, but it sure did make for some handsome photos.

DSC05091

DSC05085

DSC05080

French fries came with that burger, as if there wasn’t enough to fill you up with the burger itself.

DSC05093

These could use some work. Some were a little bit un-crisped and heavy, but otherwise decent.

On the side, we shared the asparagus with a fried egg on top. Both the asparagus and the egg were cooked perfectly and had good flavor. Look – it was either this or more fries, so give me a break.

DSC05079

THE AINSWORTH
122 W 26th St
New York, NY 10001

Bowery Meat Company

Since I know people have short attention spans, I’ve put together a quick video review that sums up my feelings about BMC:

But if you want the full review, read on below:

I met up here with two friends for a meal after hearing a lot of good reviews about the joint. I wasn’t really sure I should call this place a steakhouse, and when I spoke with owner John McDonald he confirmed my thoughts. The idea, according to John, it seems, is not to pigeon hole the place as being a traditional steakhouse (usually just attracting an all male crowd, for the most part), but, rather, a meat-centric restaurant with a menu that appeals to all kinds of diners. Not only that, but he and his business partner/chef Josh Capon have endeavored to put together a unique menu, with cuts that you don’t often see in other restaurants, if ever. Other restaurants they are involved with include Lure Fishbar, Burger & Barrel Winepub and El Toro Blanco.

Given the above discussion about the term “steakhouse,” I decided not to rate this joint on my traditional 100-point scoring system (though I will include it on the list for convenience purposes). Instead, I will respect the owner’s concept and write it up like I do other restaurants. It just happens to be a wonderful meatopia!

The bar is a nice marble stretch, wide, lots of room, and has high-top seating behind, along the street. Easily a fun place to hang out. There’s also some lounge seating and regular tables beside it. This is a neat spot because every so often you can steal a glance into the kitchen through the swinging door next to the bar. There’s plenty of room to walk in and eat in the bar/lounge area if you can’t score a rez in the main dining room; just try to beat the crowd.

I started with a “Sagely Seventy-Five,” which was a really refreshing gin drink with lime, pear bitters and garnished with a sage leaf. No: I did not grow a vagina. I actually love gin drinks, mixed or straight up. It smelled and tasted exactly how I expected. The bartender, Alison, did a great job with the mix too.

DSC02435

I swiped a taste of my buddy’s “Loneliest Monk” as well, which was a really nice rye, chartreuse, amaro and orange bitters concoction. Very classy.

DSC02434

The bar, by the way, was a warm and comfortable place. Lots of elbow room too, which is nice. The bartenders and patrons were all very sociable. In fact, we had the good fortune of sitting next to a gent who is close friends with Chef Josh, so he gave us some pointers about what to get from the menu.

After our cocktails, we took a seat at a table next to the bar, in the lounge. Our waitress, Melanie, had a really deep knowledge and appreciation for beer. She made some excellent suggestions throughout the meal, the best of which, I thought, was this really effervescent Belgian beer that packed a ton of flavor without being hoppy or bitter. I fucking hate IPA shit, so this was excellent for me:

DSC02445

We then had the great pleasure of meeting the man of the hour, Chef Josh Capon. He was a really fun, down-to-earth guy, cracking jokes with us, being vulgar and ridiculous (like we are), but at the same time making us feel not only welcome, but like we were kings. He was awesome: warm, friendly, easy to talk to, and it felt like we’ve known him forever. Check out this incredible display of meats he brought to the table, explaining each cut and how they are prepared:

DSC02444

The first thing to come out was a plate of warm, sliced rosemary focaccia and some slices of soppressata. The bread was savory and herby, and the meat was soft and melty. I thought it was very cool and thoughtful that they put enough for each of us to try our own: three slices of each. That kind of attention to the diners does not go unnoticed by me. You’ll see the same thing was done for other dishes.

DSC02437

Next was a little plate of bone marrow and oxtail rice balls: again one for each of us. These are called “arancini,” and they were spiced with lemon zest. I think at some point “put my balls in your mouth” was uttered by at least one of us, if not Chef Josh. The man had us cracking up hysterically at the table with his wit and outgoing personality. These were amazing little bites, by the way. Flash freeze these and put them on the shelves of stores in the frozen food section and you could make a killing!

DSC02441

One of my buddies was too slow in putting Josh’s rice ball into his mouth, so there was a little bit of a threat happening with a tomahawk chop:

DSC02443

Next, Josh brought out a sample of the crispy polenta for us to try. I enjoyed this. It had a nice texture with bold earthy flavors from the mushroom and shaved cheese on top.

DSC02446

I think the star of the amuses (if you can call them that), was the dry aged wagyu meatball. When explaining it to us, we were all blown away, jaws dropped and salivating like wolves at the scent of fresh blood. I think Josh even said something like, “Yeah, it’s great. Basically, if you don’t like this meatball, then you can go fuck yourself.” HAHA! And he’s absolutely right. If you go to this restaurant and you try this meatball and DON’T like it, then I will say you can go fuck yourself. You don’t need to hear it from the man himself; you can take my word on it. It is amazing. Everything from the meat itself, to the consistency of the ball, to the herbs folded in, and to the sauce were all done with unrivaled culinary prowess. And I’m a hard man to please when it comes to meatballs!

