• @SteakClub7 Instagram

    No Instagram images were found.

  • SC7 Photos

Empire Steak House – NY Steak of Mind

We love Steak. We love Steak so much that we get together once, every month in NYC to eat it together. There is no one out there who does what we do at our level of appreciation. Thankfully after years and years of eating delicious Steak, we still have yet to exhaust the supply of great Steak locations around town. With all kinds of new restaurants popping up all over town with all kinds of crazy themes and menus, the classic New York Steakhouse will always hold it’s appeal.

This month’s Steak Club 7 outing brought us to the Empire Steak House. Located in Rockefeller Center, it was built on the former grounds of the Greek Restaurant Anthos. It’s a family effort from Jeff Sinanaj and his brothers, who spent years as waiters at Peter Lugers and now own Ben and Jacks Steakhouse. The concept is to bring a classic New York City fine dining experience centered around a Porterhouse Steak. Each cut of beef is hand selected and then aged 21 to 28 days at Empire.

With mouths watering and good laughs all around, we dove into what I think is the real reason the Big P.A. joined SteakClub7, we sunk our collective teeth into  an extra thick slice of sizzling Canadian Bacon.

As per norm, the other fellas ordered up some fresh Jumbo Shrimp.

While not on the menu, we were all hounding for a Wedge Salad and the restaurant was more than happy to accommodate. Seeing as how they were so willing to fill our stomachs, the Big P.A. asked if we could have more of the bacon cut up to put on the salads. I love the Big P.A.

Then it was time for the magic. At Empire they cook your Steak slightly under temperature so when it arrives on the table on a VERY hot plate, they can cook it up to the temperature desired just by running it along the dish itself. It makes for a great presentation and truly gets your tastes buds amped up.

On the docket for sides, we actually went a little heavy on the greens with Sautéed Broccoli, Creamed Spinach and Peas & Onions. All of the selections were fresh and well prepared. The latter of which was especially fantastic and I wish more restaurants offered it.

We also ordered German Potato & Cottage Fries. The Cottage Fries, while good are really just fresh made potato chips. The German Potatoes on the other hand are perfect for sopping up extra Steak juice! They are crispy on the outside and still soft on inside and when covered in a little cracked pepper and salt are just awesome.

Assembled all together on one plate and you have a PERFECT Steak dinner. The Porterhouse at Empire is EVERYTHING they play it up to be. Juicy, succulent, tasty, savory and flavorful, high quality USDA PRIME.

The Empire Steakhouse is perfect example of what makes a classic New York City Steakhouse with great service & fantastic food.

4.5 knives out of 5


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

Industria Argentina – 5500 Miles Closer and Just As Good

Welcome to June of 2011 which means it was MY turn to pick this month’s Steak Club 7 gathering. We’ve been at this for 6 years now and we’ve eaten at dam near every well known steak jam in the city. I never thought A. this club would last this long and B. we would run out of steakhouses, but thankfully I am wrong on both accounts. After some well orchestrated research (I.E. “Best Steak NYC” on Google) I landed on several positive reviews of a non-traditional NY Steakhouse. My curiosity peaked, I made the res and told the boys we’ve got another switch up.

Industria Argentina can be found in what I like to call “FiDi” because every neighborhood in NYC needs some kind of stupid abbreviation. This Argentinian restaurant is proudly that, boasting menus, wines, decor and even a chef, all of which are from the country itself. Having been to Argentina, allow me to confirm, their love of steak is like none other. If it’s beef you crave, get on your plane and go. Unless you live in NYC, then you can just head into the Financial District and get the best their country has to offer. (FYI, they also only the very delicious Azul Bistro in the LES.)

I love the Big P.A. and his bro-tastical native English football hooligan excitement for food. Before we had even completely greeted each other with proper catch up conversation he and Mattywinks were already commiserating on which, as P.A. calls them, “em-pen-yadahz” to get. It came as no surprise when moments later their decision to get more than one kind; Smoked ham and cheese, Chicken and potatoes,  Sweet corn, & Hand cut beef. If there is one appetizer the SC7 love it’s bacon. If there is a second, its empanadas. The ham and corn were my favorites but all of them were delicious little puffy blankets of love.

The folks at Industria Argentina must love their steak because they made no haste in getting them to our table. I was actually surprised at how quickly they arrived and that’s ok because I was STARVING. These gigantic cuts of Bife De Chorizo (NY Strip) were beaming with flavor, smell and a the most picturesque medium rare center. God I miss Southern Argentina.

