Tag Archives: steak

Amber Steakhouse

Amber Steakhouse overall score: 83

I had heard good things about this place from a few different people recently, so I had to go give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised! First, watch my Ride & Review on YouTube below. Then read on!

Flavor: 8

We had the bone-in dry-aged rib eye, and the dry-aged t-bone. Both had a really nice char on the outside from the broiler, and both were just slightly over medium-rare. They were both really juicy, though, so that made up for any slight overcooking. Both were on the mild side for dry-aged flavor, but they both packed a punch for beefy, satiating flavor in general. I give the rib eye a 9/10, and the t-bone a 7/10, bringing the overall score to an 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

Everything here is Certified Angus Beef brand (typically prime) and dry-aged. They cover all of the major cuts in various sizes, with shared steaks coming to the table in “sizzling plate” format.

Portion Size & Plating: 10

The portions are great here. Our sides were quite large, and the appetizers were big too. The plating is standard clean white elegance, cast iron skillets, etc.

Price: 8

Some stuff here is really well priced, like the cocktails, whiskey pours, apps, sides, desserts… especially when figuring in the price. But the steaks themselves are at midtown prices despite the “mom and pop” nature of the place and the neighborhood.

Bar: 5

Sadly, I had to dock some points here because there is actually no place to sit at the bar. It is a service-only bar with no stools. Our table was beside it, though, so we got a good look at their bottle selections. They have a really awesome spirits list, and they made some great cocktails, so don’t let the score here deceive you.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they offer lamb, chicken, duck and numerous other interesting proteins that I’d like to come back and try. Next visit, we are definitely getting the bacon (had to be 1.5″ thick for $18 – like a steak in itself), the roasted duck legs (plural, for $39), and the lamb chops (looked like four per plate).

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9

We started with the escargots, which were served in a really nice creamy mushroom broth/gravy, and had to have at least a dozen snails in the order. A great deal.

The steak tartare was a little bit too finely minced or ground, but the flavor was great, as was the portion size.

The roasted potatoes with peppers and onions were also a massive portion size, but the only negative here was that the dill was a little bit overpowering. It did smell nice though.

The sautéed spinach and mushrooms side was soupier than I expected, but really nicely flavored. This was just the right side for the steaks in my opinion.

For dessert, we had a scoop of espresso ice cream (very nice and creamy), the chocolate mousse cake (perfect thickness, richness and you could tell it was homemade instead of pre-purchase from a box like many midtown steak joints give), a glass of Hakushu 12yr ($30) and a double espresso. The double espresso was the only bad item of the entire meal. it tasted like burnt bean water.

Seafood Selection: 7

This was a rare occasion in which we tried absolutely no seafood. I saw the shellfish coming out though, and it all looked nice. Next time we will definitely delve into their raw bar selections and broader seafood entree menu.

Service: 10

Service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and super helpful/attentive without being pushy, annoying or intrusive.

Their table bread is similar to Luger’s style – a stuffed onion roll.

Ambiance: 8

For a small neighborhood mom and pop joint, they really did a great job with making the place feel like an old-timey, age-old steakhouse that’s been there forever. It’s been there since 2010, and in that time it has established itself as a staple for the neighborhood drawing in weekly regulars as well as exploratory outsiders like us.

I will definitely be back for more!

AMBER STEAKHOUSE
119 Nassau Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Oak Steakhouse

Oak Steakhouse overall score: 83

My wife and I visited Charleston for the new year, and I was determined to try another steakhouse in the wonderful city. This time I hit Oak. Read below!

Flavor: 8

We had the dry aged rib eye as well as the filet mignon steak frites. Both were juicy, well seasoned and flavorful, but the age didn’t really come through too strongly on the rib eye. That said, both were cooked to medium rare perfection. 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8

There’s a good selection of cuts here, and most claiming to be dry-aged for around 60 days. The selections are prime Certified Angus Beef brand, so they are generally going to be high quality.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

Portion sizes are good here, with most individual steak entrees ranging from 14-22oz. The plating is standard, minimalist elegance; common for steakhouses.

Price: 7

The prices here are a bit high for a non-NYC steakhouse. Charleston is an expensive city too, but I felt like $115 for my steak was a bit hefty.

Bar: 9

The bar here is very nice. I was almost hoping we would have to wait for our table when we checked in, because I kinda wanted to sit there with a martini for a few minutes.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

There was a special 30oz dry aged porterhouse offered, which wasn’t on the menu. As for other meats, I did see some lamb, chicken and pork. A nice spread!

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We started with three appetizers: a pair of oysters Rockefeller, a pork belly dish, and beef carpaccio. All were good, but I feel like the carpaccio could have been larger.

We took down some crispy fried Brussels sprouts with bacon as a side. These were great.

The sticky toffee pudding a la mode was a nice dessert option.

