Monday, July 30, 2007


NYC Burger lovers were treated to a wonderful evening of burgers, beer and camaraderie this past weekend at the second annual QBQ BBQ sponsored by A Hamburger Today and Gothamist. and held at the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City. Despite only being in its second year the event was mobbed and judging by the hungry looks of those beach goers that didn't pre-buy tickets and thus could not get burgers next year will be bigger still. Offering up three regional hamburgers I unfortunately missed the pimiento burger because I waited for the Water Taxi for over an hour to make the three minute journey from 34th Street. Walking would have been quicker. I arrived just in time to catch the end of the butter burger line.

Butter burger production

The butter burger was scrumptious albeit an intense experience. It seemed as if the butter may have been in short supply because some of the pictures on other blogs showed a lot more butter than ended up on my burger.

At only $13.50 for three burgers the event was a real bargain

The onion burger was up next and by most accounts it was the most anticipated burger of the trio. It lived up to the hype.

Fresh beef balls are set on the grill along with slices of onion

After a few minutes the beef balls are mashed into the onions

The smell of the onions was intoxicating

Seasoning is applied

The patty and onion get flipped

Served on a seeded roll

The Onion Burger

I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Kuban, Jason Perlow and a whole lot of burger lovers. Jason has very comprehensive coverage over at Off The Broiler. Big thanks to the organizers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Jerky Renaissance?

The NY Times has an interesting little article on the ascension of beef jerky from junk food to gourmet item. Link

(Photo courtesy Michael Stravato for The New York Times)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

BLT Prime - "The pop overs are really good..."

There can be perhaps no more damning praise for BLT Prime than was paid by a Chef friend of mine recently when he dined there, his verdict? "The pop overs are really good." The concept of BLT Prime is admirable, marry the traditional American steakhouse with the culinary flair of French cuisine. Unfortunately intent only gets you so far. The fundamental problem at BLT Prime is that intent is let down by the execution. The steaks, Wagyu aside, are quite bland, flavorless and relatively expensive. The sides, despite some inventive creations, were almost uniformly disappointing. It is too bad because there is a lot to like at BLT Prime, the room has a clean modern design that is comforting to dine in, the service is very attentive and professional and the wine list is impressively comprehensive.

The blue cheese wedge was lackluster, with precious little blue cheese or bacon for the price. But oh those pop overs....

.....Simply marvelous

The Caesar was more successful than the blue cheese wedge, if a tad over dressed.

Perhaps the best appetizer on offer at BLT Prime, pop overs aside, is the wonderful salty grilled bacon. Shockingly I found it superior to Peter Luger's vaunted bacon.

Lord of the rings? Unfortunately not, despite the phallic presentation the rings were limp and greasy. A problem that plagued the leek hash browns and bizarre blue cheese tater tots as well. The potentially wonderful English peas with chanterelle and shaved truffles suffered from woefully undercooked peas.

The BLT Prime NY strip was equal to those of a traditional steakhouse in terms of portion size but lacked the juice and flavor of the latter. It was the best cooked of all the steaks I sampled at BLT Prime but it was still not satisfyingly charred, the other steaks fared worse. For a grill that operates at a claimed 1700 degrees one would think that searing the meat would be a simple matter.

The rib eye was perhaps the most disappointing dish at BLT Prime. Compared to the wonderful examples of the cut found at Smith and Wollensky and Wolfgang's the rib eye here lacks the bold yet complex flavors steak lovers expect. The exterior, despite showing areas of char was unevenly cooked and came adorned with the superfluous herb butter. The cut was also quite slender for the price compared to the aforementioned competition.

The bone in dry aged American Wagyu was excellent in terms of flavor and texture but despite being ordered medium rare it was delivered to the table in a decidedly rare state. Further it lacked a good char, coming in at a darkish brown with only faint grill marks. Never the less a very good piece of beef but at almost $100 for 10oz it should be.

The Japanese Wagyu was superb combining a delectably buttery texture and rich flavor that literally burst in ones mouth. Beautifully marbled the beef was beyond reproach and competitive with the Wagyu that I sampled at Kobe Club and Craftsteak, especially considering that it comes in slightly cheaper, costing "only" $26 an ounce.

I feel like a broken record but I simply cannot understand the over adornment of beef in the nouveau steakhouses, especially in the case of Wagyu. Frankly if you have a high quality piece of beef, either Wagyu or dry aged prime it should speak for itself, not be sullied by extraneous flavors. BLT Prime is the worst offender to date, the Wagyu here comes with marrow, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, Kosher salt, herb butter and an herb sprig. It also comes sliced which I am not in favour of, preferring a whole piece.

