My wife and I came here for a quick meal before catching a flight to Spain. She had a credit for something like $56 so that covered the steak.
We had the strip steak. It was pretty crappy. No crust, WAY overcooked, and it tasted extremely cheap.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 5
There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long, but the quality of their supposedly high end steaks – for which they are charging upwards of $50 – was pure shit. I’ve had better steaks at Tad’s. What a waste of time and money, and my wife’s’ restaurant credit. Had I known the steak would be this bad, I would have just gotten apps or she could have kept it for drinks at the bar.
Portion Size & Plating: 5
This seemed very small for a $50+ steak. Thin, flimsy. I expected a little thickness for a strip steak. The size of the spinach side was too small for the price as well. Plating was basic and as I expected though.
Given such poor quality of the steak, even with the discount my wife had this place was a waste of money. We saved $50+ but still dropped about $70 on other items.
The bar here is actually nice. Big. I would definitely have a drink there again, and the cocktails were pretty good.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
There were no real specials read to us, but I didn’t expect much from a steakhouse in the airport. As far as other meats go, the standard chicken and lamb were there I think.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 5
We started with a wedge salad. It was massive – an entire head of iceberg lettuce. Great blue cheese crumble and dressing. Nice fried onions. I would have liked more bacon though.
The sautéed spinach was shitty. Watery, flavorless and a very small portion for the price.
Seafood Selection: 7
There’s standard steakhouse seafood fare here. I didn’t try any so can’t really rate it.
Service was good albeit a little slow toward the end. Nice waiter, and he seemed to know his meats as well.
For an airport eatery, this place was pretty nice inside. Open space, nice furnishings, and, as noted above, nice bar.
BOBBY VAN’S TERMINAL 8
JFK Airport, Terminal 8
New York, NY 11430
I picked up a discounted Groupon for this place. I paid about $60 and got $100 off the bill. Check out the review:
The rib eye here was really nicely done. I was almost going to give it a nine here but I decided to go with eight because there was a bit too much scrap on the plate when I was finished. Nicely cooked, well rested, juicy, tender, flavorful and all that good shit. Check it out:
My wife ordered the BV Burger, so I had the rare opportunity to kill two birds with one stone here: burger and steak in the same review.
It was nicely cooked to medium, with a thick slice of lightly grilled white onion on top of the melty cheddar. The bun was soft yet strong, and the meat had a nice beefy flavor. It was definitely above average, and a very good deal for $17 with fries, in my opinion. Here’s the cut:
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
You’ve got a decent selection of all the main four cuts, plus some good quality beef going on here. There are some alternative cuts like flank or skirt as well.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are generous here. My steak was about 22oz, if I had to guess. Plating was pretty basic, not too fancy. The creamed spinach (pictured further below) was definitely enough for three.
My rib eye was still priced in the $40s, so I was happy about that, especially given the overall good quality of the meat. That, plus the Groupon deal, made this a great buy. Here’s our bill:
This place has a really awesome, spacious bar, and an outdoor patio/dining space that is really nice in the warm weather. They also stock some good quality beer on tap, like Delerium, in the event that you’re not sipping on a martini.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There were three specials being offered, but none of them were steak. First was a two-for-one shrimp cocktail app (eight pieces instead of four). Second was a fish item, I believe. And third was this incredibly refreshing chilled watermelon soup:
It had a hint of spice to it, along with another fruit flavor – maybe apricot? Delicious way to start the meal.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
I started with this thick slice of bacon. It was nicely cooked – soft inside, crunchy edges, and lots of piggy-flavor, as it was also a smoked applewood variety.
The creamed spinach was the perfect texture. I thought it was the right balance of creamy/cheesy to leaf spinach. It might have needed just a touch more salt, though. Still great.
The french fries that came with my wife’s burger were good and crispy, but they were a bit dry. Nothing special about these babies. They’re just there to fill your gut:
We skipped dessert because we were stuffed, but there were some really enticing items, like chocolate pecan pie and soft serve ice cream (a personal favorite).
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s a ton of seafood on the menu. Lots in the apps/starters, and a fair amount of good quality cuts of fish in the entree section, as well as that special I mentioned up above. Solid showing.