Seafood Selection: 8

There was a curry red fish on the menu for the night, which sounded delicious, but I had my mind on other things. If the oysters were any indication of how the seafood is prepared here, I’m sure it would be good.

Service: 10

Service was great here. They even took note that it was my wife’s birthday, and they were kind enough to comp the dessert. They even included a little happy birthday chocolate and a candle.

Ambiance: 9

This joint is inside an old downtown townhouse, so it is really nice inside. The only downer is the middle floor which, if seated there, I imagine it can get both hot and annoying due to the proximity of bathrooms.

OAK STEAKHOUSE
17 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401

Veronika

Veronika is the restaurant inside the Fotografiska photography museum on Park Avenue near 23rd street. My wife took me here for dinner, and I have to say, everything was pretty great.

We started with two tartares: uni and tuna, and wagyu. I liked the wagyu better but both were really nicely executed.

This German style veal shnitzel with a fried egg on top was the perfect shared course for the middle of the meal. I think the batter could have used a bit of salt after it came out of the fryer, but the capers with anchovy in them definitely added salt to the bites we had with them.

For our mains, we did the bone in strip and the lamb saddle.

Between the two, the lamb was much better. Nice and roasty. Perfect. The strip was dry aged but again it could have used a touch more salt. Perfectly cooked though. 8/10.

For dessert, we had an interesting take on strawberries and cream, served inside a meringue tube of sorts. Here are the before and after pics.

I would definitely go back here again! The food was great, and the ambiance was absolutely stunning.

VERONIKA
281 Park Ave. South
Second Floor
New York, NY 10010

Allure

Allure is the new restaurant inside the Belleclaire Hotel on the upper west side, right on the corner of 77th and Broadway. The dining room has a beautiful skylight atrium overhead, almost like an old timey greenhouse.

My wife and I started with a round of delicious cocktails, my favorite of which was the smoked old fashioned, made with pistachio infused spirits.

Next, we had a trio of apps: prawns, tuna tartare and grilled baby cuttlefish. Of these, the prawns were definitely our favorite. The mole-esque sauce and spice levels were absolutely incredible.

For our mains, we had the rainbow trout with charred kale, olives and artichokes, along with the prime NY strip, which comes from Golden Packing.

Both were excellent, but, as predicted, the steak was the winner for me. The reverse was true for my wife.

The steak was a juicy and perfectly cooked center cut gem, smothered with a peppery au poivre cream sauce that I could drink every day. 9/10.

Served with florentino, a sort of broccolini meets cauliflower green-stalked flowering veggie, this is a steal of a composed meal at just $55. The steak was about 12oz. That’s blue cheese or gorgonzola on top, not butter.

We also did a side of mushrooms to go with this. Delicious.

For dessert, we had the “Nutella Kiss” with pistachio ice cream and merengue, and a creme brulee bread pudding. Both were top notch.

I would 100% go back here again. What a beautiful and delicious restaurant!

ALLURE
2175 Broadway
New York, NY 10024

La Marchande

La Marchande overall score: 80

My wife took me here for a nice dinner last week. I’m calling this a French steakhouse. Not sure if that’s correct, but I feel like it fits into my review categories nicely.

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

 

Flavor: 7

Sadly, the boneless domestic wagyu rib eye was WAY over salted. I hunkered through half of it, but I could not finish and had to give up. It was a beauty though, with a great crust. 5/10.

My wife had the bacon wrapped venison loin, which was much better, despite the little snaggle of connective tissue in the middle.

Nicely cooked. Irony without game flavor. Lean and clean. 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7

There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long, but they don’t have enough dry aged selections. I would also like to see more traditional Angus on the menu, as opposed to all the fancy wagyu cross breed shit.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

My steak was like $105 for a pound, which is about right for the domestic wagyu varieties. Portions here are good for everything else, and plating is definitely understated but elegant.

Price: 8

The prices here are average to slightly above, which makes sense for the location near lots of FiDi businesses.

Bar: 8

The bar here is small but nicely appointed as you walk in. No sidewalk people watching views, but its snug and cozy. They made some nice drinks too, both standard cocktails and their signatures.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

I mentioned there was venison, which is rare and nice to see. They also offered a Peri Peri chicken dish, which I’d love to try. It feeds two and is only $68.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7

We started with the beef tartare summer roll with lemongrass sauce. This was really nice, but they just need to wrap it a bit tighter. This was probably the best dish of the night, with a close second to a side that I’ll discuss below.

Skip the marrow. The table-side service is unnecessary (at least it wasn’t theatrics), and it was mainly just a fancy bread service or sandwich. Probably better off getting a burger and fries for a few dollars less.

The mushrooms were ever more over-salted than the steak We actually had to send them back, which is wild because we NEVER do that.