One gigantic steak not enough for your hunger? NOT A PROBLEM when you can get the “Parrillada Completa” (for one) with Skirt steak, sweet breads, lamb sausage, sausage, blood sausage and short ribs, Field greens, garlic and parsley French fries. If you’re still hungry after that, you might want to see a doctor about that tapeworm.

In Argentina everything comes with french fries. That’s just how they do it and when they do it here, yours come out crispy, golden and delicious with a little bit of garlic & parsley to liven them up.

Don’t want yer ‘taters fried? First off, ask yourself what’s wrong with yourself and then order the mashed potatoes on the menu.

Damn if I don’t love me some chimichurri sauce but honestly, these steaks didn’t need any.

What? No greens at a Steak Club 7 meal? It happens, especially when you eat Argentine cuisine. From my travels there, I can tell you that greens are a scarcity on the plate so just don’t expect them. It’s rare when a steak join offers carrots and being half-rabbit on the inside (true fact I just made up for the sake of expressing my love of carrots), I couldn’t wait to eat these Herb Roasted Carrots. They were so good and while everyone else was sucking on their beef, I was trying to sneak as many of these as possible.

If there is one thing the Argentinian’s obsess over it, it’s afternoon coffee. Must be their partial Italian heritage but no coffee in their country is consider proper without a little sweet. Most coffee there comes accompanied by “Alfajores” which are simple little cookies loved by Spaniards but are actually Arabic in nature. None of us had any room for dessert but the waiter insisted we try one of them. He is a smart man, they’re great.

Remember way back, about 2 sentences ago where I said “None of us had any room for dessert”? I meant it but somehow the Big P.A. didn’t hear me and ordered up a syrup covered cinnamony ice cream treat. It was damn good but seriously, none of us had any room for it.

While I would never even think to stop you from flying to Argentina for steak, it’s well worth it, if you’re looking for something similar without the 5500 flight miles to get you to it, eat some Bife de Chorizo at Industria Argentina.

4 out of 5 knives

Landmarc – A Must For Meat Mavens

If there’s one thing that New York does right, above all others, it’s the traditional New York Steakhouse. Sure you can get a steak anywhere in the great U.S. of A. but no one and I mean no where, does it quite like an old school NY Steakhouse. America’s first fine dining restaurant EVER is Delmonico’s Steakhouse, which is still proudly open in the Financial District. I mean hey, what other city / state has a cut of steak named after it?!? (NY STRIP). It’s because we love them, we started Steak Club 7.

But after 6 some years of monthly Steak adventures, it feels like we’ve seen ’em all and while we love ’em, we’re here to eat steak…any where we can get it!! When the suggestion for Landmarc came up, I raised an eyebrow. You mean that fancy-schmancy new world kitchen that’s located in the Time-Warner Center? Nope, Box said “just trust me on this” and told us to meet at their Tribecca location. I’ve lived here since 1996 and I remember when this block was a dump hole. Funny to think it’s now chic and trendy. Regardless, the “bistro fare” offering Italian meets French cuisine modern lounge known as Landmarc was about to be invaded by 4 of New York’s most notorious meat mavens.

The first thing I noticed (after the tightly packed dinner floor) was the grill placed against the  back wall of the dining room. While Landmarc does have and uses a full kitchen, the steaks are all cooked, on display, right in the dining room. Any skepticism I was holding onto about the place melted away, much like the fat that was juicing their beef on the grill.

Moments after unfolding the Landmarc menu, my eyes started to spin and my brain started doing flip-flops. Normally at a SC7 gathering it’s the same thing, meaty apps, salad, steak, potatoes & greens, which I totally love but I could tell this was not going to be an easy choice. We all made similar comments about wanting to eat EVERYTHING on the menu and that’s when the wise man known as Box let forth his brilliance; “let’s all order something different and share.” Love you buddy. All those hours that Momma Box made you spend in front of the Sesame Street sharing episodes paid off.

We started with the smoked mozzarella & ricotta fritters fried zucchini & spicy tomato sauce. I’m not a zucc’er but love me some fried anything.

There’s a reason why the first thing on the menu after soup is roasted marrow bones onion marmalade & grilled country bread, because it a house specialty. I’m super iffy on bone marrow especially since the last time Steak Club 7 had it, we all woke up the next morning feeling terrible. Box insisted I dig it in, claiming the Landmarc to be his favorite marrow in the city. Damn Box! You ain’t lying!! The bone marrow was creamy, savory and uber delicious. I guess everywhere else I’ve eaten it just add gads and gads of salt because that is the perception I had in my mind. I’d go back to Landmarc, just to eat this again. WOW.

