Peter Luger Steak House

178 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11211(718) 387-7400 peterluger.com

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There are two types of New York Steakhouses, old school and new school. And while they both obviously serve steaks as their main event, I truthfully find the experiences to be apples and oranges. Refined versus reminiscent. Inventive versus simple. Pricey versus- okay, well they’re all pricey.

So, where does Peter Luger fall in this? At the very top of the apples (a.k.a old school). The steaks are sourced, aged and cooked to perfection, along with a little butter. Served sliced, which I found novel and a touch risky, allowing all of those juices to get out before serving (pictured), but somehow Peter overcame, serving up a buttery, delicious pile of sliced meat.

The other surprise was how casual the setting is. Similar to Old Homestead and Smith & Wollensky, Peter Luger leverages the Tudor house of décor, but the vibe and the details are such that it almost makes you feel awkward to be dressed up, unlike the aforementioned.

But perhaps the most shocking thing of all about Peter Luger is what I’m about to tell you next… Don’t go for the steak. Go for the strudel. I have been to the finest strudel maker in Vienna, where strudel is practically religion, and I submit to you now that Peter Luger’s apple strudel is better. So take that Austria. How you like them apples?

P.S. They used to only take cash, so bring a wad the size of your femur because the place isn’t cheap.

4 teeth

 

Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse

157 Chrystie St. New York, NY 10002(212) 673-0330

Vodka

By and large there are two types of steakhouses in the city, the old school types like the Strip House, Old Homestead, Gallagher’s, Smith & Wollensky and Peter Luger. And the newfangled types like BLT Steak, BLT Prime and Quality Meats. And then there’s Sammy’s Roumanian, in a class unto istelf.

And by class I sort of mean the absence of class. You see, there is nothing about Sammy’s that anyone would ever mistake as “classy.” Cheesy perhaps. Schticky for certain. But definitely not classy. And the thing is, Sammy full on knows this and makes zero attempt to avoid it. Rather they embrace it full on, diving head first into an experience that feels like a three-way between The Wedding Singer, Tony & Tina’s Wedding and beef.

The festivities begin with a bottle of vodka served in a block of ice, placed directly on your table. No shit. Check out the picture above. So when it comes to your alcohol tolerance, bring your A game. Especially if you’re a smaller party.

Thereafter, you will be entertained by a Bat MItzvah-type emcee who looks like he stepped out of the 80’s, armed with a keyboard, a microphone and an arsenal of vaudeville puns that will have you cringing from ear to ear, so much that it somehow becomes smiling. Call it magic. Call it vodka. Whatever it be, it’s fun. You simply just can’t have a bad time here. I don’t know why. Because every fiber of your being would tell you otherwise. But it is the genuine nature in which it is pulled off that keeps it pure. It is the spirit and vibe of the place that keeps it light. And it is the originality and novelty of experience that makes it a fresh departure from its comparatively stuffy cohorts.

So what about the food? Well, it’s not quite up there with the best, but Sammy does have its moments. The meat, while garlicky, is still pretty good, granted you shouldn’t expect an array of beef cuts to choose from. However things like chopped liver with schmaltz, smashed potatoes with onions, stuffed cabbage and an egg cream dessert will all make up for whatever is missing with a coma-inducing chicken fat hangover. Bon appetite!

4 teeth