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Bobby Vans – Back with a Vengeance

Seeing as you rely on Steak Club 7 to be THE authority on NYC Steak, it’s our duty to try them all. Once in awhile though a steak is so good, it needs to be revisited. Other times, it’s so bad that there is no chance of redemption. Bobby Vans was on that list.

Home of the 2nd ever official SC7 gathering, the Bobby Vans, downtown location (across from the NY Stock Exchange) had a very poor showing. To be very honest, we have dogged it for years. With the addition of our newest member, The Big P.A. also came a request to return. Being believers in 2nd chances, we granted the Big P.A. his wish, knowing that his new membership could fall into question. We’ve seen this cow and we didn’t like the way he looked at us.

On a day where the Dow Jones drops more than 500 points, the worst drop in 7 years, Lehman Brothers announces its filing for bankruptcy and the Bank of America makes a move to purchase Merrill Lynch, walking down Wall Street is anything less than a horror show. Sullen looks, news cameras balnketing the area, empty restaurants and and overall feeling of gloom started tonight’s Steak Club 7 gathering off on a rather bleak note. … In other words, this had better be good.

Let’s be honest, any meal that starts with the “chef’s specially prepared bacon,” is going to be one not soon to be forgotten. It was grilled to perfection in a balsamic reduction and it was spectacular. What is that on the specials menu today? Is that a cheese steak? Why yes it is Steak Club 7 and you can order it however you want! We did – fillet medium with fried onions and cheese. Another home run hit.

The boys shared some shrimps which they said weren’t too amazing but I think Bobby Vans just needed to control our excitement and threw a little sand bag in there for good measure. A wedge salad covered in chopped onion rings, bacon and a Roquefort dressing? You bet and it tasted as amazing as it sounds.

Then the steaks…oh my the steaks. They were big, succulent, prepared perfectly and served up just right. I think we all agreed, Bobby Vans was back and back big. We eat a lot of good steaks but this was near perfection.

Side wise, the green beans were crunchy and delicious while served in a tasty sautee. The browns were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside for an amazing but difficult mix to achieve. You can skip the macaroni and cheese, it wasn’t very good unless you’re into Velveta. It didn’t detract from the meal.

Just as we all slowed down to take a break and breath in the amazing meal and not to forget, the amazing service, the waiter showed up with “The Big Finish” which consisted of creme brulee, carrot cake, berries and 2 other amazing pastries. It was so rich and fulfilling. The Meat God was served his very own hot fudge sundae in an edible custom made chocolate bowl! I wanted to stop eating and did not have the will power but that didn’t stop the sambucca!

Just as we were saying our good byes and thank yous to the fine folks at Bobby Vans, they offered us a private tour of “the vault.” Before the restaurant occupied the space, it was originally J.P. Morgan & CO’s bank vault in the early 1900s. (Check out www.bobbyvans.com for the full story.) It was through the kitchen and located in the basement. The original 7000 and 2000 LB vault doors were still in tact as well as the bronze safety deposit boxes. Of course we pick one of 2 nights a week that the vault area is closed for dining.

The Rev gives this Bobby Vans visit a perfect 5 out of 5 knives . With extra props to the staff for being so friendly and allowing us to act like this.

Guys – Do I hear an instant entrance into the SC7 Top 5?

Big Props to SteveyT

5 Responses

  1. the rev sums it up perfectly- an overall great experience.

    the shrimp were probably the low point, definitely not up to sc7 standards, but the rest of the apps more than made up for it.

    i loved the temperature of the steak and the sides were delicious as well.

    i was also impressed with the impromptu hot fudge sundae that was made just for me, even though not on menu.

    much respect to bobby vans, our waiter and the gm. great experience. props to the rookie, PA, on his selection.

    i’ll give 4.85 knives out of 5. Not ready to put in top 5 until it holds up again on the next visit.

    see you again soon!

  2. Naturally, I’m delighted that my first choice as captain was received so well.

    I have to start with the service on this one, because let’s be honest, it sets the scene “I work for you, you don’t work for me” said the waiter and thus the scene was set. Rarely have I experienced such friendly and effective service and I hope that the staff could feel our gratitude for that.

    Now to the food. As the Rev has suggested, my choice was greeted with more than a little suspicion but I’ve now been to Bobby Van’s three times in the last month and after two solo visits I was prepared to gamble my reputation with my colleagues and man was I vindicated.

    The bacon appetiser was phenomenal and I was more than tempted to order another plate, although I’m glad I didn’t. I agree with Meatgod on the shrimp, not great at all, maybe a day or two past their best?

    But then the steak. After Bobby Vans I’ve gone from liking my steak medium to liking my steak medium rare. The quality of the meat is as good as you’ll ever get. The texture, the temperature, the taste; everything – superb. In fact I’d go so far as to say this is about as good as it gets.

    The creamed spinach is a pure indulgent delight and the crisp on the crust of the hash browns hides a softness inside only rivaled by my Dad’s roast potatoes back home in the north of England. The green beans too, perfect. Again, I agree with the Rev on the Mac & Cheese, but really, with a steak this good who cares?

    Thanks to the staff for the wonderful desert platter, worth it alone to see everybody’s face as they enjoyed the richness.

    This is a big city, there is a lot of competition in the fine steak market. If you want to enjoy your meal and if you want to feel like the restaurant genuinely values your custom I can wholeheartedly recommend the downtown location of Bobby Vans.

    Had I not seen the consistency over my three recent visits I might be tempted to not offer the full marks like my colleague Meatgod, but as I have, it’s –

    5 knives out of five, from The Big P.A.

  3. Near perfection?

    I’ve had several bosses in the business carry a simple rule when evaluating an employee’s performance. No matter how incredible you are, they are never going to give you a 5 out of 5. You could be the ambitious kid, willing to dedicate any number of hours working through challenging/uncomfortable situations, and knowing your role in the company and never overstepping your boundaries and you are just not going to get the ultimate praise from your superiors. Well, today, I am that boss and Bobby Van’s on Wall Street is that very employee.

    I worked diligently through opening scotch (GREAT POUR) appetizers (DELIVERED PROMPTLY AND TANTELLIZING IN EVERY WAY) entree’s (NY STRIP MEDIUM, CRUSTLY, COOKED TO A PERFECT MEDIUM) desserts (GRATIS TRAY OF THE BEST THEY HAD TO OFFER) and after dinner drinks (BLACK SAMBUCCA AND ESPRESS, ALSO GRATIS) trying to find a flaw in their game. There was none! I tried!

    Host and waiter were professional, cordial, and downright impressive to the point in which they actually enhanced the meal instead of deterring from it, which unfortunately is the norm at most high-end steak joints.

    So I say to my new friends at Bobby Van’s…”You are a tremendous asset to our company, but there are some things you can do better (even though there really aren’t) so I look forward to evaluating your performance again next year!”

    Well done boys…on a street where not too many great things are happening today…you are the beacon (or bacon) in the fog. Thank you!

  4. […] Steak Club 7 Offical NYC Top 5 list 1. Old Homestead 2. BLT Prime 3. Strip House 4. Keen’s 5. Bobby Vans […]

  5. […] Club 7 Offical NYC Top 5 list 1. Strip House 2. BLT Steak 3. Bobby Vans 4. Old Homestead 5. […]

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