The next focus of our meat-tention was an appetizer of lamb meatballs tomatoes, whipped ricotta & mint. If you think they sound good, you should go eat them because they are better than they sound. Lamb is the new black here in NYC, showing up on menus as the new artisanal meat item but this was the first time I’d had it like this.

They offer pasta every day at Landmarc but only one per day so if it’s baked rigatoni and meatballs you’re after, don’t come on a Tuesday. We happened in on a Wednesday where the daily pasta special is bucatini all’amatriciana. You can put bacon on anything and make it better but Landmarc puts bacon in pasta and makes it awesome.

Speaking of bacon, how’s that joke go? Bacon gives me a lardon? It wouldn’t be a proper gathering of the SC7 without something bacony so I ordered a frisée salad aux lardons red wine vinaigrette. Frisee and bacon is my favorite salad, especially with black pepper and something garlicy. It’s really just a healthy disguise on something succulent and evil.

WHOA! Impromptu meat mashup! Adding the lardon from the salad onto a piece of bread with bone marrow? YEAH BABY. That’s a win.

Bring on the parade of meaty entrees! First up, a couple of delicious NY strip steaks. Cooked just a little more than I would’ve liked but with a lot of great beef flavor. The cut had a nice char on the outside but was still juicy and tender on the inside.

I really, really, really, really wanted to order a steak, I mean this is the monthly gathering of the world’s #1 steak club right? But damn, I couldn’t turn my attention away from the Landmarc Burger. As the self-proclaimed Burger Conquester, I needed to eat this and thankfully Mattywinks pulled the trigger. Covered in blue cheese, Mattywink’s favorite, this juicy bad boy was truly a handful of awesome.

We love steak. We love eating lots of it. In fact, it’s probably the only thing we actually all agree on. However, the man known as Box, loves meat and while steak falls under that category, this man truly loves all of it. His addition to the club has seen more diversity of meat added to our meals than any other member. As the orders went around, and Box asked for the steak tartare field greens & grilled country bread, I realized why he wanted us all to share. Uncooked beef. That’s what tartare means and it’s easy to server but very difficult to serve properly. I trust the man to know who does it the right way and after one bite of this unbelievable dish, I knew why Box had to have it.

Well it can’t all be about meat can it? Well maybe it can, but in the SC7 we always try to remember our greens and tonight it was an order of sautéed green beans.

If you’re looking for great steak, come to NYC. If you’re looking for a beefy-adventure, come to Landmarc. This one of my fave Steak Club 7 gatherings ever.

4.5 out of 5 knives

Flea Market Cafe – A Cornucopia of Curveballs

The BIG P.A. thought he was throwing the world’s Number 1 Steak Club a curveball with his pick for the month. Normally our monthly excursion takes us to one of the many coveted New York style steakhouses that help to make this wonderful city what it is but for March 2011, we were being led down a different path. The BIG P.A. chose the East Village’s Flea Market Cafe, a small neighborhood bistro, known especially for their brunch, that serves up traditional French dishes. But hey, a steak is a steak and there’s a level of trust in this club that is damn sacred, like a cow, that we know the big guy wouldn’t ever break. What it did mean was a very unique evening of savory eats!

Without even a single moment of hesitation, the Big P.A. ordered up several plates of Merguez, a fantastically grilled, spicy Lamb sausage served with French Dijon mustard. In fact, the 7 of us gobbled them up so damn quickly that we asked for a 2nd order as well as the Saucisson & Cornichons, a dry cured sausage and mini-pickles.

Every once in a while the SC7 pull a move that only we are bold, and hungry enough to do, order a Hamburger as an appetizer. It’s not for the weak of heart or for those who can’t figure out how to slice a Burger 7 ways. Made from what is a clearly a fantastic blend of beef, this Burger, topped with cheddar and bacon was no joke. There may need to be a return visit for an official Burger Conquest at some point. In the meantime, enjoy the Left Hand Grab style curveball grip I put on the Burg!

While the rest of the fellas munched on some fried calamari, I took the opportunity to break up an otherwise heavily meal with a plate of fresh mixed greens.

Blue Cheese Potato Croquettes? Yes please! Salty cheese and starchy potatoes, breaded and deep-fried sounded way too good to pass up and one bite confirmed, they were not worth passing up!

