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Aug 4

REVIEW: Peter Luger Steakhouse

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BOTTOM LINE:

Cuisine: Steak

Price Range: $$$$

Notable Dishes: Steak/bacon

Beverage Program: 

AD Says: Worth Going (if you have never been) otherwise Hit or Miss

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There are a lot of steakhouses in New York City. But in this story of evolution, we can all trace the lineage back to the original “Lucy” if you will, the steakhouse from which all other New York steakhouses were born, the Professor who instilled his knowledge on the others and allowed them to spread their wings. Except here’s the problem, after not having been to Luger’s in such a long time, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with it.  

Here’s the good news first: the front of house staff still espouse the “you should enjoy the privilege of waiting to eat our steak” attitude which, even though it sounds rude, fits the place very well. The waiters are all still full of personality and the wine list while small, is still filled with some good (if not expensive) gems. 

The other thing that hasn’t changed is the sauce…..

I forgot how much better it tastes directly at the restaurant. I’m sure it still comes from the same bottle you can buy at the store but it tastes fresher. Think of the difference between buying a coffee at Starbucks vs. buying a bottled frappucino from a deli… except the product is actually good. (Ok, I know Starbucks coffee is gross but freshly made is less gross than the alternative).

To get your mind off of that bad analogy, we ordered a beautiful bottle of 2006 Silver Oak.

 

While I will leave the wine reviews to SAS and JL, I am happy to report that this was thoroughly enjoyed. Smooth and excellent as an accompaniment for our steak dinner.

As the steakhouse tradition dictates, I strongly suggest you start with the bacon. 

 

It’s just a perfect piece of bacon. You can drown it in Luger’s sauce. And that I recommend. Even throw in some of their delicious onion bread. Make a sandwich. Eat it on its own. It doesn’t matter. You’ll enjoy it.

On to the steak.

Like any steakhouse, if you are four people, get the steak for three. If you are three people, get the steak for two. You get the idea. It will always be too much food if you don’t. But then again, you will have Luger Leftovers and no one can be mad at a beautiful steak sandwich in the morning. Another word of advice, ask for no butter on your steak. It is less filling and you can actually eat more of it without feeling pregnant (unless you are, and in that case, your baby will be very happy that you are eating here. You’re a good mother). 

Let’s be realistic for one second. Luger’s steaks are out of this world. If you have never been there, it’s one of those places you have to go and visit if you live in New York. But I have to say that on my most recent visit last night, the cut of meat was sub par. There was a lot of tough fat on the filet side. Pieces of steak can be hit or miss and consistency is hard to achieve I suppose. But in all of my repeat visits to the great steakhouses of NYC, I have to say that Luger’s was a bit disappointing this time around. And to be disappointed leaving Luger’s when the expectations are great, the price is that steep, and the policy is cash only, you tend to be a bit more disappointed. 

I also learned last night that they have one michelin star. That confuses me. Maybe Michelin is looking at Luger’s with beer goggles. 

At the end of the day, as the old philosophy about martial arts goes (and yes, in this case martial arts is applicable to steakhouses): the student shall surpass the master both in knowledge and skill. This is the source of improvement for the art as a whole. If the student never surpasses his master, then the art will stagnate, at best. In that case, we should all be grateful to Peter Luger’s for teaching so many able students.

-(A)(D)

178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211-6131
(718) 387-7400

For more information: http://www.peterluger.com/brooklyn.cfm