Warning: This is not a post for vegetarians. I take no responsibility for reactions to pictures and/or descriptions of animal meat amazingness.
That being said, Peter Luger is consistently ranked (27 years running) as the best steakhouse in NYC according to Zagat, is Michelin rated, and happens to be 6 blocks from where I live. Not bad, huh?
I assumed getting a reservation would be no problem. It’s true, sometimes I can be overconfident. Haha
Apparently if you call day-of, you can only get a reservation at around 10:45 PM, but what the hell? Why not. 10:45 isn’t THAT late.
After reading some reviews online, Mariam and I decided we had to check this out. This was her last weekend here before I left, so we bucked up and we made that late reservation and read up on the place. We found out all sorts of interesting tidbits thanks to Yelp and Google. For instance: if you dress down, you get thrown into the side dining room, but if you look nice, then you get put into the main dining room. So I suited up. We looked good.
A brief history of Peter Luger. Its been around for over 100 years. They are best known for their porterhouse, which you can get in 2, 3, and 4 person servings. They are also known (food network) for their thick sliced broiled bacon. Naturally, Mariam and I decided we were skipping everything but the meat. It was going to be an all meat kind of night (insert witty joke). They are also famous for their “Peter Luger Sauce”.
We arrived and were shown to our table. The waiter was pleasant, but nothing to write home about. He came to table to drop off some bread (less than stellar) and told us as he delivered the sauce that it goes on everything but the ice cream. He attemped to get us to order alcohol, appetizers, and vegetables, but we ordered the bacon and the steak and told him we were just here for the meat.
Less than 5 minutes later he arrived with two thick slabs of bacon. As you cut into this delicious appetizer from the gods that has been charbroiled, the smell immediately turns your table into heaven, followed by the taste of epic deliciousness hitting your tongue. I won’t go on about the bacon, but let’s just say it was good. Here: Have a looksie.
We had about enough time to eat a half a slice before the Porterhouse came sizzling along. Now, Mariam isn’t a fan of medium-rare meat, so the waiter cooked the porterhouse between medium and medium-rare, or at least that’s what he told us he would do.
Instead of doing that, he surprised us by bringing a medium rare porterhouse (at Peter Luger they cut it up into strips while it’s still on the bone and bring it like that).
He then served me the meat first (which I found interesting, considering the lady should be served first). Here’s the twist. He took the other pieces and using the smoking hot plate, cooked a few pieces right there at the table until they were at about medium. Yes, the plate was THAT hot.
This has to be the most unhealthy steak ever, because after serving the pieces, he then took a spoonful of the butter/meat juice concoction pooling at the bottom of the plate and put that on the meat as well.
Now that may sound terrible and disgusting, but let me tell you, it was not terrible or disgusting, it was terribly delicious. As you bite into the steak, the outside is charred perfectly for that crunch, but as soon as you get past the crunch, you are met with this super tender, melt-in-your-mouth flavor that kidnaps all of your taste buds for about 10 seconds and leaves you wondering what just happened. Repeat.
Try as we may, we were unable to completely finish the entire porterhouse (I’m thinking it was around 36 ounces). Can you say leftover steak sandwiches? If not, you should really work on your vernacular. It’s not a tough sentence, quite honestly.
The waiter then attempted to convince us dessert was a good option to no avail. I have no idea where I would put it, but Mariam being social media savvy had noted they have homemade whipped cream. She ever so subtly hinted that she had heard about this, and of course our waiter brought a bowl out, along with the after dinner chocolate coins that Peter Luger is known for.
I have to say the whipped cream was actually pretty impressively delicious. I’m sure a hot fudge sundae there would rival most.
I think it’s safe to say this was one of my favorite restaurant visits in New York and a pretty good one to go out on. Well played, Peter Luger. Well played.