The gratin Dauphinois, an amazing potato dish made with cheese, eggs and butter was simply delectable and the mere thought is causing me to experience some severe hunger pangs! It was locked in a savory taste bud battle with the stupendous crock of Gratintated French Onion Soup.

It’s hard to believe that after the cornucopia of food we had already eaten through, there was still delicious NY Strip & Hanger Steaks to come. Each one was cooked absolutely perfectly and had rich and delicious beef tastes. There was not a frown to be found anywhere at our corner table in the back.

If any curve ball was thrown into the meal, it was by myself and Box when we opted OUT of ordering Steak and instead went for an item on the specials menu, the Cassoulet. If you’ve ever experienced the dish, then you know just how amazing it can be and when it’s the special of the house, I personally just can’t say no it. It’s made by slow cooking a mix of several meats, tomatoes and haricot white beans. The Flea Market Cafe takes their version up a notch by also adding bacon, a big, thick, gigantic slice of tasty bacon!!! While normally a steak departure would be met with much guffaw, hems and haws, the SC7 love food in general and took it as an opportunity to upgrade the experience. In fact, Matty Winks demanded to split and trade half a steak for half the Cassoulet. I said yes because it meant I got to have my Steak and eat it too. Damn, it was awesome.

I’d say the P.A.’s curveball was the pitch that won the game.

4 out of 5 knives

Bobby Vans – You Should Listen To Your Steak Club

I hate to be an “I told you so,” but in this case, it’s the truth. When SteakClub7 speaks, you should be listening. Some of you did, including the people seated at the table next to mine and those people have thoroughly enjoyed.

What the hell am I talk about? Thrillist Rewards and a Bobby Van’s “Choose Your Steak” adventure. Hopefully you’re already a member of Thrillist Rewards so you know about how glorious it is to get that email every Tuesday which grants you access to the coolest stuff in NYC. But if you aren’t, what are you waiting for? Sign up now here so the next time something like a $50 steak adventure at one of the SteakClub7 top rated Steakhouses, like Bobby Vans, comes up as a reward, you won’t be missing out.

Pardon me if I about to be preaching to the choir, please feel forward to skip over this and get right to the Steak porn.

Let’s back it up. Thrillist is a daily email that clues you in on the best and newest stuff, be it restaurants, music, bars, equipment, parties, clothing, services and just about anything else. It’s an editorial based recommendation service that’s created by a bunch of folks who clearly have great taste. They specialize in 20 cities in America with more on the way. At the beginning of 2001,  Thrillist did two really great things for New Yorkers. A. They launched Thrillist Rewards, a service for their nearest and dearest readers that creates Thrillist-Approved, one-of-a-kind, limited quantity, locals-only type experiences that you can purchase through them directly and B. they brought me on board to help source the deals with local merchants.

So what’s the first thing I do with the opportunity, I call one of SteakClub7’s favorites, Bobby Vans Steakhouse in the Financial District.

Bobby Vans teamed up with Thrillist Rewards to offer your choice of a Sirloin of Filet Mignon Steak, choice of a fresh Mozzarella / Tomato or Crab Cake appetizer,  your choice of Avion Tequila cocktail and sides of Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach all for only $50!!! Not enough to whet your whistle? Add in 1/2 off all bottles of wine and an additional option of a $20 off-menu Filet Mignon Cheesesteak and if you aren’t already bummed you missed this, perhaps you shouldn’t be reading this site. Well since I am not just a member of the Thrillist Rewards team, I’m also a fan, you can bet your sweet little bippy that I bought a stack of these rewards for myself. With reward in hand, my wife and I headed down to Wall Street with our friend Paul to enjoy our steak adventure.

We started off with a little tequila. Paul and Cara got a Cheech and I went for a Margarita.

I can’t stand Seafood, so the appetizer choice for me was an easy one; Tomato and Mozzarella. The Mozzarella was SO creamy, you could’ve almost be considered it as Burrata. Topped with the most perfectly prepared Roasted Red Peppers ever made this a tasty winner. Cara, a huge Seafood fan, might argue over her Crab Cake.

My Mother used to tell me “you can’t have your Cake and eat it too,” but that clearly didn’t apply tonight as we ordered both of Thrillist Reward options; Steak + Cheesesteak. Now I’ve had this off-menu Cheesesteak before and it is spectacular so there was no way I was going to pass it up. The sandwich comes overflowing with savory cheese and sliced Filet Mignon and you’d be a crazy person to attempt to tackle it by yourself. Show the love and share with your friends. It’s an intense and awesome sandwich that will leave you salivating for more.