Our waiter was great. He was attentive, fast, and really nice – same with the hosting staff. A great place to eat. The bread basket was pretty good too:
That butter in the middle is soft, whipped and light with great seasoning. I think it is likely made in-house. It’s the best butter I’ve had at a steak joint to date.
I actually love the layout of the place, the decor, and the brightness from the massive windows and open-concept space. I think the only down-side is the location, midtown east. I bet it does really well during the workdays, but is dead on weekends. It’s a shame too because this would be a fantastic location to do some summertime day drinking.
Tonight Johnny Prime gave the old “in-out, in-out” to Bobby Vans’ west 50th St. location. Not a bad meal overall, but not stellar by any means. I think I enjoyed the Bridgehampton location better, even though those douche bags didn’t offer a ribeye when I went. Check out the breakdown, assholes:
As usual, I had the ribeye (because I have a dick and balls between my legs, not a vadge). It was nice looking, bone-in, probably around 22oz., but it was a little overcooked from the medium that I ordered it. Also, it bled out a slight bit underneath the meat. It wasn’t too hot or anything, but I think it wasn’t dry or crusted enough on the outside to lock in all the liquids. I was going to give it an 8 here, but with so much stiff competition in the area, I had to go with a 7. I’d eat here again, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps if I was shopping for a spot in this particular area, I’d just wander a few feet over to Tad’s (just kidding… I mean Del Frisco’s). By the way the steak sauce that came in the little tub alongside the steak here was pretty good too – a little boozy actually. I like that.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
They have the basics here: two sizes of filet, “sirloin,” porterhouse for sharing, and ribeyes. They also offer a gorgonzola steak, but I am not sure what sort of cut it is. On special they had an additional beef item – a cowboy steak with shitake mushrooms. The cuts cover all the essential bases and the quality was good (just not exceptional).
Portion Size & Plating: 8
As mentioned above, I think my ribeye was about 22oz. This is on the good and generous side in terms of size. They did some fancy plating with my scallop appetizer, though there were only two pieces per order.
Everything seemed a little overpriced here. At $50 a pop, the steaks aren’t that great of a deal when you figure in the quality level. Sure, I’ve had better for the same price, but I also realize that not every place is going to have the best steak in town, and chefs have their good days and bad days. As you see below, everything is expensive. In particular, $22 for two bacon wrapped scallops sitting on a bed of sliced mushrooms and cabbage, to me, is ridiculous… and I’ve eaten at some of the most explensive places in NYC, and at over 40 steakhouses in the area. OH – I almost forgot to mention the $18 martini (see the bar section below for the breakdown).
My martini was made perfectly dirty; just the right amount of olive juice in there. But at $16.88 after tax ($15.50 on the bill), it came to $18 with the tip. This is by far one of the most expensive standard issue drinks I have ever had (obviously this doesn’t include a nice scotch at dessert, or a glass of expensive port wine). There are free fried bits of chicken at the bar, but does that make up for the cost of booze? They were great, crispy, and juicy (the ones I had anyway – my wife said her piece was dry). There is a big marble-topped bar, and it’s long (like Lex Steele). There was also a good crowd festering around for a hot summertime Friday; I guess everyone wanted to cool off with expensive drinks before getting on the expensive train to head out to the expensive beach towns for an expensive weekend.
Specials & Other Meats: 9
They offered a bunch of specials when we sat down: three different soups, two fish items, a shellfish app, and a beef item. We tried two of them (see below for the verdict). They also had a pasta item on special. You will notice a huge pasta, regular type entrée, and pizza selection on the menu here. WHY? What are they trying to be a fucking diner? Anyway… Aside from beef they have lamb and veal on the chops section of the menu as well, and chicken and pork chops in the entrée section. You can go ahead and order those if you are an asshole. I would drop a 10 here if I was completely satisfied with the special items we had, but there was just a bit lacking there, so I took a point.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
We tried the cold cucumber and melon soup and the bacon wrapped scallops to start. The soup was cool and refreshing, and it was poured over a cream of some sort that you picked up with each spoonful. It was nice. The scallop dish was a little on the pricey side. In addition, it was a little heavy on the rosemary flavor, though it did have a good char on the outside. The bacon was nice and crispy, but at the cost of a slightly overcooked scallop underneath. Lots of times this happens when you (stupidly) wrap shit with bacon. Bacon is fine on its own. There is absolutely no need to go wrapping it around shit, especially if that shit can be overcooked and ruined. But listen up assbags; when you try cook both at the same time you lose. In order to properly cook the bacon without ruining the scallop, you need to halfway cook the bacon, catch some of the fat, then wrap the bacon around the scallop (while still rubbery and flexible) and baste the fat over the scallop as it finishes to impart the bacony smoke flavor into the scallop. In any case it was also a little too hot when served; I had to be careful not to burn myself. The plating was nice though, but instead of a bed of mushrooms and cabbage, I would have rather had another scallop or more bacon. On the side we had some creamed spinach. It was light but not lacking flavor. No complaints, but no accolades either; it was exceptionally average. Also at $12 for a dish it was pricey (though certainly enough for two to share). We passed on dessert this time.