If I had to recommend a steak at BLT Prime it would be the Wagyu, either American or Japanese, but I would also recommend that you request it naked of the all adornments. The domestic prime beef here is not on par with what you can get elsewhere.

The dry aging room is centrally located in the restaurant. While the beef exhibits the tenderness one expects of the dry aging process it lacks the complex flavors, the earthy, musky undertones of the finest beef found in the city's top steakhouses. One steak that I was not able to sample because it was sold out was a dry aged, Japanese Wagyu rib eye that clocks in at $45 an ounce. This alone will be enough to get me back to the restaurant, but were it not for that cut I am not sure I would rush back to BLT Prime. The restaurant has a lot going for it in terms of decor, service and an inventive menu. Unfortunately the domestic steak is not on par with the competition and although the Wagyu is the starters and sides were disappointingly executed.

BLT Prime
111 E. 22nd St.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shopsin's General Store

If you have seen the hugely entertaining documentary film entitled "I like killing flies" about Shopsin's restaurant you know why I am somewhat apprehensive about spilling the proverbial beans about a fantastic little slider available in the Essex Street Market. It is not the threat of physical assault, although this is perhaps a possibility, that leads to this apprehension but rather the possibility that I will be banned by patriarch Kenny Shopsin who is notorious for shunning publicity.

Paradox: The sloppier looking the slider the better it tastes.

And what a calamity that would be because the sliders here are the best I have had in Manhattan, although that is not actually saying very much. In any case they are wonderful plump little patties and despite being cooked through they had plenty of succulence and flavor. Served on perfectly proportioned potato rolls with charred, grilled onions and a deliciously tangy cheddar from Saxelby cheese mongers next door the only thing missing in my opinion are pickle slices; With Gus's pickles just down the road this seems to be an easily rectifiable omission. Priced at 3 for $9 they would be considered expensive anywhere other than Manhattan, here they are a relative bargain because they are the closest I have come to White Mana style sliders in the city. So if you can't make it to Hackensack, NJ but want to sample a bit of the mid century magic that is the slider head on down to Shopsin's at the Essex Street Market. Just please don't tell them I sent you.

Shopsin's General Store
Open Tues. - Sat 9AM - 3PM
Stall #16 Essex Street Market
120 Essex St Market
NY NY 10002

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hill Country NY

I must admit that I greeted the news that a new barbecue restaurant would be opening in midtown with disdain. Not because I don't like barbecue, far from it but what seemed so abhorrent to me was the way it was described - a barbecue restaurant with live music and a market place seeking to recreate the Texas road house experience. I remember commenting at the time that the only thing that could make the whole concept worse was if Dolly Parton's name was affixed to it in some capacity, frankly the whole idea wreaked of theme restaurant. It turned out that Hill Country's opening coincided with the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and I was able to sample some wonderful offerings from their smoker at the event. Despite being newcomers to the BABBP Hill Country produced some of the finest food I ate at the whole event. Their beef ribs, smoked over Post Oak were wonderful, deeply flavorful, a crisp caramelized exterior gave way to a moist succulent interior. They also pulled out a few rib roasts for the lucky few who happend to be around and this dish was equally captivating.

So, heartened by my experience at the BABBP I decided to venture in to Hill Country. Occupying a large space on 26th St in Manhattan the interior is tediously designed to replicate Kreuz (pronounced "Krites") in Texas. In other words they spent a small fortune to make it seem as if they spent nothing at all. I find the whole theme restaurant utterly tiresome, just give me good food in a comfortable environment. The more you try to make it seem as if one is in anywhere other than NYC the more one is reminded that that is exactly where you are. I much prefer the decor at RUB and Blue Smoke, for example, sparse modern rooms that focus on the food. It is not that the space here is pretentious as much as it is just a bit tacky, the t shirts, barbecue sauce and other merchandise on sale reinforces the theme restaurant vibe, the only thing missing is a life size cardboard cut out of Dolly Parton.

