Uncle Jack’s (midtown)

Uncle Jack’s overall score: 85

Uncle Jack’s has three locations in New york. My buddy and I decided to give the midtown location a try. Overall the food was better than good. I’d definitely give another location a shot, especially since I was pretty hammered toward the end of the meal.
Flavor: 8
I had the ribeye (8/10), and my friend had the bone-in strip (7/10). Both were pretty good, though I liked mine better. There was a slightly marinated flavor to the meat that I wasn’t sure I liked too much, but the fat was good and melty, and there was nothing left on the bone when I was through with it. Can’t complain too much.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
Uncle Jack’s has filet mignon in two sizes, a big ass ribeye, two sizes of strip, porterhouse for two or more, and a “Kobe” selection as well. Everything is USDA Prime, and dry-aged for 3-4 weeks. Top notch stuff.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
For the steak, the filet comes in puss-bag size (10oz) or awesome size (16oz). I must say, ordering a filet here is manly. That’s a full pound of no-waste beef. The ribeye is 30oz (bone-in), the strips are 16oz bone-in or 16oz boneless, and the porterhouses start at 48oz (24oz pp). Everything is pretty much on the large side here, which is good.
Price: 8 => 9 (see update below)
The price is a bit high, with the ribeye at $55, but this seems to becoming all too normal in the NYC steak world. Inflation is hitting the industry hard. Our total bill for a dozen oysters, the two steaks, two sides, and several martinis was $240. One great thing I noticed was that on Sundays they offer a $99 price fix lunch for two that comes with a shared caesar salad; crab cakes; choice of 10oz filet, 16oz strip, or a 2lb lobster; two sides; and dessert + coffee or tea. Freaking sweet!
Bar: 8
The bar is a little small; not the kind of place that will generate a crowd. But the bartenders are really nice, and they mix a good cold, crisp martini ($14). They offer a nice bar menu with things like “Kobe” meatball pops and “Kobe” sliders. A bit expensive, but it is nice to see the quality. They also have a pretty good single malt scotch selection.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
On special there were some appetizer items, and a veal steak. As mentioned earlier, they had “Kobe” offerings, which is fantastic (but be aware of the Kobe & Wagyu sham). This place doesn’t fuck around. On the entree menu there is NOTHING BUT BEEF (and lobster under surf & turf). Good for them, but not good for everyone. I like the boldness but I can’t give full points when the only thing regularly offered is beef.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We had a dozen Bluepoint oysters, and they were creamy, crisp, cold and refreshing. The creamed spinach was fantastic too – just right with the creamy and savory balance. We also had the sauteed mushrooms, which went really well with the spinach when you mixed them together. We skipped dessert.
Seafood Selection: 7
Uncle Jack’s has no real seafood entrees, aside from a surf and turf item. I am fine with that, but it’s a good thing I have balls between my legs, otherwise I might have wanted something more gay, like fish. For apps, they have the usual smattering of shellfish and seafood cocktails, but I can’t give a high review. See above. Without anything to offer, I can’t give full points, even though I dig their boldness for holding strictly to beef.
Service: 9 => 10 (see update below)
Our waiter was good – he knew his meat well. He talked about the need to cook ribeyes a little longer than strips, so that the fat has a chance to melt away a bit more. On the table we had a nice selection of warm breads and rolls. The butter was a bit hard though.
Ambiance: 9
Uncle Jack’s has a nice “exposed brick” look on the outer walls; elegant but classy and old fashioned looking. There’s a beautiful half-spiral stairway that winds up to a second floor when you first walk in, and it looks over the bar from the balcony railings. The downstairs has a patterned tin ceiling, and the upstairs has ornate molding and recessed trims with dark cherry and marble accents. They rock the traditional all-male wait staff with bow ties and vests, black and white. The crowd was slightly touristy based on the cougar count, and based on the fact that the older couple next to us was up from WV for a three-play weekend. Bathrooms were nice and clean, and smelled like apples and cinnamon due to a huge glass bucket of potpourri.
UPDATE 4/24/2016: Brunch
Uncle Jack’s offers an amazing brunch deal on Sundays for $34.95. You get unlimited bloodies, bellinis or mimosas, you get biscuits and popovers, a jar of ricotta and honey, and your choice between one of ten entrees.
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If you’re not already full after those started, which you probably will be, the entrees are fucking dynamite. My wife went with chorizo, thick bacon, black beans, eggs and plantains.
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My mom went with this baked eggs dish, which came with sausage and chorizo as well.
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My dad had this burger, which comes with what I consider to be some of the best fries in town.
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For an $8 upcharge, you can do the steak and eggs brunch, which is a nice 14oz strip steak that comes served in a skillet with potatoes, onions, spinach and eggs however you like.
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This strip was an improvement over the one I tasted last time I was here. It was nice, juicy and flavorful. 8/10.
Given the amazing value that this brunch deal adds to the mix, I am bumping this score up by a point for price, from 8/10 to 9/10.
The service here is excellent too. Our waiter, Lenny, was great to converse with, whether it was about food in general or the latest TV show crazes.  The manager, Wander, came to the table to check on us as well. He was very accommodating and even offered us a dessert on the house. We were so full by that time that we had to kindly pass. This place is a fantastic deal. I will definitely be back for brunch soon. There are five other things I wanted to try from the menu.
Chipping away at those items, my wife and I tried the house smoked salmon and the French toast bread pudding at the bar one afternoon. Richie, the bartender, was a total class act. Awesome barman, and I hope to get back soon.
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UNCLE JACK’S
44 W. 56th St.
New York, NY 10019

One thought on “Uncle Jack’s (midtown)”

  1. I went here in a pinch on Saturday 10/26, when I couldn’t get into Porter House or Quality Meats in time to make an 8pm show at the Time Warner Center. Enjoyed it, and its worth a trip back. Sadly I wasn’t in a wine drinking mood, so I didn’t look into their wine list.

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