Seafood Selection: 8
This would have been a 10, but they had NO OYSTERS and NO CLAMS. Other than that they did have lots to choose from. The specials were halibut and swordfish, and they were in addition to the standard menu items like lobster, seabass, tuna, crab cakes, and salmon. My wife had the lobster. It was a bit overcooked and chewy in parts, but it did have lots of the brains, guts and roe, which she likes. It was also chock full of meat, and the waiter pried most of it out of the shell for us tableside. OH – and the lobster came with a bowl of fresh corn as well. I can’t wait to see it polka-dotting my shit later.
Service wasn’t bad here, but our waiter kinda disappeared halfway through the meal. As a result, we didn’t get the birthday dessert thingy that they were going to bring over to us (probably a slice of cake or something). The host asked us if they did as we were walking out. Oh well; not such a big deal considering we were stuffed. Otherwise service was okay aside from the absentee waiter. He nicely de-shelled the lobster tableside, which is always fun to watch. If you are wondering, I tend to celebrate my birthday for a month or two in either direction of the actual date, because I am that awesome.
It’s nice inside, but it doesn’t seem genuine, if that makes sense. Gallagher’s felt genuine, Lugers, etc. Sure: Bobby Van’s isn’t old style like them, but I even get a genuine sense out of the more modern joints like Del Frisco’s, Quality Meats, or Primehouse. I suppose it has something to do with being in a tourist and corporate zone (and serving up too much pizza and pasta), because the Bridgehampton location felt WAY more “real steakhouse” as opposed to “restaurant.” Anyway, it rocks some nice dark hardwoods, high ceilings, a big beautiful bar… but slightly small tables, and a somewhat cramped dining space (despite having huge, empty private dining rooms right there in plain view). An interesting thing I noticed was that the waiters all had similar style jackets to the one’s worn by the guys at Ben Benson’s; almost like a fancy, outdoor sport jacket, tan in color.
A trip to Bobby Van’s was a long time in the making. It has been on my never-ending short list for quite some time. I went with my family in a group of six to the Bridgehampton location on a Saturday. Check it out assholes:
I had the porterhouse since they didn’t have a ribeye on the menu (WTF???!?). It was good! The waiter suggested that the two of us ordering it go with a porterhouse for two rather than two single steaks because the cut would be thicker. It was nicely cooked, even throughout, a good char on the outside with a nice buttery flavor. They probably could have seasoned it a bit more, but otherwise it was a good meal. One negative is in the preparation. Like many steakhouses serving the porterhouse, they pre-slice the meat and serve it on a hot plate. It’s nice for sharing that way, but there was a pool of oil, butter and juices at the bottom of the plate. When you cut meat while still hot, you can dry it out. At the same time, after you cut it, the meat sits in a pool of liquids and makes the bottom of the steak sog the fuck up, which just got a nice char in the broiler or on the grill. So while the meat becomes dry in the central parts, it also gets soggy and ruins the char on one side. I’ve griped about the way porterhouses are ruined many times. Next time that there isn’t a ribeye on the menu, I might just have to stick with a strip or filet on their own, since porterhouses are inevitably destroyed on a regular basis at steakhouses. The server here at least had the sense to tip the plate up so that the juices didn’t soak the char and make the bottom of the steak soggy. Side note – it is sort of a world of difference to go from ribeye to porterhouse, in terms of flavor. The ribeye just packs so much more of a punch. It’s a shame they don’t offer one regularly. I know they have them on special on occasion though (lollipop steak). I also had a taste of the lamb, which was very nice as well.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
One thing I noticed right away when checking the menu online was that they didn’t offer a ribeye (as I annoyingly mentioned several times above). That means instant points come off. Three to be exact. Not only is it my personal favorite cut, but it is THE steak. Keen’s commits this treachery too, but they make up one point with all the other kinds of meats they have (the amazing mutton). Aside from that issue, Bobby Van’s is good. They have all three of the other mainstay cuts (filet, porterhouse, and strip), and everything is top quality.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Sizes here are pretty good. The lamb chops were a healthy size, and the porterhouse was about 40oz for two people. At $45 per cut, this isn’t too bad at all. My brother had a filet, and it looked around 12 or 14oz, which is on the upper end of the range. The apps and sides were all generous, as well as the desserts. The baked potato, for example, can feed a small village… for a week.