Awwwwwww Steak. It’s the reason for the season baby and no one, I mean NO ONE does it like the Bobby V. They only use the highest of high quality cuts of Beef and cook them to an absolute perfection every damn time. If you’re gonna go out for a nice Steakhouse meal, go to a restaurant that does with love and precision like Bobby Vans. With plates and plates of tasty vittles, the Steak Adventure hit full throttle. The waiter brought us a side of Béarnaise sauce that once applied to the creamy Mashed Potatoes made a great side dish even better.

No Steak meal is complete with out a little vino tinto and with an opportunity to choose ANY wine on the Bobby Vans list for half-price, we splurged and selected a deep and rich Italian Borolo from 2000.

Damn. That was a meal fit for a King, a Queen and another King and all for a great price at an amazing and historical restaurant. While I say thank you to Bobby Vans and to Thrillist, you can say thank you to me and SteakClub7 for making your awesome New York life even more awesome.

If you aren’t following SteakClub7 on twitter yet, now would be a good time to start.

4.5 out of 5 knives


The Palm – Justifiably Costly

I generally love The Palm, but I REALLY love The Palm location in Tribeca!

With the support and fantastic attitude of our waiter Nichole, we embarked on a fun filled, flavor laden, 3 hour gorge-fest.

Aps:  The Palm now has slab bacon!  I’ve had it twice at this location.  The first time it was simply divine.  On this night however, it was overly fatty.  Flavors were there but it’s tough when there is an 85% to 15% pure fat to meat ratio.

Shrimp:  Some of the best in world!  Huge and fresh.

Kobe Sliders:  Oh man they are good!  The creamy aoili is the kicker…

Hearts of Palm Salad:  My favorite and HUGE with just the right amount of dressing.

NY Strip:  Cooked medium and to perfection.  We were about 50/50 on steak preparation as a table.  A couple of the cuts for the table (bone-in fillet and porterhouse were bloody red even though they were ordered medium or medium rare).  Mine was incredible though.  It’s always good, trust me.

The other steaks…

The sides are what I believe to be the best and most consistently good of all the high-end NYC steak houses.  Cheesy crusted potatoes, hash browns, 1/2 and 1/2 (half frizzle onions, half potato crisps), creamed spinach,  broccoli “aglio olio,” and a spectacular sauté of three different types of mushrooms….all top notch, warm in temperature, and seasoned to perfection.

For desert, in honor of Box’s birthday, a huge slab of their legendary carrot cake, some of the best vanilla ice cream in the world, and of course espresso and Black Sambucca.

This was an expensive one.  About $185 for the drinkers and $130 for the soda-type folks.  We even had about $50 in gift cards!   In my world, it’s totally justified with the selection, portions, quality, ambiance and a great wait staff.

4 out of 5 Knives
(1/2 point lost for other guest’s steak temperature/doneness and 1/2 point off for price).

Bobby Vans – A Traditonal Christmas Shot

I love Nick Tieder. Nick is a dear friend and someone who let’s his passions fly unbridled to ensure maximum enjoyment. His teenager like appreciation for music, events and people is admirable. So when Nick asked me if I wanted to join him in planning another holiday steak-out for our friends, I undoubtedly said “HELL YES!!” Traditions are good, well at least the ones that don’t cause harm to others, but it gives people a reason to spend time together. Last year at this time I planned and holiday outing for our friends at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse. A grand time was had by all and it was well worth resurrecting once again.

Bobby Vans has several locations but this fantastic, NYC style steakhouse is best enjoyed at their Broad Street location, right across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Diners have the option is sitting upstairs in the formal dining room, at the bar or in the more laid back atmosphere in the downstairs grille that still sits in the 1898 built vault room of the J.P. Morgan bank that was formally located here. Try booking a table for on Friday and Saturday nights when their ENTIRE wine list is half price. Traditional in every way, this formal dining room, covered in rich mahogany wood, chandeliers,  white linens and operated by well dressed and very courteous  staff. The regular menu has a selection of steaks, seafood, salad veggies and of course, potatoes. Everything at Bobby Vans is done with class and quality but don’t think for a second that it creates a stale atmosphere. Bobby Van’s knows how to make your dining experience fun and delicious.

