Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Steak and Hotels in New York August 2011

Some reviews I did and posted on Tripadvisor, forgetting I had the Blog. Too many wine dinners.....  Also, not strictly Kuala Lumpur Food and Wine, but what the heck.  We had arrived from LA just after the earthquake in NYC and left just ahead of the hurricane. Makes you wonder about life and the universe and everything being about good or bad timing and luck. Savour each day folks!!

Wolfgang Steakhouse New York August 2011 - Heaven fell to earth at Wolfgang's

We're great steak fans and a Wolfgang's Steakhouse was walking distance from our hotel. Concierge booked us a table and a short walk later found us at the packed and noisy outlet on the corner of Park and 33rd. Classic old wood and low ceilings made for great ambience, and the buzz of people that is New York after a working day made for a lively atmosphere. The first mouthful of the Wolfgang porterhouse hot off the plate was a taste that will stay with me for life. It defined how steak ought to taste. Juice, melting, texture, heat, seasoning - the total business in one blissful heavenly mouthful. We went to Porterhouse the following day and BLT Steak on recommendation from a Broadway wine merchant, and they just paled. They were different style steaks - Porterhouse had a refined feel, the BLT Steak had just opened for the day and we had to send the first attempt back - the second was only okay, nothing to shout about. But Wolfgang's - it felt like I was tasting the real New York and boy did it taste good! Definitely one for the steak hunters out there.

Porter House New York August 2011 - The Rolls Royce of Steakhouses

First came here in 2009 and was blown away by the steaks and the ambience. Upmarket New York, the place where the elite come to eat, the Hamptons of steakhouses. This time around, the shine had worn off a tad. Nothing you could point to in terms of the food or the service, just...  somehow less romantic. It felt like it had become kind of corporate. Still able to deliver great entrees and steak, but....   not quite magic like before. Like when you realize even Santa Claus has to make a buck. We recognised the sommelier from our previous visit who was now waiting on tables. Didn't ask why, but I felt there was a slight sadness in his eyes. He kind of remembered us, which was nice. The staff remain outstanding and the view one of the best in the city. Still the Rolls Royce of steakhouses, and worth the splurge. But real steak afficionados might prefer Sparks or Wolfgang's. Will still go back there, though - it is the steak house at the top of the world. 

BLT Steak New York August 2011 - You had a bad day...

We came here on a recommendation from the owner of Oak and Steel wine store on Broadway and having seen it starred in the Time Out. We'd bought a couple of bottles and got chatting about steak and our new friend claimed BLT was excellent and kindly made a reservation for us later that evening. We got there just as it was opening at 5.30pm ahead of tickets for Priscilla. Great ideas for tasting wine, with the latest bottles opened on a board. We found the food to be... okay. Maybe it was because the place had just opened for the day, but the steak came out cold. Second time around was hotter, but the vegetables had cooled so not the best dining experience we've had. Steak was okay, but didn't match the hype of some of the raves I'd read about it. The manager kindly dropped the drinks off the bill in apology but think it unlikely we'll return, unless someone else is paying.

Tuscany Hotel New York August 2011 - Fabulous service, excellent location

Have to declare an interest - the dearly beloved is related to the present owner. Large space, okay rooms, nice chairs and bed. Five minutes to Grand Central is the kicker for this hotel. Apparently, tennis players stay here during US Open. Some good burger bars and delis around the corner on Lexington and an amazing supermarket two blocks down on Third Avenue. Service was excellent, the friendliest and most caring reception I have ever experienced. Dennis is fabulous, a real treasure. Hope to come back some day!

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