Wolfgang’s overall score: 85
This place has been on my list of must-do steakhouses since the list began. I’m a little ashamed that I hadn’t gone until just last night. I don’t know what the fuck took me so long to get my ass over here, but, in any case, it finally happened. Here’s what I thought:
My wife and I tried two steaks. First, we shared the bone-in rib eye.
We both remarked that this was cooked perfectly the whole way through, with a great crust all around.
There was just a bit of seasoning missing. Perhaps just a little more salt would have bumped this up a bit. 7/10.
The second steak we tried was the porterhouse.
This baby was good. The filet side was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the strip side was full of powerful dry-aged funk. The filet side had less character than the strip side, and the strip side had more tooth to each bite.
Served in the Luger style, the Wolfgang’s porterhouse comes out broiled on the top of the steak only, with the bottom being in contact with the sizzling hot plate. While they were judicious on the use of butter (not too much, thankfully), I do prefer my steaks broiled or seared on both sides. In any case, this was a really good rendition of that style, and it was cooked expertly to medium rare throughout. 8/10.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
You’ve got porterhouse, strip, filet and rib eye here. The basics. All of the beef comes from the midwest and is aged in-house, and it’s all USDA prime grade.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions here are in line with what you might expect at all the major midtown steakhouses, and the plating is standard as well. Nothing fancy.
The prices here vary from the $50-$60 range per person, which has become pretty much standard for the area. Not bad when you consider that they are nailing the cook temps here, and putting out some good grub.
This bar is iconic. The arched ceiling throughout the restaurant really gives you the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time, to the old days of dank, dimly lit taverns. I was actually shocked to learn that they only opened in 2004. I was almost expecting something like the 1920’s.
The cocktails are great too. We tried “The Black Manhattan” and a standard gin martini. Both expertly made.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
There were no specials read to us, but then again we were pretty much dead set on what we were going to order anyway. That may have signaled to the waiter that he didn’t need to get into it with us. In any case, the only other meat available here is lamb. Fuck that other nonsense anyway. I respect that. Unfortunately, though, for scoring purposes, that means I have to take some points.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with a round of littleneck clams and oysters on the half shell. Both were tasty and fresh, cleanly shucked and void of debris and odors. The clams come eight to an order, which is nice. The oysters, six.
We also had a slab of their bacon.
I’m happy to report that this blows away Luger’s bacon, which is always fucking burnt. This was nice and thick, rendered well, crisp and meaty.
On the side, we had two types of spinach: sautéed and creamed. The creamed spinach is my favorite style – “creamless” creamed spinach. So velvety and buttery. That was the better of the two, but both are definitely up to snuff.
For dessert, we shared a slice of pecan pie with schlag. Very nice. Hot and sweet. The schlag was a good balance to the pie. Without it, it would’ve been too sweet.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s sea bass, salmon, tuna and lobster on the menu. These seem to be industry standard in the steakhouse world. Occasionally you see swordfish, or some shrimp scampi preparations from time to time.
The servers here are all awesome, and everyone – the bartenders, the hostesses, the managers – is really looking out for you. I loved it. Classic style on the wait staff, bowties and all.
As I mentioned above in the bar area, this place is absolutely iconic. The arched ceilings can cause the room to get pretty loud when the place is crowded though, so make sure you expect that going in. I didn’t mind it at all. It felt welcoming.
4 Park Ave
New York, NY 10016