Thursday, December 22, 2011

Macelleria: 2 year anniversary! Sameer's posts are getting dull!

Macelleria (December 2011)

48 Gansevoort St
New York, NY

Sameer: [NO COW] - Porterhouse for 2 (rare); NY strip (rare); Rib-eye (med. rare) - A lot to comment on here. First, on a sentimental note, I would like to acknowledge the 2 year anniversary of this little adventure of ours. An idea was born from a casual dinner between chums 2 years ago and has since blossomed into what has fast become (at least for me) one of my favorite nights of the month, and not just for the steak. So cheers to our group of guys and a heartening tradition of making sure old friends take the time to catch up. Second, if I realized it was the 2 year anniversary maybe would have picked a more trustworthy restaurant, I thought we were at 23 months.

Be that as it may, on to the steak. I won't rate them individually per my usual as I think my rating applies across the board. I would consider this steak bottom of my list. The charring was not so much charring and a burnt exterior. The meat, while actually well prepared, lacked even the remotest trace of flavor. So much so, I was just plain baffled how even no seasoning made it into 3 different plates, let alone any flavor from the steaks themselves. I've never had to rely on the steak sauce to provide the flavor before. Enough said. Except I feel no regrets and am actually glad we tried this place, something a little different over the traditional steakhouse. Mainly because it brought me comfort that I can still discern some quality among steaks and have not been numbed to just calling every expensive steak at least "not bad".

Jeff: - Pending

Krish: - Pending

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wolfgang's Steakhouse (Tribeca): Many challenges accepted, none actually done

Wolfgang's Steakhouse (November 2011)

409 Greenwich St
New York, NY

Sameer: - Porterhouse for 2 (rare) - This sequel visit, albeit a different location, offered a mixed reaction from me. The 33rd street Wolfgang's is among my top picks in the city, however, this sister location did not quite live up to the reputation. The prep was solid, but I found the tenderloin side cold and slightly flavorless for my taste (perhaps I'm more of a medium rare fan for this type of cut). The strip side was delicious though and basically carries my cow rating here. Great charring all around also a plus. 3 side notes: Our next outing, I would suggest Krish and I switch plates after the steak is doled out to see if he, in fact, is more prone to getting tendon-y pieces; I am not allowed to arrive early anymore and eat chips at the bar, weak showing in terms of finishing my steak; the cross-fit vs. p90x challenge was constructed this evening, results may vary. Also, a very hearty congratulations to SOTM member, Q, for getting engaged.

Jeff: - Pending

Krish: - Pending

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Parlor Steakhouse: Forgettable

Parlor Steakhouse (October 2011)

1600 3rd Ave
New York, NY

Sameer: [No Cow.] - Bone-in Strip (rare), Ribeye for 2 (medium rare) - I suppose I expected more from the trek to UES, but I found the strip devoid of any flavor or pleasing texture. Maybe there's something to be said for going medium rare any time the cut has a bone. Regardless, the ribeye would've actually made up for it somewhat had the charring not been so aggressive that much of the inside became over-done. I actually enjoyed the char itself up to a certain point, but still found the meat underseasoned.

Jeff: - Pending

Krish: - Pending

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saxon + Parole: The start of a dry spell (for reviews. I hope)

Saxon + Parole (September 2011)

316 Bowery
New York, NY

Sameer: - New York Strip (rare), Ribeye for 2 (medium rare) - Delectable. Surprisingly so. An entry into what I consider a movement away from the traditional "steakhouse" into "new american grill". Steaks comprise a small portion of the menu, but carry a lot of flavor. The strip was tender and moist without being chewy for rare, and at least for me, required no additional seasoning. Same goes for the ribeye (I hope this puts an end to the long-standing rare vs. medium rare debate for ribeyes). I will say that the charring felt a bit mushy and that I suspected some over-seasoning, which threw off the balance of flavor. Nitpicking perhaps, but overall some enjoyable steak. Also would have much preferred just straight bone marrow instead of turning it into a bernaise, which basically gave me all the cons of marrow health-wise, without any of the flavor benefits. A few side notes. This was one of the first opening nights for the restaurant, surprisingly sparse crowd but service did not seem to suffer. I've also never seen a waitress taken aback by the amount of steak we ordered. Maybe it was horse meat after all.

