Pietro’s – An Awesome NYC Classic

Ever since I ate at Pietro’s with Steak Club 7 back in June of 2009, I’ve wanted to go back. The food was great, the service was excellent and the good times were a plenty. There’s a lot of Steak restaurants in NYC and there’s also a lot of great Italian restaurants. However, there aren’t a lot of old school Italian restaurants that also seve great chops. Pietro’s is the place to go for both! This Italian-leaning steak house opened in 1932, this restaurant passed hands when original owner, Pietro Donini passed away. In 1984, Pietro’s moved to it’s current location on 43rd St.

As we do every year, some of my friends from the music business and I get together for a yearly holiday Steak dinner. With last year’s dinner having some lack luster results, I wanted to bring it back this year and suggested Pietro’s. This was going to be exactly the vibe we were looking for.

At this point, it’s now a tradition. Start off your meal with a platter of Pietro’s delicious chicken parmesan. It’s mighty big but it you have enough people, it’s perfect to split.

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While you’re at it, get an order of the meatballs as well. Actually, get one meatball for everyone at the table. We asked for an order to split to which our energetic and fun waiter said “are you kidding me? I’m not going to let you split meatballs, I am going to get you each one!”

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It’s a part of what many of my friends consider an essential part of a steak dinner, but I can’t stand shrimp, so I didn’t have any. I’m sure the rest of my table disagreed.

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It’s NEVER a bad idea to have some roughage as part of a meal this big and intense. The savoriness and intense flavor of a Caesar salad usually does the trick.

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Creamed spinach. I will never understand why people love this dish but they do and its extremely popular with steak dinners. My negative nancy-ness aside, I’m sure everyone else at the table would rave about the dish at Pietro’s.

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Garlicky green beans, now we are talking my style! I love love love green beans with steak and these were great.

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Bring on the start of the show, STEAK! Pietro’s offers a number of steak options but there is only one way to go. Come with a lot of friends and order steak by the number of people at the table. They’ll slice up a porterhouse and serve it to everyone at the table. Look at this picture. LOOK AT IT! Holy Wow! Yes it looked perfect and it tasted that way.

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You gotta have a little starch with a large steak dinner and Pietro’s offers you 9 choices! None of them will take you down a bad path but I definitely suggest the hash brown potatoes.

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While your at, try a helping of the french fried onions. They’re nice and crispy and work really well with witha  juicy bite of steak.

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Somehow not satisfied with the feast we had just ripped through,most of the table wanted to split desserts. While they were all good, the Italian Cheesecake (made with ricotta, not cream cheese) was outstanding and absolutely worth finishing off your meal.

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2.5 years later, Pietro’s is definitely as good as I remember. It’s definably classic NYC in it’s style, presentation, location and feel. The food is absolutely awesome, the service is top notch and the vibe is fantastic. It’s good for dates, parties, corporate dinners, dinner meetings and for 8 guys who get together once a year, dress up in their Sunday best and go out to celebrate the holidays by eating steak together.

 

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Carmine’s – Born In An All New Steak Light

We live here in New York City and we love it. In fact, we love every part of it. Ok maybe not that random Apple Bee’s filled with European tourists who don’t know any better and Staten Island, well, let’s just not talk about it now, but for the most part, New Yorker’s got pride for their city. The 7 men in SteakClub7 are no different in our passion for the Big Apple. We love it! Yes, even Times Square, while we generally avoid being in it, we accept that it helps make this the greatest city in the world.

Any suggestion to do anything in Times Square is most certainly met with a quizzical “are you sure?” before diving in on the commitment. While recently talking to a new friend who works at Carmine’s on 44th Street, that’s exactly what happened. After I introduced the concept of SC7 to Erin, she replied “you guys absolutely have to try the Porterhouse Contadina at Carmine’s! It’s a Porterhouse served with Onions, Peppers, Sausage, Potatoes, Oil and Garlic.” EX-KWEEZ ME!??! “Yeah,” replied Erin, “you guys will love it.”