They replaced it with this bean cassoulet thing, which was actually quite good and was a close second for my favorite dish of the night.

The miso creamed spinach was nice. As you can tell, there’s a distinct theme for trying to bring Asian fusion into the menu.

For dessert, they forgot to bring out our Vietnamese style egg coffee, but the basque style cheesecake was nice enough.

Seafood Selection: 8

We didn’t take on any seafood, but they did have some nice looking shellfish and tower selections, as is common with steakhouses. The king crab cake was a whopping $45. I wonder if that is any good. Too rich for my blood!

Service: 10

Service was really good here. They brought out some complimentary bubbles at the beginning and end of our meal, since my wife told them it was our anniversary on the reservation. They also comped the drinks, desserts and the bogus side for us, which they replaced gratis as well. This was a really great gesture, and they genuinely tried to make the evening nice despite the mishaps. They did forget our coffee, though. I was done complaining for the night, so we just let it slide. A for effort, I guess.

Ambiance: 9

Gorgeous dining space, with big private booths that you can curtain off if you’d like. I really dig the space. Very elegant but casual. A nice balance.

LA MARCHANDE
88 Wall St.
New York NY, 10005

Prime 112

Prime 112 overall score: 78

My wife and I had one night to squeeze in a steak meal when we were in Miami. Since most steakhouses in South Beach seem to be chains, we went with Prime 112 based on a totality of recs we got from friends. The other contender was Papi Steak (next time).

Flavor: 9

We had the t-bone and the veal rib chop. Both were nice, and aged flavor came through. Both solid 8/10 in my opinion. I was impressed for Florida steak!

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long,. In fact the menu is pretty gigantic. There’s both a T-bone and a porterhouse, a rib eye for two and for one, bone-in and boneless strips. Plenty of dry aged selections as well.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The portions are on the large side here. Sometimes I forget how small portions can be in NYC, even at steakhouses. Plating was on par with minimalist upscale modern steak joints.

Price: 7

Steaks for one here will range between $80 and $140, which is mighty high. They’re really raking the tourists over the coals here, but at least the food is good.

Bar: 6

The bar here is small. I was expecting a bigger, nicer/better bar for a hot spot like a Miami beach steakhouse.

Martini was nice, however.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

There are plenty of non-beef options to explore here, and as I mentioned earlier, the menu is massive. We tried the veal and we were impressed, so I think 8/10 is fair here for not having tried any other items.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6

We started with the foie gras and broiled Louisiana style oysters. The oysters were the better of the two, and they were great. After the apps, things went slightly downhill, and then they fell off a cliff.

I wish I knew the veal came as a composed dish with a side (spinach, cheese and breadcrumb stuffed tomato). I would have skipped the gummy creamed spinach and maybe even the scalloped potatoes.

Dessert would have been great if a couple of the mini donuts weren’t raw inside.

Inedible.

Seafood Selection: 8

Based on the quality of the broiled oysters, I think it’s safe to get all manner of seafood here and it will be good.

Service: 10

Our waiter was great, friendly and knowledgeable, so I have to give a full 10 here. A few things to note, though, was that there was a musty/moldy smell to the warm/moist towels they brought out for us between courses. Don’t use

The table bread was a nice assortment of cheese biscuit, nut roll and pumpernickel onion. Really liked this.

Ambiance: 7

This joint had a smell throughout that was wet/musty. It did just rain when we went there, and it is Miami/south Florida, so maybe this is common. But it was sort of like the entire place smelled like the moldy hand towel! Strange.

PRIME 112
112 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Pappas Taverna

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This joint is beautiful inside.

It’s part of the Dream Hospitality group (Dream hotels, etc), so they really went all out. It’s huge, and at night there are belly dancers, fire shows, a DJ… It becomes a nightlife spot.

Nice cocktails to start, all Greek flavor inspired and named, like the Hera Spritz.

We started with the Pappas Chips, which are thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, fried and served with yogurt sauce.

I expected these to be a bit more crispy, but they were still tasty.

The grilled octopus was incredible. Probably one of the best I’ve had. Super tender.

The boneless rib eye was cooked perfectly and had a nice Greek flavor profile of spices and herbs. 8/10.

This lamb shank was the winning dish, though.

There had to be a pound or more of orzo in that pot, and the meat just fell off the bone. So tender, juicy and flavorful.

For dessert, we tried the baklava and the orange custard. Both really great, not too sweet, and large enough to share.

I would definitely go back!

PAPPAS TAVERNA
105 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Centurion

First, check out my kickass Ride & Review video HERE:

If you haven’t heard about this place, it’s a very exclusive Amex Black card-holders joint. You CAN get access to it you have an Amex Platinum card, which my wife has. We were able to snag a reservation for 6:30PM on a Friday, and the experience was incredible. Seriously – watch the video above for the full effect.

