Tag Archives: paces

Pace’s (Hauppauge)

Pace’s (Hauppauge) overall score: 79

Groupon had a great deal for Pace’s Hauppague location a month or two back: $30 for $60 worth of food and drink. After a good experience at the Port Jefferson location, I figured it was worth a shot. I’ve actually been here once in 1996, but I don’t remember anything about it, other than the fact that I ate a 36oz steak at the time.

Flavor: 7

I ordered the ribeye, which was a nicely sized (about 22oz) bone-in hunk of meat. It was cooked properly, allowed to rest nicely, etc… but it was just a little under seasoned. I needed to add salt and pepper. This places offers “blackened” and other sauced and marinated preparations of the steak, so I am thinking that the simple broiled version might not be their featured dish. The huge home made potato chips that come with your steak (two per plate) are really awesome though. I had a bite of the filet as well, but I wasn’t super impressed by it (6/10).

ribeye and chips

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7

On the beef menu they had a few variations of “New York shell steak” (broiled, marinated and double cut), which they were pawning off as a legit strip steak, porterhouse (for one or two), two sizes of filet, and a bone-in ribeye. I believe the cuts were choice quality, but they did a good job of imparting additional flavor into the meat, and you can always go marinated or blackened if you need an extra boost.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The steaks are good sizes here. The ribeye was 22-24oz, if I had to guess. The filets are 7-8oz for pussies, and 10-12oz for half pussies. If I recall correctly from way back, the porterhouse for one is about 36oz. I’m not sure about the shell steaks, but everything seemed well portioned. The two pound lobster was large and filling as well, and the sides were enough to feed two to four people.

Price: 9

Our total bill came to about $365 for four people (tax and tip and gift certificate deduction included). Check out the bill below for the details, but the steaks were definitely reasonable ($32-$47). I’m so used to NYC prices at prime joints that this looked like a bargain! Sure – you are not getting prime grade here, but it is pretty good for the money, and we ordered a LOT of shit (several drinks, apps, sides, etc).

Bar: 8

The bar here is pretty nice. As a matter of fact the martinis here were some of he best I’ve ever had. Ice cold, briney, and great blue cheese stuffed olives. The downside here is that it doesn’t seem to be a hot spot in terms of location, so it doesn’t strike me as the best place to just hang for a drink. There was also another problem we encountered: the poop cube. My buddy ordered a Jameson on the rocks, but one of the rocks had what looked like a black miniature poop embedded in the ice. Eww. Nasty looking (see below). I had to take some points for that, even though they did replace the slightly watered down drink.

the poop cube

Specials and Other Meats: 8

The waiter read us some specials as if they were not on the menu, but all the beef items he highlighted were not special at all – they were menu items. The only specials were those listed on the chalk board behind us (mostly fish cuts, and a lobster cocktail). They made up for the lack of beef specials with some alternative meat availability: rack of lamb, pork chops, roasted chicken, and duckling. One “special” item worth mentioning that was listed on the menu in a red box was the cherry pepper sauce. Ideally it is made for pork, but it sounded delicious. I was tempted to order it just to try with bread or even by itself, but at $5.50 it seemed too pricey. Last, take a look at the bottom of the bill in my picture. It shows some great weekly specials like half price wine, lobster bakes, and cheap drinks.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

Okay – lots to talk about here. The lobster cocktail was a half of a 1.5lb lobster, chilled. My buddy got it and said it was good. I had smoked salmon, which was delicious and accompanied by capers, diced red onions, and a nice mustard mayo sauce for dipping (and slathering). The oysters were crisp cold and fresh, as were the littleneck clams. The creamed spinach was soft and creamy, not heavy, and very flavorful. The mashed potatoes were just okay. It was nice to see chicken liver pate on the app menu. In hindsight maybe we should have ordered that as a side instead of the mashed potatoes. For dessert we had a trio of sorbets (coconut, lemon and raspberry), which was good, and a slice of cheesecake, which was bad. It was too eggy – like a quiche or something.

Seafood Selection: 8

As I mentioned there were a few fish cuts on special here that filled the bill for the seafood availability. Otherwise it was the standard lobster, lobster tails, and shellfish apps. My wife had the stuffed broiled lobster. It was a lot to eat!

Service: 8

The service here was good. I had heard bad things from a friend about the service and the food, but our only really bad experiences here were the poop cube in the drink (which was replaced), and the bad cheesecake. We thought we had a clump of hair in the petite filet as well, but it turned out to be a bristle from the lobster fuzz that got flaked off onto the filet plate. My buddy ordered a Macallan 18 but they were out. He decided on an Ardbeg instead and was happy with it anyway. I took one point for the poop cube and lack of Macallan, and one point for the dry, cruddy raisin bread. On the other hand, we DID ask for seconds of the bread since part of it was a home made, warm, delicious soft pizza dough type of bread that went perfectly with the olive oil, Parmesan cheese and spice mixture that came with it. The butter was semi soft/semi cold, and the corn bread was just okay.

Ambiance: 8

The rug should be ripped out and replaced with hard wood, but otherwise this place is on the elegant side of steakhouse decor. The bathroom is nice and clean, with mouthwash and cups available to rinse out. I thought the mouthwash pump was soap at first and blasted my hands with mouthwash three times after pissing, wondering “why the fuck is this soap so thin and watery?”