Jeff - shared - I must confess, I remember little of this place except that the combination of the decor (think "race horse chic") and the name spurred me on an relentless pursuit of horse meat jokes. 

kka: Pending

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Palm: Liquored up Sameer should not go out in public

The Palm One (August 2011)

837 2nd Ave
New York, NY

Sameer: - Double Cut New York Sirloin for 2-3 (rare) - An ambiguous rating for me. The meat was cooked beautifully I thought, definitely my kind of rare, with an almost artistic contrast of heavy charring (to the extent it looked like a brick of coal coming out, until sliced open to reveal a rosy center). Enjoyed the charring, but I had knock the rating down quite a bit for the severe lack of flavor. I repeatedly reached for the salt shaker. Also enjoyed the british couple banter.

Jeff: Pending

kka: [no cows] - Same - I agree the steak looked very well cooked, but I really did not get anything out of eating it. It lacked flavor. While I will likely not return, I did enjoy the generous pours of scotch and the fact that Sameer disregarded all advice given that evening, including from the British guy who has been married more than once.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sparks (3): You marry one of us, you marry all of us

Sparks (July 2011)

210 E 46th St
New York, NY

Sameer: - Prime Sirloin (rare) - An unprecedented 3rd visit (actually I think even a 2nd visit was unprecedented). It pains me to give a 2 cow here. Still my favorite steakhouse, but this the prep was a little off today, perhaps partially owing to how busy the place was. The crust was still pure ecstasy for me, requires no additional seasoning, just delectable. It looks almost like a burnt charring when you see it, but no trace of burned flavor persists. Wonderful. A nice rare, but I started finding it a little tough to get through halfway through the cut. This month's outing also marks a celebration for our very own Krishna for taking the big leap and proposing. He's a 1 steak man from now on. Congratulations buddy.

Jeff: - Prime Sirloin (rare) - Odd that today's visit had an unprecedented packed dining room. Normally it is empty, but perhaps this is the summer rush in effect? Unfortunately, the steak suffered slightly for it. Perhaps too many slabs of meat to track. Yes, the wonderful char was still there, but I noticed a slight overcooking of the meat. Still, a joy that is to be celebrated. I maintain their full cow status because I believe in a moving average. One odd outing does not doom one rating-cow to the slaughterhouse.

kka: [no cows] - Prime Sirloin (rare) - I was very excited for the famed Prime Sirloin and the first bite was amazing. It had a light, crispy crunch that would give away to the melty fat and tender meat. However, the meal quickly went downhill as I found myself chewing on an exceptionally tough white strip (tendon?) that ran between the fat and the meat on a side of the cut. In the end, I simply could not finish my steak, which is why I am giving no cows. I will likely return since that first bite did provide a brief glimpse of the perfection described in this blog.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Old Homestead: Bros before hos

Old Homestead (June 2011)
56 9th Ave
New York, NY

Sameer: - Finest Center Cut Sirloin (rare), Gotham Rib Steak on the bone (medium rare) and Signature Filet Mignon on the bone (rare) - A lot of steak to review so I better do this while I remember. First the center cut. Delicious flavor, owing to the "herbs and spices." Some sort of mystery mixture whose secret is locked away with the Coca Cola recipe. Gave the steak a unique flavor I have not yet tasted. Really enjoyed it. The Rib steak marbling was ok, the charring was not as pleasing as I would have liked, but the steak had solid flavor. Filet has never been my thing, but I thought on the bone would do the trick, was not a huge fan. Did not have the crispness I like to contrast the tenderness in the center. Perhaps a bit underseasoned.

Krishna: - Same - I thought the center cut sirloin with the special herbs was really well flavored and well cooked. The ribeye was also very well prepared. It was just slight warmer than rare -- enough to allow the fat to melt into the steak but rare enough that it was still tender. I was tempted to give only 1 cow b/c of the filet, but decided against it because I think I am just not a fan of the cut in general. It has a weird flavor to it. I also don't think it was aged.

Jeff: - Same - The Center Cut tasted like as if we were eating steak at flor de mayo. Vague amounts of herbs and spices adds up to unusual flavor on top of the steak, but it's all air. The flavor does not enrich the steak's flavor, just adds a bit of song and dance to it. Gotham Rib was good. Filet Mignon was good, and I like this cut, don't you worry you precious cow, I appreciate you.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Smith and Wollensky's: SOTM is getting real

Smith and Wollensky's (May 2011)
797 Third Ave

New York, NY

Sameer: - Colorado Rib Steak (medium rare) and Porterhouse for 2 (rare) - Enjoyed the colorado cut more than the porterhouse, though both had nice flavor. Found the charring a little underwhelming but very nicely executed rare/med rare. Was expecting more flavor out of the porterhouse but maybe my expectations are getting skewed after doing this for a year and a half? Regardless, I will never stop.