The system for ordering and paying they have established is absolutely the most ridiculous, convoluted one I can imagine. Upon entering you are presented with a meal ticket ala Katz deli, you then queue up at various stations - meat, sides, desserts and drinks and then seat yourself at communal tables. Sounds like a cafeteria but unfortunately there is no unified line but rather there is an individual line for each station. The meat station, the logical starting point for ordering is actually furthest from the entrance way. There are trays available but they are craftily hidden away from the meat station and the servers simply hand you your food on big sheets of butcher paper. The whole system would be far more efficent if there was one line that went from station to station as oppsed to the chaos that must ensue when the restaurant is packed. When you sit down the service gets slightly schizophrenic as numerous bus boys and waiters buzz around getting you water and taking drink orders. Yes you can get your own drinks but you can also get table service which makes for further confusion when it comes time to pay, who do you tip? Obviously if the waitress gets you drinks you tip her but what of the bus boys? They are generally fastidious in clearing your rubbish and keeping your water glass full and certainly deserve something. There is a tip jar by cashier but I always leave a few bucks on the table instead. Once you finish eating you then take your meal ticket that has been marked at each station and head to the cashier at the exit.

But logistical complaints aside what of the 'Cue? I ate there numerous times in the past four weeks and while it initially met the expectations set at the BABBP there has been a precipitous and alarming decline in quality as of late. When I first ate there the pitmasters I recognized from the BABBP were all over the place, carving brisket, pulling racks of ribs off the smoker, generally overseeing everything and maintaining quality control. Lately it seems that wage workers are handling almost all the duties. Consequently, the food is uneven in execution. Too bad because for the beef lover the offerings are bountiful - ribs, moist and lean brisket, shoulder, prime rib and sausage.

Moist brisket, beef rib and sausage.

The beef ribs have almost always been outstanding when they are available, however twice in the last few weeks they were completely sold out. This beef ribs is a welcome addition to the NYC barbecue landscape. Formally the only beef ribs generally available in the city where the enormous Oklahoma beef rib from Daisy May's USA and the salt and pepper beef ribs from Blue Smoke. While Daisy May's rib is superb it eats more like a brisket than a rib having so much meat on it that it requires a knife and fork, I have always found the Blue Smoke ribs to be over cooked with precious little flesh, often coming off more like jerky than 'Cue. The Hill Country beef rib is a good mid point between the two, offering a generous amount of meat but also a lovely crispy, crunchy exterior. The beef has an impressive smoke ring and a hearty flavor. They are moist enough that they do not require sauce. Indeed the sauce they do serve at Hill Country is humerously called "If you gotta have it." It is actually closer to a steak sauce than a barbecue sauce and it is tasty albeit superfluous.

Prime rib

The "prime" rib is quite good but I am not as enthusiastic about it after eating a large slab as I was tasting it at the BABBP. Perhaps it was the novelty of the whole thing at the time but I prefer my prime rib roasted. I should note that "prime" rib is a misnomer here, and actually almost all of the time. A true prime rib is the rib roast section of a steer that has been designated as Prime beef by the USDA, anything else is simply a rib. If this was really prime rib it would cost a lot more than the $30 per pound that Hill Country sell it for. Never the less, the beef is served commendably medium rare, the flesh is juicy and tender with a deep smoky flavor.

The sausage from Kreuz market is actually a beef pork mix but I often find this makes for a good combination, the mild sweetness and tenderness of the pork juxtaposing nicely against the bold beef flavor. The sausage, especially the jalapeno cheddar variety is simply delicious but it was undercooked on one occasion. The other beef items have been less consistent. The shoulder, a unique menu item around these parts, is flavorful but a little too lean for my tastes, as was the lean brisket which was also a bit dry on the lone occasion I tried it.

Moist brisket

The moist brisket on the other hand can be excellent but more often than not it is completely untrimmed of fat, I assumed the moist moniker derived from the internal marbling of the cut not the external fat, apparently this is not the case. Seriously, a brisket needs to be trimmed, I don't expect to leave a quarter of what I pay for on the plate because it is pure fat. This leads me to another complaint, on a number of occasions the food has been far too greasy completely soaking the butcher paper. But when it is right the brisket here is as good as any brisket in the city, tender, moist and succulent with a bold oak flavor.

As for the sides they are a bit of a let down. While the barbecue follows traditional models in seasoning and flavor the sides are the work of Chef Elizabeth Karmel and thus they are contemporary urban interpretations of traditional sides. This makes for some odd choices, the coleslaw has raisins, the mac and cheese uses Penni, at least the baked beans with burnt ends tasted great and veered closest to traditional preparation. I am not sure why you would import beer, soda and ice cream from Texas, pattern you menu on a Texas institution and then mess with the sides, but there are a lot of things that I don't understand. One thing I really appreciate is the roll of paper towels and the mountain of wet wipes at each table, the wait staff is also quite attentive and helpful. What the restaurant lacks logistically the staff attempt to make up for with enthusiasm.

