The Palm overall score: 81
A last minute, game-time decision landed my wife and I in The Palm at west 50th street and 8th avenue for a quick meal. It was an interesting experience; a rather colorful fellow named Ray sat at the table next to us and took interest in this blog. He chatted with us for most of the meal, so it was almost like a 3-person dinner instead of just a date with my wife – a triple date. I’m sure he is reading this now; hey Ray! It was good “meating” with you. Enjoy the review!
The ribeye was juicy, it had a great char and crisp all around, and it was cooked just to my liking (an even medium throughout). The intramuscular fat, or marbling, was high quality and I could taste the goodness that melted into the meat with each bite. The only down side was that my particular cut had a fair amount of gristle that I couldn’t chew through. There was a slight amount of bleed out (needed another minute or two of rest), but totally not a big deal. My wife did a surf & turf special that came with a nice sized filet; it was cooked perfectly, and very tender, but it just lacked a slight amount of seasoning.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
The selection is solid here. They have all 4 of the mandatory cuts, but they embellish on some of the better ones. For example they have two ribeyes; a boneless and a bone-in. They also had a strip that was cooked with cherry peppers on special – tempting, but I am a purist, especially on my first visit to a place.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
The sizes are good here, and everything seems to be prime caliber. The ribeye was 24oz on the bone, and 18oz off. The strip was 16oz. Filets are 9oz or 14oz, and as I mentioned above they don’t skimp out when you do the surf & turf deals. The creamed spinach was tremendous (see pic below) – unfortunately I only had two bites of it. The servers forgot to bring out the doggie bag to take that home (couldn’t finish). Oops. The plating was basic, and it’s really simple to achieve: cook meat, place meat on plate, serve. I’m cool with that. But that little bit of parsley?!?? Make it cilantro and I’ll eat it. Parsley is as useless as tits on a bull. I’m a fucking man for God’s sake. I don’t need a sprig of parsley on my plate or a tweel of balsamic infused chocolate sticking out of my potatoes for that matter (didn’t happen here, but it DOES happen). Dear chefs who do that: Go fuck yourselves. Sincerely, Johnny Prime. PS: What’s the difference between parsley and pussy? You don’t eat parsley…
Check out the bill below and make your own judgments. I thought it was a fair price for an above average meal. Normally our bills come to a much higher figure. The surf & turf deal for $50 is a nice bargain.
I didn’t spend any time at the bar, but it is in a good location, near the street, and it gets hopping after work. The martini was made well – up, very dry, with olives, and a little dirty.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The Palm had a bunch of specials. One thing that bugged me, though, was that oysters were a special and not a regular menu item. In addition to that they had a lobster cocktail special item, a strip steak with cherry peppers, some italian food items, and a pumpkin creme brulee. In addition to that stuff, they offer several kinds of surf & turf deals (3 courses for $50 – the menu is pictured below); some with shrimp, some with lobster, etc. As far as other meats go, they have lamb (under the chops menu), veal and chicken (under the italian menu). Perhaps a pork chop would make for a good addition to the menu.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
My wife had a basic mixed greens salad that came with her surf & turf. I had the crab cake. It was excellent – lots of meat, but still had good crisp texture. It came with a chipotle sauce that was perfect for an occasional dunk, and beside it was a cherry pepper and mango salsa; very nice. On the side we had creamed spinach, as usual. It was a little heavy (too much of the “cream” and not enough of the “spinach”), but you could tell it was made with top quality cheeses. For dessert we shared a pumpkin creme brulee, which came with my wife’s surf & turf (see below). It was a little grainy due to the addition of pumpkin, but tasty nonetheless.
Seafood Selection: 8
My wife had a lobster tail in her surf & turf. The bite I had was nice; crispy edges, juicy inside, nicely cooked, but she said the remainder of her tail was a little overdone. A shame – anyway you can see the entree below. As I mentioned before, the crab cake was excellent, but the oysters should be a staple and not a special. From the looks of other tables, the lump crabmeat was a generous helping. The Palm offers lots by way of various lobster items, and they also offer salmon, sea bass, and swordfish.
The service here was excellent. Our waiter was Martin, and he was very observant and concerned about our dining experience, our seating location, and whether we needed anything. In particular he was concerned about whether Ray, at the table next to us, was a bother. Absolutely not! I enjoy yapping it up, and Ray was really interested in this blog, so I say bring it on. Our new buddy Ray thought his waitress was too attentive, but I thought Martin was just right for our table. He did a good job of explaining why the bone-in was better than the boneless ribeye, and I overheard other waiters giving the history of the Palm, and what the drawings on the wall were all about (see below). Our table bread was a nice mix of different items. The butter was cold, but whipped and nice; just a little hard. The bread could’ve used a little warmth; it was room temperature. Throw that shit in the microwave for ten seconds or some shit. The only down about service was that we asked for our creamed spinach to be wrapped up to take home, but it never came out to us (not Martin’s fault – it was taken by the bus boy). By the time the bill came out and we paid, we had forgotten about it. Oh well – that’s a little bit my fault too, so no big deal. I just hope they gave it to a bum or something and didn’t throw it out.
The Palm has tons of drawn faces all over their walls. Apparently if you spend enough time and money there, they will immortalize you in cartoon form on the walls of their establishment. As you might expect, lots of famous people have their faces plastered on the walls in there. I had the privilege of looking at Jason Alexander and Mel Gibson throughout the meal, as they were depicted on the column nearest to our table. The story goes that young artists with no money used to create drawings of celebrities that dined there; in exchange they would receive a plate of spaghetti from the owner. That’s the lure and legend of how it all started. Cool. Other than that stuff, the ambiance is standard for steak joints: dim lighting, dark wood, and it smells fantastic. The tables were a little close together where we sat. It’s a good thing my wife and I are friendly people, otherwise the triple date with our new friend Ray would have been awkward. The bathrooms could use an upgrade: they were like any bar bathroom in Manhattan. There was an attendant one time I went in, but not the second time. I don’t think one is needed (ever – unless they have everything I need to shave my entire face).
250 W. 50th St.
New York, NY 10019