Jeff: - Same - Order #1: Appetizer + N-1 meat + N-1 sides
Order #2: N meat + N-2 sides,
where N is number of persons.

Krishna: - Same - I was pleasantly surprised by the steak here. I had low expectations for some reason. Well cooked.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dylan Prime: Grassfed beef, you sexy bitch

Dylan Prime (April 2011)
62 Laight Street

New York, NY

Sameer: - Bone-In Ribeye (medium rare) and NY Strip (rare) - Agree with Jeff on this one. I was more than pleased, I was elated with the rib-eye. Fantastic flavor, tenderness and texture.

I was the only one at the table who did not like the strip, thus my cows reflect an average of the 2 steaks. It was too chewy for me. The rib-eye was chewy but came with flavor, which I felt was lacking in the strip.

Ron is the man.

Jeff: - Same - Pleasantly surprised! The rib-eye was a delight in flavor and fattiness. Though ordered medium rare, the steak came out fairly rare, and that was not an obstacle to its deliciousness despite it being a fattier cut.

The NY Strip was charred perfectly, and cooked to perfection The aged meat produced a wonderful blue-cheese like smoky flavor, adding another dimension to the steak.

The ballyhooed pork belly tater tots combined the tater tot bites of a school cafeteria with the pork belly products of a school cafeteria.

Ask for Ron.

Krishna: - Same - Not sure how Sameer thought the strip didn't have any flavor. Per Jeff's I thought the way the aging on strip was done exceptionally well. The roquefort-like flavor reminded me of Minetta Tavern's burger and it had great texture.
The rib-eye was great too. I was a little worried when I saw how rare it was given the fatty cut but it ended up being perfectly tender.
I liked Ron's discussion about killing cow's w/o them seeing it coming.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Robert's: Misleading restaurant name

Robert's Steakhouse (March 2011)
603 W 45th Street
New York, NY

Sameer: - Who knows - I've heard this place serves steaks. From what I recall the steak had really good flavor, but I found the meat quality actually a little poor. It was stringy and lacked any marbling. Maybe the flaw was in cooking because the meat lacked tenderness. I think my and Jeff's steaks got switched. I also like ladies.

Jeff: - NY Strip (I think) - Juicy aromatic meat. Steak was good, too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ben and Jack's Steakhouse: Ben and Jack are probably vegans

Ben and Jack's Steakhouse (Feb 2011)
219 E 44th

New York, NY

Sameer: [no cow for you]- Porterhouse Steak for 2 (rare) - Eh. Lacked flavor, I don't usually need to salt my steak, but copious amounts were required. Little too chewy for me as well. But I was pleased with ordering the side off the menu.

Jeff: [zero vacas] - Same - Underseasoned by a mile. The "secret menu" side dish we ordered was two other menu sides stirred together in a mixing bowl. Atmosphere of a Madame Tassaud's early morning before it opens.

Krishna: [zero]- Same - What got me was how mealy the steak was.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Michael Jordan's: A rare miss for the legend, other than his baseball and movie careers

Michael Jordan's (Jan 2011)
23 Vanderbilt Ave

New York, NY

Sameer: - NY strip (rare) - So satisfying. Very nice crust, very nice flavor, and my ideal seasoning level. Some pretty hefty cows lost for major inconsistencies in preparation. Mine was overcooked, Jeff's was undercooked, etc.

I'm no fan of greens, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the haricot verts. To clear up some confusion during the meal, green in french is "vert(e)" and in spanish is "verde".

As for ambience, a rather interesting setting in the GC Terminal. Open and airy.

Note: my cow ratings will continue to only reflect steak.

Jeff: [junk-tranche cows] - Bone in rib-eye (medium rare) - I estimate that the steakhouse found an inbred grade-C level calf milling about in the alleyways of Grand Central, from which they sliced a rib eye cut. I understand ribeye is an inherently fattier cut, but this slab of flesh had fat lesions and lard barnacles attached. Disgracefully undercooked. It is a medium rare bone-in ribeye. Maybe ya should keep it in the oven a little bit longer, fam.

The side dishes also look ashamed to be there. The "hand cut steak frites" are large potato slices hand cut by a mongoloid make-a-wish wielding a play-doh knife. The plating (and the taste) are seemingly inspired by Lincoln Log toys.

I regret ever suggesting this restaurant.

Krishna: [zero?]- NY Strip? (rare?) - I forget now -- I think the strip was pretty good though.