If this review comes of as hyper critical it is only because I have experienced some wonderful 'Cue at the hands of the Hill Country pit masters and thus recognize the restaurants potential. Certainly the ambitious menu has a lot of beef for the aficionado but perhaps it is a little too ambitious, the beef shoulder and the lean brisket for example are quite similar and I wonder how many people would really choose the shoulder over the brisket. But the alarming decline in the quality of the 'Cue needs to be addressed. I really think it comes down to quality control and having experienced pit masters at the smoker. I understand that this is a new restaurant and that there will be growing pains but one expects things to improve over time, not get worse. From the curious sides to the schizophrenic service to the convoluted ordering system there is a lot to work to be done but insuring that the kitchen lives up to the restaurants potential should be job one.

Hill Country
30 West 26th Street
NY, NY 10010
212 255 4454

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quality Meats

If you have read my last few posts you will see that lately I have been railing against the lack of originality in new steakhouse ventures. How many more iterations of the porterhouse for two can one town support? There are literally dozens of restaurants in NYC that have opened in the last few years offering virtually the same tedious menu. At the same time I have been less than impressed with the non Wagyu beef offerings of some of the nouveau steakhouses that I have tried as of late. Quality Meats definitely qualifies as a nouveau steakhouse but one with some traditional roots. The brainchild of Alan Stillman, proprietor of Smith and Wollensky, incidentally one of my favorite steakhouses, Quality Meats promises to update the traditional steakhouse fare while maintaining the excellent standard of beef that chop houses are famous for. Given the many wonderful meals I have had at S&W it was with guarded enthusiasm that I prepared myself for dinner at Quality Meats tonight.

Walking through the doors of the decidedly modern room designed by Avroko one is presented with a very eclectic space. Exposed brick walls, wine rack walls and meat hook light fixtures all make for a rather odd visual experience. It is not uncomfortable to dine in, like Kobe Club across the street, but the design is a bit busy for my tastes.

The Caesar salad was excellent, the fresh crisp romaine was just about perfect with a creamy dressing and good quality Parmesan. So too the fresh Malpeque oysters served with an interesting assortment of condiments. Nothing wrong here, good quality food prepared with care. But then again it is nothing that you couldn't expect at a regular steakhouse. One thing that you won't get at a traditional steakhouse, thankfully, is the waiter preparing "steak sauce" table side with a mortar and pastel. I never use steak sauce but did taste it just out of curiosity, I would be one dead cat it was an odd concoction that was dominated by too much fresh rosemary.

The rib eye steak at Smith and Wollensky is in my opinion one of the finest steaks available anywhere, I had hoped that this high standard would carry through to Quality Meats. At $44 the Quality Meats rib eye is certainly priced in the range of the top steakhouses.

Unfortunately the rib eye here was a very ordinary piece of beef, entirely lacking the deep complex flavors of the S&W cut. While it was delivered rare as ordered the outside could have used a lot more heat, the grill marks were quite uneven, a large section was completely un-seared. I asked for a charred exterior, I can only imagine how it would have looked had I not done so. The steak comes with the most enormous rib bone I have ever been served, easily a foot long. While it makes for an impressive presentation in practice it is annoying to eat, I almost knocked over my wine glass several times trying to cut the steak. The steak just did not have the flavor or tenderness that one should expect for $44.

The trio of filet mignon was also rather lackluster. The thin slivers of beef, cooked medium by default, were adequate in terms of flavor but really should have been served medium rare for best effect. The three sauces that topped the trio ranged from the delicious to the curious. A very nice Bearnaise was the star of the dish and had they served the entire filet with this simple sauce it would have been a winner. Next came what was billed as an au poivre but completely lacked the subtle melding of flavors that you might expect if you have eaten at an even half way decent French bistro, instead this was just a fiery, over the top peppery experience that completely overpowered the beef. The final filet came in the guise of a deconstructed beef wellington, mushrooms and pastry covering the steak. While not as offensive as the au poivre it was rather underwhelming and the pastry was a bit on the stale side. I appreciate the effort to bring something new to the steakhouse table and filets need all the help they can get but this is not a successful dish. on many levels.

I could talk about the sides, the wonderful pan roasted crispy potatoes for example or the gnocchi and cheese that you can smell from across the dining room but with the beef being so disappointing it hardly seems worth it. It is unfortunate that a restaurant from a group that excels at providing top quality beef can't live up to either that groups pedigree or its own name. Not recommended.