The price is about right for Long Island steakhouses. All the cuts are $45. All the sides are $9. The bill for six people came to $565. With tips included it was about $110 a head. Not too bad, especially when you take into account that the portion sizes were all large.
The bar is nice and big, and attracts a good crowd. The restaurant is located on a nice little strip of town, and it just so happened that we were there for the Kentucky Derby, so the place was packed out with people wearing fancy hats and cheering for the horses (I’ll Have Another – the one who flaked out of Belmont soon afterwards when it was in line for the Triple Crown). My sister said the place is packed all the time. I can see why – it seems like a fun place to hang.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
Bobby Van’s had a ton of stuff on special. I would have loved to see some more beef items on special, like a flank or a skirt (… or a FUCKING RIBEYE!), so I took one point for that. By way of other meats, they have lamb, veal and chicken. A good array of butchery. On special was a pork chop as well, along with several salad, app and fish options. My sister had a duck confit pasta dish, which was awesome. This is a regular menu item, but it is so good and full of meat that I put it here.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
I had smoked salmon for my appetizer. It was a big portion, and it came with several slices of goat cheese and caramelized onions. My wife had the pear and arugula salad, which was on special. The walnuts in the salad were amazing. Honey roasted, crunchy, and delicious. One noteworthy item was my sisters calamari app – I assumed it was a fried item when I saw it on the chalkboard, but it was grilled perfectly, sliced up, and served in a nice Asian slaw. For sides we had a baked potato (freaking HUGE – almost as big as our porterhouse), french fries (skinny, nicely seasoned), and creamed spinach (not overly dairy, seasoned to a nice savory goodness, and just the right amount of liquidity for slathering on a bite of steak). For dessert I tried a bite of my sister in-law’s chocolate cake, and lots of my wife’s delicious mango sorbet.
Seafood Selection: 10
There is a healthy amount of seafood on the menu. Appetizers consist of clams and oysters (both cooked and uncooked), mussels, crab cake, lobster, shrimp, fish tacos, and smoked salmon. For entrees they have a rare tuna dish, hamachi, grilled salmon, black sea bass, and a whole pan seared fluke. Note that seafood entrees, at a steakhouse, are for pussies and women. Perhaps they chose to put fluke on the menu instead of a ribeye because they want to attract wimps to the restaurant instead of real men. In any event, they all looked and sounded delicious. My wife has some dietary restrictions, so she went with the hamachi instead of meat. I tried a few bites and it was delicious. Crispy seared edges, a little rare on the inside – perfect. It is such a nice fish. On special they had soft shell crabs and wreck fish as well.
The waiter was a little difficult to understand, but that might have been due in part to having a seat closer to the end of the bar. There was nothing wrong with the service at all – it was average. On the plus column he did suggest we do a steak for two rather than two steaks for one, so that we got a thicker cut of beef. On the table there was warm bread and semi-soft butter waiting for our ravenous appetites to devour before the meal, with a little plate of olive oil to go with.
When we first were seated, the temperature seemed a little aggressive and hot. As the meal went on it cooled down, which was good. The wicker/bamboo seats were a little narrow and uncomfortable for my fat ass, but the decor was classy and worthy of fine steakhouses. Dark wood floors, dark wood-paneled bar area, nice paintings of east end stuff and horses, etc.
2393 Montauk Hwy.
Bridgehampton, NY 11932