DSC02450

Okay so now let me tell you what we actually ordered for the apps. Yeah: all that stuff above was just to wet our beaks!  Wait – I just typed out “wet our beaks.” Who do I think we are, a bunch of fuckin’ Don Fanuccis from The Godfather?!??

Anyway, we started with the broiled oysters with garlic, romano cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley. Delicious! But watch your mouth because these muthafuckas are HOT! I typically don’t like cooked oysters, but these were done really nicely. They were briny and soft, properly cooked, yet crisp from the breadcrumbs. A great texture contrast.

DSC02458

Next app: fois gras and chicken liver parfait. This was so rich and decadent, yet not heavy or filling. It was served with an onion jam and spread across toasted brioche. Chef Josh even spread the delicious shit on our bread for us when he served it. Amazing service! This is a must-try dish if you are into this sort of thing. All three of us absolutely loved it.

DSC02453

DSC02455

Our third and final app was the Chinese BBQ pork belly lettuce wraps. Fresh, savory, light, bright and packed with porky goodness. The touch of acidic pickled veggies on the side, fresh cilantro and lime, and sliced chili peppers really made these bitches pop. So simple, yet so complex: a conundrum.

DSC02451

For our mains, my bitch-ass friends wanted to share two entrees rather than three.  Whatever. We ordered the Bowery Steak, which is the first time I have ever seen anything like it on a menu. It’s essentially a pinwheel-wrapped fat cap from a rib eye, fashioned into a circle/spiral that’s roughly 10oz, if I had to guess, trussed, and cooked like a proper cut of steak. They serve it on top of creamy whipped potatoes, and top it with a chimichurri-like salsa verde.

DSC02460

The owner, John, explained to me how the dish was conceptualized one night when coming home from a wedding that he and Josh had attended. They prepped that night, and the next day they brought it to life. Bravo, gents. You’ve made me very happy. This steak was fantastic, unique, innovative, tasty and perfectly cooked. Medium rare inside with a nice crust on the edges. Mmm.

DSC02482

We also tried the cheeseburger, which is said to be made with 40-day dry-aged beef. This baby has been gaining some serious notoriety in burger circles, so I was excited to try it. It comes topped with griddled onions, raclette cheese and tomato aioli.

DSC02464

Unfortunately, splitting it three ways left me wanting more, much more. It’s tough to make a solid review off just a bite or two. I did notice, though, that it was a bit salty, and could certainly have benefited from a cool, crunch element like lettuce. Here’s my pathetically small third of a burger. Thanks boys… Next time I’m ordering my own.

DSC02478

The burger also came with fries, and a little tray of pickled tomato, okra and cucumber. The fries were really nice. Beautiful golden brown, crispy, herby and flavorful. I suppose we should have topped the burger with some of the pickles to get that needed crunch element, but digging into them on the side was nice too.

DSC02471

DSC02475

We also took down an order of garlic spinach. This was really flavorful without being too overpowering on the garlic angle. Unlike typical sauteed spinach items, this wasn’t laden with oil either. It was fresh and light. Definitely a good choice.

DSC02474

We were going to skip dessert, but Chef Josh brought out a nice trio of dolce de leche ice cream balls. This was a nice snack to take in with a glass of amaro, as we did.

DSC02487

That about does it. If you’re wondering what the damage was, it really wasn’t too bad at all, especially given all the samples that Chef Josh brought out to the table for us to try. Here’s Sir William Price, in all his glory. Very fair, if you ask me.

DSC02485

On a second visit, I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Paul, who fired up this amazing 38oz cote de boeuf, which I think is probably the best large-format rib eye I’ve ever had in my life. It had a nice seasoned crust that crisped up nice under the broiler. Also – unlike most thick cuts of beef, it wasn’t overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside. it was just right. A perfect medium rare.

20150710_211251

20150710_211234

20150710_212702

Alright so I am forcing this into the review system despite the fact that they don’t claim to be a “steakhouse.” Let’s be honest – this shit is a steak joint!

Bowery Meat Company Overall Score: 95*

Flavor: 10
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Price: 8
Bar: 9
Specials & Other Meats: 10
Appetizers, Sides & Desserts: 10
Seafood Selection: 10
Service: 10
Ambiance: 9

Some new pics as of 5/5/2016, when I tried the chateaubriand and tomahawk steaks for two. Both were incredible. This place never fails to impress.

DSC03792

DSC03791

DSC03793

DSC03798

DSC03821

DSC03830

DSC03819

DSC03827

DSC03803

DSC03856

DSC03840

DSC03844

DSC03866

DSC03869

DSC03873

DSC03858

DSC03876

DSC03880

DSC03895

DSC03889

UPDATE 3/4/17

Hanger Steak: 8/10

Duck Lasagna: incredible.

BOWERY MEAT COMPANY
9 E. 1st St.
New York, NY 10003