Quality Meats

57 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019
212 371 7777

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Steakhouse coming soon....(sigh)

A few days ago I half jokingly stated that we, the steak buying public, should put a moratorium on any new steak restaurant that doesn't offer anything original, lets hope that the Primehouse coming in the fall to Park Avenue and 27th st, NYC does. A product of the B.R. Guest management company the restaurant is moving in to an area already densely populated with steakhouses, Wolfgangs, BLT Prime, Les Halles and Angelo and Maxie's are all within walking distance, so they will have their work cut out for them. Hopefully they will offer something more inventive than a blue cheese wedge and porterhouse for two.

B.R. Guest

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The recent explosion of steakhouses in the NYC has made it difficult for the aficionado to keep up although I will admit that I am more than a little tired of Peter Luger replicas, often replete with "former Luger staffers." I expect the Peter Luger dishwasher to open a steakhouse any day now, or perhaps it will be the ruddy faced gentlemen who watches the garage. I just don't see a need for anymore traditional steakhouses in NYC, the ones we have are so excellent - Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, The Palm, Keen's, Gallagher's, Mark Joseph, Wolfgang's, et al that I think we, the steak eating public should put a moratorium on any new steak restaurant that don't offer anything original. With that said the recent lifting of the ban on Japanese Wagyu beef and the emergence of "celebrity chef"driven steakhouses has opened up new vistas for the beef eater. When it comes to celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio is among the most visible these days. I don't personally know Mr. Colicchio but from his performance on the reality TV show Top Chef he comes off as rather austere, slightly aloof but certainly demonstrates a broad culinary knowledge and the success of his Craft franchise speaks for itself, it got him on TV after all. I wouldn't say Colicchio is passionate about food and flavor as much as he is a deliberate, clinical technician, nay a craftsman. This is reflected in his latest addition to his Craft empire Craftsteak but perhaps steak needs a bit of fiery passion to pull off correctly. Located on the sight formally occupied by Frank steakhouse, a once decent institution that fell in to serious decline in recent years, on 10th Ave Craftsteak is located in a very modern room with a huge window overlooking the Westside highway and a high ceiling. The room could be considered minimalist but I find it a bit busy none the less. Still a far more agreeable surrounding than my recent experience at Kobe Club NY.

Some reviewers have complained that there is too much choice on the Craftsteak menu, indeed Frank Bruni of the NY Times referred to it as a "tyranny" of choice in his review last year. And I will agree that there is probably little reason to offer three different aging periods for the NY strip, who in their right mind would choose a 28 day dry aging over one that has been aged for 56 days considering the cost differential is only $6? But I wholeheartedly applaud the inclusion of three different NY strips of varying pedigree as well as non traditional steakhouse cuts like flat iron steak and hanger steak. Here is the full meat menu:


New York Strip (Dry-Aged In-House)
28-Day 18 oz. 49.
42-Day 18 oz. 52.
56-Day 18 oz. 55.
New York Strip 12 oz. 39.
Brandt Beef, California

New York Strip 12 oz. 39.

Pine Ridge Farm, Maine
Filet Mignon 6 oz. 32.


Filet Mignon 10 oz. 45.


Flat Iron 8 oz. 32.
Brandt Beef, California
T-Bone 20 oz. 64.

Ribeye 18 oz. 52.
Brandt Beef, California
Hanger Steak 12 oz. 35.


New York Strip 12 oz. 48.
Montana Ranch, Montana
New York Strip 12 oz. 49.
Painted Hills Farm, Oregon
Ribeye 14 oz. 55.

Montana Ranch, Montana

for the table

Ribeye for Two

36oz. 110.
Brandt Beef, California
Corn-Fed Porterhouse
36 oz. 120.


Skirt Steak (grade 6) 10 oz. 69.
Snake River Farm, Idaho
Ribeye (grade 7) 12 oz. 88.
Strube Ranch, Texas
New York Strip (grade 8) 12 oz. 102.
Snake River Farm, Idaho

New York Strip (grade 11) 30./ oz.

Miyazaki, Japan

As you can see a dizzying and ambitious selection and one that must cost a lot of money to maintain. Unfortunately, aside from the Wagyu beef, which is exquisite, the other two steaks I sampled, a corn fed 56 day dry aged Nebraska NY Strip and a grass fed strip from Montana were not on par with what you can get at a traditional steakhouse.

