Tag Archives: brooklyneats

DeStefano’s Steakhouse

DeStefano’s overall score: 80

DeStefano’s seems to regularly offer Groupon deals in which you pay X number of dollars for Y amount of restaurant credit. Those are always the best kinds of deals. In our case, we had $90 credit for about $50. Our discount, however, was nearly voided completely when the lovely City of New York decided to shut down the L train in both directions due to police activity stemming from the infamous annual “pants off subway ride.” So after $25 in cab fare, we arrived to our destination about 30 minutes late.

Flavor: 8
This joint offers something a bit unique: a rib eye that is cooked with fennel. This highly Italian preparation doesn’t add much sweetness, as you might expect (Which is good), but the resulting “grilled fennel” that comes with the steak has a grilled onion quality, only less salty and more mild. I liked it. While the meat itself was aged (28 days) and prime, I felt that it could have benefited from a slight hit of more salt. The pepper usage was perfect, and the meat was cooked to a very nice medium rare. The only other down side was that the steak was sitting in a pool of butter and/or oil. I don’t mind that too much, but soaking in that will remove any good seared crust that may have developed on the outside of the steak during cooking.



Below is a closer look at the fennel. The steak comes served on a bed of sliced and grilled fennel (unless you request otherwise).


I should note here that the porterhouse cuts looked amazing. I saw two come out for other tables and my eyes lit up. You all know that I’m primarily a rib eye guy, so for me to get excited over a porterhouse is kind of a big deal. I’d definitely like to come back and try one of those big fuckers.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
You have all your basics here, but the quality is prime and the meats are aged to give the cuts a great flavor. My cut had a good amount of tasty beef jelly fat between the spinalis and the eye. I like that. It’s like marrow!

Portion Size & Plating: 9
My steak was a 24oz bone-in cut, served on a silver platter. Very nice. Sides can be ordered for one or for two, and the sizes are generous.

Price: 8
My rib eye was $58. That is midtown pricing. A bit high, in my opinion, for something that didn’t get full points for flavor, but balance that against the fact that DeStefano’s almost always has a Groupon deal available and it evens out. I also can’t complain too much here because the management generously comp’d our dessert.


Bar: 5
There is a small three-seat bar beside the host station when you walk into the restaurant. This is certainly not the kind of place you go for, say, a happy hour or to just hang out at the bar. They do, however, make a good martini. My wife’s old fashioned was just so-so, she reported.


Specials and Other Meats: 8
Our waiter David read off some special apps for us, so there are definitely some off-menu items to explore. For other meats, you have lamb, veal and chicken. Not a bad showing.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We tried two apps. First was the sweet and spicy bacon. This slab came in just under $5 and was nicely cooked to a soft yet crunchy texture.


Next up was DeStefano’s version of carpaccio; a shoulder cut of beef that is tenderized and seared on the outside before slicing thin and serving with arugula, lemon and shaved parmesan. This reminded me of my dad’s “steak salad.”


It went nicely with the sliced table bread as well.


On the side we tried an order of creamed spinach. This was okay. I’ve had better, and I’ve certainly had worse. The top had a nice crunchy texture from baked breadcrumbs, and the spinach itself was only lightly creamy, which, in general, I like.


For dessert we had tiramisu. This was creamy and soft, not too boozed up, and very light. I enjoyed it, and it was a good recommendation from our waiter.


Seafood Selection: 7
There’s grilled mahi mahi and a pair of seafood pasta items on the entree menu, otherwise you’re limited to the app and salad section for your seafood (crab cakes, BBQ shrimp, lump crab, etc). But you’re coming here for steak anyway, so don’t get all bent out of shape over this.

Service: 10
David was an excellent waiter, and all the staff was helpful and nice. Our water was always filled, we never had to wait long for anything, and the management was very generous for comping our dessert. I’d definitely eat here again – especially to try that porterhouse I mentioned above. The table bread is nice – basic, nothing too fancy – and served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic.


Ambiance: 8
You’re actually entering someone’s former home when you eat here. You feel like the home owners have cleared out their living room and set up nice dining tables for you to eat their home cooked meal. It’s very charming, and all the walls are covered in family photos going back to the 50’s (perhaps even earlier) and coming up to present day.



89 Conselyea St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Hanoi Vietnamese Kitchen

Stopped off in this place to test out their banh mi sandwich – classic style, of course. The bread was toasty and warm, and the veggies and herbs were all nice and fresh. Not my favorite, but it was okay for a much needed fix.


The pho here is pretty good as well. Nice robust flavor. I’ve had better for cheaper, but the quality of the ingredients here seemed to be a little better.

hanoi viet kitchen pho

448 9th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215


Walked past this little banh mi and pho shop on the way home from Talde and picked up a classic style sandwich to try. It was a little pricey for the size, but it was tasty nonetheless. I’ve had better at other places, but this place is okay if you’r win a bind and need a Vietnamese banh mi fix. Here it is:


134 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201



My wife and I primarily came here because I was frantic to try the Thanksgiving ramen that was recently added to the seasonal menu. We ended up trying the kimchi ramen too, as well as a few other items, because, well, we think Dale Talde is pretty awesome from the handful of times we’ve met him and from his kickass appearances on the Top Chef shows.

I started with a massive 33oz Asahi beer. Manly.



Then we had some wings. These were sweet and spicy. They had a nice batter but that got soggy due to too much sauce without enough crisp underneath. The flavor was excellent with the cilantro and peanuts on top, and the buttermilk ranch dipping sauce, but I was hoping for a bit more crispiness.


The Thanksgiving ramen was a turkey stock filled with wavy egg noodles, sliced turkey, sliced stuffing, cranberries, mushrooms, and spinach dumplings. It was then that was topped with gravy.


spinach dumpling
spinach dumpling

The flavor was unique and definitely Thanksgiving-ish. The tangy cranberries gave it a burst of brightness that you typically get from pickled items in a traditional ramen dish, and the dumplings were a nice bonus that was not expected. I just wished there was dark meat along with the sliced white meat.

The kimchi ramen was spicy and bold. The pork was tasty, and the kimchi was pickled spicy style. A nice bowl of noodles (also wavy egg noodles). However this bold flavor may be a bit overwhelming to have an entire bowl for yourself.


Last was the Filipino pork dish. Essentially this was thin sliced pork meat, non-expertly grilled and served in a clay pot that wasn’t hot enough to get the rice crispy, yet just warm enough to sap the liquids out of the wet pork to make a puddle of meat juice on the bottom. That made for wet, soupy rice. The “6 minute egg” (aka poached egg) was nice but it only made for an even more soupy bowl of rice. We decided this dish would be better if we took it home and fried it up in a hot cast iron pan to try to get some texture into the rice. Not a successful dish. Sounded so good from the menu description though.


369 7th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215