Raising the Steaks

Four new drool-worthy New York City steak houses

by MICHAEL KAPLAN

Click here for a look at the steak houses.

Opening a steak house in New York City takes serious gumption. Entrenched exemplars Keens, Peter Luger, and Sparks have long ruled as havens for large, pricey slabs of prime aged beef. But the Big Apple is experiencing a bit of a steak moment, with four innovative newcomers recently firing up their grills. Here's what makes them ready to compete with the big boys and win you and your appetite over.

AMERICAN CUT
363 Greenwich St.
Lowdown: When Next Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione conjured the menu for American Cut, an LDV Hospitality restaurant, he looked at its lower Manhattan locale for inspiration. Guests in Forgione's gorgeous, art-deco inspired dining room bite into NYC-centric dishes such as the New York City Cut - a 20-ounce bone-in rib-eye festooned with pastrami spices, smoked, and way too luxurious for mustard or rye bread - and his superior take on the potato pancake.
Beyond beef: Order an appetizer of raw oysters alongside a Plank Smoked Old-Fashioned, a variation on the classic cocktail that pairs perfectly with chilled bivalves.
Info: 212-226-4736; americancutsteakhouse.com

COSTATA
206 Spring St.
Lowdown: Though best known for Mediterranean seafood at his lauded Marea, chef Michael White also has a serious knack for steak. He and executive chef PJ Calapa prove it here. Opt for a table on the second floor of his wood-paneled, warmly lit Soho spread and order White's signature Costata, a tomahawk rib-eye for two, dry-aged at least 40 days and oozing beefy lusciousness. The charred lemon and clutch of rosemary alongside the steak adds an extra overture of flavor.
Beyond beef: Treat yourself to the handmade pastas, which make for tasty accompaniments to the steak. Check out the Garganelli alla Fiamma, tubes of egg-based pasta swirling in truffle cream and speck that marry nicely with rare beef.
Info: 212-334-3320; costatanyc.com

M. WELLS STEAKHOUSE
43-15 Crescent St., Long Island City
Lowdown: Situated in a former auto-body shop, gloriously renovated with red walls and a papered ceiling, M. Wells is all about the meat. French onion soup swirls around a large block of bone marrow and the wood-fired T-bone comes juicy on the inside with a satisfyingly salty char on the exterior. Brisket rests upon a bed of bread that absorbs juices and transforms into a carnivore's French toast.
Beyond beef: Augment your steak with truite au bleu, made with trout snatched live from a water-filled trough fronting the kitchen. It's a buttery treat that surfs with your turf.
Info: 718-786-9060; magasinwells.com

RESERVE CUT
40 Broad St.
Lowdown: Kosher without concession is the point behind this Financial District steak-and-sushi spot owned by Albert Allaham, a fourth-generation butcher who dry-ages his own meat on the premises. The Wagyu bone-in rib-eye is succulent and tender and served with a side of bone marrow. Sashimi for the table makes for an apt starter amid the restaurant's elegant, Asian-accented decor.
Beyond beef: The milk-free dessert menu is a dream if you're a dairy-phobe; you can gorge on sesame sundaes, cobblers, and brown butter carrot cake.
Info: 212-747-0300; reservecut.com

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