peter luger

Heartwood, NYC

I first heard about Heartwood from Carla Siegel, the Brand Creative Director for all things Daniel, who tweeted about their “When Peter Luger Goes Out For Pizza” pizza…

But more on that later.

Heartwood is a new Chelsea eatery from Donatella Arpaia, just opened last month in the old Donatella space, showcasing the cooking of two ex-Boulud chefs, Bradford Thompson and Mark Fiorentino. Focusing on comfort food and wood-oven pizzas, I was quite impressed with everything that hit our table at brunch this past Sunday. Here’s a look…

We were seated at a nice table in the back of the comfortable space with a view of the open kitchen and oven…

I started strong with a Pickleback Bloody Mary, made with whiskey, pickle juice and pickled okra…

Our Monkey Bread with mango hit the table first…

Followed by Heartwood’s incredible Debris Hash…

Two fried eggs over roast trimmings of lamb, pork, beef, and chicken sausage with beets, sweet potatoes and green chile salsa…

Next up was the Lamb Bacon BLT+E…

Crisp lamb bacon topped with Bibb lettuce, chili mayo and a fried egg on a fresh baked rosemary biscuit…

After downing my Mary, I switched to a refreshing “Curry in a Hurry”, which is gin, Canton ginger liqueur, tumeric syrup, fresh lime and coconut water…

Then it was pizza time! As mentioned above, we couldn’t pass up their “When Peter Luger Goes Out For Pizza” pizza…

Topped with creamed spinach, braised short rib and fresh horseradish! Glorious!!

We also went with a New Haven-inspired Casino Pie…

With local cockles, smoked bacon, fresh oregano, garlic and parsley…

We enjoyed every bite that afternoon and will definitely be back. With Heartwood, Chelsea has a another winner in the neighborhood!


184 8th Ave.

New York, NY 10011

The State of Steak: NYC's Strips & Sirloins

On the heels of a Bloomberg News report documenting the rising price of USDA PRIME beef, we’re launching The State of Steak, a regular feature that helps you keep track of your meat (!!!). 

For our first edition, we’re listing the prices of strips and sirlions in NYC.  

Briefly: Your strip or sirloin is probably going to cost you $40-$60 bucks, especially after tax and tip. Sure, it might be more scientific to calculate the cost-per-ounce. But since most of these restaurants don’t allow you to purchase steak by the ounce, we don’t see much use in such mathematical undertakings. 

Here’s the way we see it, if you go to a restaurant, and if you want a strip, you’ll only have a few options. And here they are. Many of these steaks are labeled “PRIME’ on the menus. We’ll let you decide whether that’s the case. Oh, allow us to apologize in advance for any "editorializing” you might encounter below.  

  1. The Four Seasons (like a “bottle service” markup for steak): $75
  2. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle bone-in (i ate here so you don’t have to): $65
  3. 21 Club bone-in: $65
  4. Minetta Tavern bone-in strip (pretty gorgeous stuff here): $58
  5. Casa Lever bone-in strip (darn good beef here): $58
  6. Monkey Bar bone-in sirloin: $55
  7. Craft dry-aged sirloin & marrow: $55
  8. Crown (not our favorite joint but you could do worse): $55
  9. Marea 50-day dry-aged sirloin (add langoustines for surf & turf): $54
  10. Smith & Wollensky bone-in strip: $54
  11. The Dutch bone-in strip (one of our favorites): $52
  12. Saxon + Parole bone-in strip: $52
  13. Lavo bone-in strip (hopefully better than their kobe balls): $51
  14. Bobby Van’s sirloin steak: $49.95
  15. Del Frisco’s boneless strip: $49
  16. Strip House bone-in cut (no good in the hood): $49
  17. Porter House bone-in (Lomonaco reppin in da TWC): $49
  18. The Mark (JGV keepin it real on the UES): $49
  19. Lavo boneless: $49
  20. Harry’s bone-in strip: $48.50
  21. Catch (fine for Kardashian publicists; civilians should avoid): $48
  22. Abe & Arthur’s (like Catch, good steaks, but still a skip): $48
  23. Gotham Bar & Grill (marrow mustard custard & vidalia onion rings): $48
  24. Rothmann’s (don’t even talk to me about the Long Island location): $47
  25. Sparks bone-in-shell (“from premium steers”): $46.95.
  26. Colicchio & Sons (we love this place. but not the steak): $46
  27. Peter Luger: $45.95
  28. STK (website shows some lady stepping on her steak, so, avoid) $45
  29. Smith & Wollensky boneless: $45.50-$48.50
  30. Wolfgang’s (many people like this place. we don’t): $44.95
  31. Strip House boneless (Prime House does Hanson steaks better): $45
  32. Park Avenue Summer $45
  33. Quality Meats bone-in: $44.50
  34. Keens (solid joint even though they sometimes undersalt): $44.50
  35. Primehouse (I’ve had good beef here) $44
  36. Michael Jordan’s: $44
  37. Il Gattopardo: $44
  38. Cafe Boulud (blue cheese, bone marrow crust): $43
  39. Capital Grille: $43
  40. Balthazar (steak au poivre with frites & spinach): $43
  41. Ai Fiori (steak is actually a reasonably-sized portion here): $42
  42. Oceana (it’s a seafood spot but Pollinger can cook) $42
  43. Scarpetta (you can read my thoughts here): $42. 
  44. Gallagher’s sirloin$41.95-$46.95
  45. Old Homestead: $41-$45. 
  46. Hurricane Club (have had terrible meals here): $39
  47. Primehouse boneless: $39. 
  48. Dylan Prime boneless: $38-$46
  49. Lure Fishbar (melted onions au poivre potatoes),  $38
  50. Sushi Izakaya (with miso butter, which is like au poivre on crack) $36
  51. La Mangeoire (sirloin steak frites): $36
  52. DBGB steak frites: $35
  53. Union Square Cafe strip with beans, basil & tomato oil: $35
  54. STK loin strip (no thanks): $33
  55. Prime Meats with hand-cut French Fries (another favorite): $32
  56. Outback (beef is a luxury, not a commodity, so avoid) $20-$24

Given the absurd size of American steaks, many any of these “single-serving” portions could easily feed two. We generally prefer the “composed” steak entrees at the higher-end venues on this list, where the beef comes in smaller portions (last updated 08/29/2012 – added 21 Club). 

Peter Luger Knows Meat

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

Went to Peter Luger in Brooklyn tonight with the family and woah. I don’t even love steak all that much and it was amazing. They had great bread, salads, steak of course, and desserts. Their bartenders were amazing and also our friend knew a waiter so we had all sorts of swagggggg! loved it!