We started with some cocktails that we really enjoyed. The stand out for me was the incredibly beautiful and delicious Carbon Martini, made with squid ink!

Our apps were a pair of tartare dishes. Table side wagyu beef tartare, and tuna tartare. Both incredible!

Next, we shared a wagyu burger. This was perfect. Thin slices of tomato, onion, pickles and just a single leaf of Bibb lettuce. Crispy bacon. Melty cheese and a special sauce. Perfect cook temp.

For entrees, we had lamb loin and aged strip steak (Snake River Farms). Both beautifully plated. The strip was 45-days aged, and 10oz.

I think we both liked the lamb slightly better. It came with a killer lamb sausage meatball wrapped in spinach (watch the video). Steak 9/10. Lamb 10/10.

For dessert we had a Lebanese pistachio milk flan called mouhalabieh, and a vanilla eclair. Both great.

Excellent table bread and butter here.

Some of the incredible views:

If you ever have the opportunity to dine or have drinks here, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth throwing on your bucket list.

CENTURION LOUNGE
1 Vanderbilt Ave
55th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Tomino Taberna Gallega

First off, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife took me here for my birthday to try the Vaca Vieja (old dairy cow, popular in Spanish food). Here’s what we had:

Empanada with octopus and cheese inside. Really nice. The crust reminded me of pot pie dough.

Fried squid on a bed of fried zucchini. This was excellent!

Mussels with a pimento broth.

Wild mushrooms with sliced grapes and goat cheese. Totally unique and delicious.

As a mid-course we had this “Bomba Rice” with squid ink and squid, both on top and mixed into the rice. Amazing.

The steak was a cry-aged 38oz tomahawk for just $108. Crazy! This would be over $160 in a midtown steak joint.

It came with fries too, which were awesome.

The steak had both great flavor and great aroma, and was probably the best version of Vaca Vieja I’ve had so far.

I give this an 8/10 because it was slightly overcooked on the outside and slightly undercooked on the inside.

Dessert was a crepe filled with berry cream and served with yogurt ice cream. Really nice and refreshing.

I will definitely be back here again. I should note that they also have a great selection of Spanish imported beer.

TOMINO TABERNA GALLEGA
192 Grand St
New York, NY 10013

Mischa

First off, check out my YouTube Ride & Review video HERE.

This joint popped onto my radar via Instagram, and I saw a couple of dishes that I really wanted to try when I browsed their menu online, Namely, the mortadella and foie gras terrine, and the dry aged prime rib. There were some pasta items on the menu that looked good too, so I rounded up another couple to give this place a thorough try across the entire menu.

This joint serves eastern European flavors and derives inspiration for dishes from India, the Baltic region, Russia, Scandinavia and more.

The cocktails I tried were split down the middle: One was great, the other was too sweet. If you like margaritas, get this horseradish and cucumber version with smoked salt. Amazing.

Skip on the old fashioned – it’s way too sweet.

We decided to start with the foie gras and mortadella terrine. All of us were excited. It was good, but I think we all agreed that we like both items separate rather than together. Good flavor, thoughtful presentation, etc. It’s just that 2+2=4 in this case, not 5. Math.

Next up was the mushroom patty melt. The bartender recommended this, and it turned out to be our top two or three item of the night. I never would have ordered it otherwise. It was both beautiful and tasty.

It comes with two “long tots” which eat like a cross between tots, fish sticks and knish. Enjoyable.

For the middle course, we tried two items under the pasta menu: spaetzle and kasha varnishkes. The kasha varnishkes were bowtie pasta shaped noodles, cooked al dente, and served with a mix of caramelized onion, couscous and herbs. It was good but a bit heavy on the onion. My buddy said there wasn’t enough butter. The spaetzle was the better of the two. In fact, that was my favorite item of the night.

For the mains, we ordered the braised pork belly, the dry aged prime rib, and a side of saag (Indian style stewed spinach).

The pork belly was good. It had a nice flavor despite some of the leaner portions being slightly dry. Nice touch with the charred lemon.

The prime rib was dry and mealy/grainy in texture. I’m not sure what happened here, because even though it was overcooked there should have been a lot of juiciness left. The dry aged flavor was nice though, at least, but the jus should have been left in a gravy boat on the side rather than poured over the entire plate without asking. The jus was over-reduced and a bit bitter, sadly. Also, at $120 for 20oz it’s way steep, even with the boiled potatoes as a “composed dish” rather than “a la carte” like a steakhouse. 6/10.

Here’s a shot of the saag. I always love this stuff. It’s my go to order at Indian restaurants.

Dessert was a beautiful and warm sticky bun with apple and a touch of flake salt and spices like cardamom. This was a hit.

Over all this place served up a good meal, but not great. I was disappointed by the prime rib and probably wouldn’t go back.

MISCHA
157 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022