If you’re going to stop in for a fantastic meal experience, please ask for Vincent and tell him Rev from Burger Conquest / Steak Club 7 sent you. It was absolutely the right choice for the Rev & Tieder Annual Holiday Steak Off!

We started off our meal test tasting the latest creation from GiddyUp! Sauces, a NYC Steakhouse style Steak Sauce on the Bobby Van’s bread basket. I wish I could tell who they were for but trust me, they are FANTASTIC.

HEYOH HEYOH! A surprise for the table, an order of the secret menu Chef’s prepared bacon. It was grilled to perfection in a balsamic reduction and it was spectacular.

We also got an order of calamari and baked clams, neither of which I tried because seafood is YUCKY.

Ahhhhh! The apex moment of excitement, the arrival of the porter house steaks, ordered for the entire table (that’s 4 porter houses for 2 between friends.)

Watch the magic happen, listen to my reel of clichés and see what everyone had to say about the PERFECTLY prepared medium-rare porterhouse for two.

Add in some tasting veggies and potatoes on the side and you have one fantastically traditional NY Steakhouse style meal.

It was at the monumental celebration that the “shot of steak fat” had its public debut. (See video entry here.) It’s taken from the juice of a porterhouse, poured into a glass and shot like one would liquor. It sounds disgusting but trust me, it’s AWESOME …

…and now it’s a holiday tradition!

The official “change the gloves” sign of Steak Club 7, the upright t-bone.

As always, I polished off my steak meal with a black Sambucca and espresso but at BV’s, espresso comes with rock candy on a stick!

Until next year, happy steak eatin’ all

4.5 out of 5 knives

Maloney & Porcelli

We dined shorthanded this month as two of our “dogs” had last minute emergencies come up. Quick fact about SC7, we’ve been to dozens of New York City Steakhouses, but we’ve never dined at Smith & Wollensky’s as an official outing. I thought this would be the month we caved in, but decided otherwise. While on the S&W site, I decided we’d visit one more of their offshoot restaurants. We’ve had good luck at The Post House & Quality Meats (also Fourth Wall Restaurants), thus the decision to visit Midtown’s Maloney and Porcelli.

Loved the location of our table on this night. We were in the back left corner of the restaurant in a quiet area. Was perfect for us to talk and also enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant.

We started things off with salads and a shrimp cocktail. The wedge was good, having crumbled Bacon always gets a thumbs up! The shrimp cocktail was just ok. As a restaurant, Maloney and Porcelli offers more than just steak and on this night, two of our guys strayed from red meat, one went home happy, one was less than satisfied.

Box ordered the Crackling Pork Shank and loved it, the Firecracker Applesauce was a solid complement. The Rev ordered the Venison and was less than satisfied.. Joe and I ordered the smaller Dry-Aged Prime Rib Eye and it was fantastic! Cooked perfectly and for a rib-eye wasn’t too fatty. Rich ordered the thicker cut and was also very satisfied.

The sides were really solid as well. If you go to Maloney and Porcelli, you must order “Our Signature Balls” as a side dish! We also shared creamed spinach, mushrooms and hash browns, but the big winner was the Signature Balls, which is a potoatoes, bacon, chives all fried together!

Overall, a great night leading into the Thanksgiving break – Always great to have a big meal, before “the” big meal! Service was attentive to our needs.

3 and a half knives

Algiubagio – Solo Mission

Fondamenta Nuove, 5039
30125 Venice, Italy

Don’t believe what you read in the travel books, this places serves more than just meat and in fact, the menu is a focused list of interesting appertivos, antipastos, primos, secondos, contornos and dolces. You’ll be seated amongst wooden crates filled with wines from all over Italy, all of which are available to drink.

Confused? No worries, the wait staff will be delighted to help you make the perfect selection. Hopefully Giulio will be looking over your table as he’ll know exactly what you should be ordering. Be sure to tell him Rev sent you!

You’ll instantly smell the intense and rich chocolate that’s available for your dessert and in fact, I dare you to try to make it through your meal without, at least once, saying “we have to get some of whatever chocolate we’re smelling.” Come hungry and try everything that’s suggested. In fact, I strongly suggest you let the wait staff design a suggested meal just for you. For me that was a sampling of meats, ravioli’s stuffed with goose and black truffles, followed by a filet of steak cooked in gorgonzola cheese and vodka. The same type of options are available for fans of seafood and vegetarians.

Fit for foodies, families and lovers with adventurous palettes, this off the beaten path is a candle lit gem.

4 out of 5 knives