325 Nesconset Hwy.
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Pace’s (Port Jefferson)

Pace’s overall score: 82

A big group of us went to Pace’s (the Port Jefferson location) for a Christmas steak dinner. Below are the results:
Flavor: 8
Fortunately I was able to try a little bit of everything. I ordered the ribeye, my wife ordered the marinated porterhouse, and a friend ordered the “surf and turf,” which came with the non-marinated filet. First of all – the ribeye was perfectly cooked from end to end (9/10). Exactly spot on medium from the fat cap all the way to the bone. That is amazing. A bit more crust on the top and bottom would have sent this baby into the 10-spot, but it is certainly a solid hunk of meat. The marinated cuts soak for three days in what I guess is a sweet garlic-soy concoction. It was really nice for the first few bites, but after a while it is a bit much (8/10). Stick with the standard preparation, even though they offer “Oscar” style (with crab meat), and “Tuscan” style (with Gorgonzola melted on top). The filet side of the porterhouse was tender and juicy, as was the strip side. The non-marinated filet that came with the surf and turf (soif & toif) was perfectly cooked, but it lacked seasoning. I’m not sure if they use a different cut for surf and turf than they do for the petite filet, but that could be why there was a lack of flavor intensity (7/10). But if you go for the standard beef cut to test the mettle of the meat (aka the ribeye) you will not be disappointed. There were clean bones all around the table, as five of us ordered the ribeye.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
Pace’s has most of the basics. They have filets in two sizes (7-9oz; 10-12oz), a ribeye (24oz bone-in), and porterhouses (30-32oz for one; 52-56oz for two). What is missing you ask? The strip. They offer a double cut sirloin (20oz), and a NY shell steak (20-22oz). The shell steak is meant to be considered a “strip,” but come on – lets get with the program. Get the real thing.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are just right. The ounces listed above are on par with the big dogs of steakhouses. Bone in or boneless, you get a good amount for your dollar here.
Price: 8
These were fair prices, especially when compared to NYC steak joints. The most expensive cut of meat is $45 (porterhouse for one). Ribeyes price in at $42, and filets at $32 and $38. Seeing a filet under $40 is refreshing these days.
Bar: 8
The bar is nice – not too big, not too small. I could definitely see myself hanging here for a drink and some bar food. The only problem is that Port Jefferson is so far away. They made a nice, ice-cold martini to my liking: Beefeater up, very dry, and with olives.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
Roasted chicken, Long Island duckling, rack of lamb, and double center cut pork chops grace the alternative meats menu here; a good selection (hats off to the duck, which I like to see on steakhouse menus), but no other beef cuts like flank, skirt or hanger. On special there were some enticing seafood items, like Chilean sea bass and some lobster items, along with a few apps.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
I tried the crab cake and the “filet mignon spring roll” appetizers. The crab cake could have been a bit lumpier (as in less shredded and “filled”), but it had a good crunch to it, and good flavor. The special filet mignon spring roll with Gorgonzola cheese was okay. There was some chew to the meat, which was slightly disappointing, but overall it was interesting and worth a detour from the usual orders (oysters, wedge salad, etc). For sides we had creamed spinach, steak fries, and mashed potato. The mashed had a bit too much garlic for my liking, and were a bit dry inside (I admit that I am spoiled by my mom’s mozzarella mashed potato platters from childhood). Everyone at the table liked it except for my wife and I. The steak fries were nothing special to me either, though others did like them. I’ve personally had better at my local “Carousel Diner” in West Islip. The creamed spinach was good though: not too heavy (a dark green color), but it had enough creamy smoothness to cut the salty meat in between bites. Nicely done.
Seafood Selection: 7
Seafood is delivered fresh daily to Pace’s, so you have to go there to see what is offered. A regular menu item, however, is lobster (starting at 2lbs). They only had one featured seafood item on special, which was a horseradish crusted Chilean sea bass on top of a bed of sauteed spinach. It sounded marvelous, but since we didn’t have our dicks tucked back into our asses like a bunch of nancy-boys, we all decided to get meat, like real men (ladies included). Two more seafood items might have boosted the points here. I am not one to order seafood entrees at a steakhouse, but sometimes I want a good selection. Perhaps Pace’s is confident enough in their meat and fish to only have the one item offered? Bold move? Maybe. Since I didn’t try it, I can not properly judge. Based on lack of choices, though, I have to take a couple of points off.
Service: 9
Our waiter was great. We didn’t really test his knowledge, but he was attentive, and made good suggestions in terms of appetizer sizing and what he thought was good. The bread was warm and multifarious. The whipped butter was cool and hard at first, but it quickly became spreadable.
Ambiance: 10
Situated in picturesque Port Jefferson Long Island, Pace’s is located on a narrow one way street just off the main strip of town, in an old historic structure that was probably built in the 1600’s or 1700’s. The walls are exposed brick, the trimmings are nice wood blinds and wood-colored drapery. Pictures on the walls are old Long Island street scenes; authentic and classy without being cliche. There are several alcoves and small dining areas that offer privacy while still allowing for the feel of community in the dining space. It is cozy, but not stuffy or tight-spaced. An interesting touch: the bathroom is equipped with a mouth wash dispenser and small dentist-office cups for rinsing out. They also stock that baby with quality disposable thick cloth hand towels. Bonus.