Now before we proceed you should know that I love Carmine’s. Yeah it’s a theater crowd restaurant that’s filled at all times with tourists and out of towners, located right in Times Square. There’s a reason it’s always busy and it’s not just because of the location. There are two things I can say about every time I have ever eaten at Carmine’s, the food is great and we always have a great time. It’s the kind of place that requires a minimum of 6 people for you to enjoy properly as every single dish, app, side of entrée, is MASSIVE. It’s meant to be shared as it’s a family style Italian meal. But that’s it, it’s Italian, I.E. Pasta, Chicken Parms, Meatballs, Veal, Antipasto, etc, etc. When I think Carmine’s I think heaping plates of the above, I have never thought “that place must be great for Steak.”

But allow me to repeat; “Porterhouse Contadina, served with Onions, Peppers, Sausage, Potatoes, Oil and Garlic.” I don’t care if that was served under bridge with sewage running under it and I would still want to eat it. A quick email went out to the fellas to get a confirmation and with much curiosity, a reservation was made.

The meal started out with a massive plate of Antipasto with Melon, Prosciutto, Roasted Red Peppers, Italian Cheese, Focaccia, Marinated Veggies and more. It was all really tasty, especially the Focaccia with Red Peppers, Meat, Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar!

Up next, a little Mixed Greens Salad. I say little which is practically a word that doesn’t exist at Carmine’s. Everything here is served in huge proportions meant to allow everyone at the table to share in the plate. The Mixed Green Salad is a very simple mix of Greens, Tomatoes, Oil, Vinegar and Spices. It’s mean just to create a digestive bed for what’s to come.

The rest of the fellas split up a Shrimp Cocktail Plate. The Shrimp looked big enough to mount and gallop off into the distance on!

An absolute must when dining at Carmine’s (besides my suggested minimum of at least 5 friends) is the Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic & Oil. Back in the hoe country this is more commonly known as Aioli but here at Carmine’s it’s just known as AWESOME. Topped with Cracked Parmesan & Black Pepper, this dish is not to be missed!

Then it came. The star of the show. The main event. The big kahuna. You can call it what you want but probably the most descriptive word for the Porterhouse Contandina is IMPRESSIVE. This gargantuan entrée is big enough to satisfy the hunger pangs of an ancient caveman stone worker who has a dinosaur for a pet. Carmine’s has taken the most delicious and special cut of steak, at Porterhouse (1/2 Sirloin, 1/2 Filet) and covered it in roasted Potatoes, Onions, Peppers and hoh-my-goodness, Sausage! That last bit almost seems pointless but trust me, it takes this awesome dish over the freaking top!

Was it good? Hell yeah, it was awesome! Especially when served along with the Angel Hair smothered in Garlic & Oil. Cooked perfectly and absolutely BURSTING with great flavors makes the Camine’s Porterhouse Contadina. one of the most unique Steaks in NYC.

Matty Winks is an animal a completely lawless animal with a burning in his stomach for more food. Watching the man eat is a sight like none other. When the Meatgod, who LOVES Ice Cream Sundaes, turns down dessert, you know we have eaten a lot. At Carmine’s, the most popular dessert item is the Titanic, a statuesque heaping Banana Split meets Ice Cream Sunday that is topped with a storm cloud of freshly made Whipped Cream. It’s a lot of fun to get but honestly, no one had any room. When the waiter reveals there is a half-sized version of the tugboat, Mattywinks goes into action and demands one, whip cream on the side, to accommodate the Meatgod who can’t stand the stuff.
We all ate some.


Was the Steak at Carmine’s good? No. Did we enjoy the entire experience? No. In truth, the Steak was FANTASTIC and the entire experience was WONDERFUL. I’m psyched to say that after years of loyal patronage of Carmine’s without them doing anything differently than they have before, it’s reborn to me in all new even shinier light. Get 5 friends, get a res and get fed!

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

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