Corn fed strip, aged 56 day

The corn fed NY strip, ordered black and blue, was commendably delivered as requested. You would be surprised at how many places cannot get a black and blue order correct. Peter Luger's for one has rarely delivered on the request so I was impressed that Craftsteak could. If Craftsteak trumped Luger's in this regard, that was about it as far as the steak goes. Even with substantially more aging the Craftsteak does not come close to Luger's strip in terms of flavor although it comes closer in tenderness. The flesh on the outside edge of the strip bone is always a good place to taste the wonderful results of dry aging. A Luger steak imparts a complex, mineral rich flavor with hints of Roquefort cheese, the Craftsteak exhibits none of these traits, it is quite bland in comparison. Dry aging is essential for achieving tenderness and flavor in steak but it is a process that is as much art as science I don't doubt that Craftsteak has invested in the technology but they have a way to go in terms of developing character and flavor in their dry aging room. Egregiously, the NY strip comes adorned with some sort of au jus and a sprig of rosemary. I don't for the life of me understand how a restaurant can take the time to source the steer, dry age the beef (to one degree of success or another) and then do their best to mask the flavor.

Grass fed strip

Although they achieved a nice crisp crust on the corn fed steak the grass fed steer, ordered rare and delivered as such, was the opposite. There was simply none of the crackling char that is such a part of the steak experience. Personally I don't find grass feeding makes for very good steaks anyway, the inherent leanness of the steer and resulting nature of the flesh means that it needs to be cooked slower than grain fed lest it becomes too tough. Please don't think that I don't appreciate grass fed beef, one of the finest pieces of meat I ever ate was an amazing prime rib of beef at the Rib Room in London, UK but I find that grass fed beef lends itself more to roasted and braised methods of preparation. In any event while the Craftsteak strip did have an interesting earthy, gamy character its lack of char made it a none starter. It makes me wonder how the NY strip would have faired had it too been ordered rare as a opposed to black and blue. The problem of a lack of char probably stems from the fact that Craftsteak doesn't grill or broil their steaks but rather griddles them to sear the outside and then finishes them off in the oven. I imagine the black and blue steak never made it into the oven and was only griddled.

Japanese Wagyu

If the "regular" steaks underwhelmed the Japanese Wagyu was on par, it terms of quality, if not execution with my past Kobe experiences. Certainly the beef was outstanding, deeply marbled, succulent and bursting with flavor, a true luxury experience and priced accordingly. Unfortunately it too comes festooned with unnecessary accompaniments which at $30 an ounce is unforgivable.

And it comes sliced which I really don't care for, much preferring a continues piece of beef and while it was cooked perfectly medium rare as ordered it could have been a bit more charred on the outside. I would recommend ordering the Wagyu here sans the au jus and sprig of rosemary, at the price you will pay I think that you have the right to ask with out insulting the Chef's sensibilities too much.

Irrespective of these missteps the Wagyu beef here is very good indeed and coupled with the over all dining experience make for a meal that is easy to recommend to those that have the requisite deep pockets.

American "Wagyu" style rib eye

I also sampled the American "Wagyu" style beef rib eye which clocks in at $88 for 10 ounces. It was actually very good, rich and juicy it was a cross in terms of texture and flavor between a traditional domestic steak and true Japanese Wagyu. It was better cooked than the Japanese cut having a darker crust and although it too came needlessly adorned it was definitely leagues above the other domestic steaks on offer here.

As for the rest of the meal it was excellent. From the impressive wine list to the complimentary chicken liver mousse to the magnificent selection of seafood, the oysters were wonderfully fresh, to a lovely beat salad everything led up to the meat course perfectly and if you get the Wagyu everything will be in perfect proportion. The domestic cuts however will be a bit of a let down in comparison, the appetizers are so superior to regular steakhouses but unfortunately the regular steaks are not up to snuff. The end of the meal is were Craftsteak truly distinguishes from your run of the mill steakhouse. An impressive array of artisanal cheeses and elaborate deserts are on offer and make for a pleasing conclusion. The service was excellent through out, attentive and professional and certainly elevated the experience. All in all if you go for the Wagyu, or at least the American style Wagyu you are in for a pleasurable experience and one that I heartily recommend and indeed, look forward to enjoying again. For saner budgets however I would not recommend Craftsteak's regular steak, you can do far better elsewhere.


85 10th Ave.
(bet. 15th & 16th Sts.)

Manhattan, NY

212 400 6699