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November 21st,
written by Arthur

To many, the name is synonymous with great steak.  Founded in 1887, Peter Luger is a New York institution that I had yet to experience.  Fayaz changed that by generously treating Nick and me for a passing the bar celebration.

On the night of our 8:45 Thursday reservation, Nick and Fayaz were running a little late and on Fayaz’s arrival we learned that he had made the reservation at the sister restaurant 140 miles away from the Brooklyn location.  This small error just meant we had to spend a little quality time at the bar.  After a proper negroni and solid gibson (think a martini with cocktail onions instead of olives) we got our table.

The dining room is simple, with bare wooden tables and humble decor, but feels as a steak house should.

Second only to Peter Luger’s reputation for amazing meat is it’s reputation for dismissive and and condescending servers.  I have to say that we experience none of the rumored poor service.  The only slight sneer we drew from our waiter was when Fayaz asked if the sauce on the table was the famous Peter Luger sauce.  (Despite having steak sauce in stores all over the city, Lugers hates the idea of you putting it on their steak.)  If I had to guess at the reason for the service reputation, I would point the finger at the customer.  Not only does some Minnesota nice and few please and thank yous go a long way, but I suspect that many first time Luger diners have miss placed expectations.  Yes, the place is expensive, but the menu is spartan and its simple food done really right.  I can see people coming in the door expecting pretense having their reality realigned by a server who’s seen it all.

And the food.  To start we ordered the Sliced Tomatoes & Onions and the bacon.  The Sliced Tomatoes & Onions are perfectly named, you get three huge slices of tomatoes and two large onion slices on a plate–that is it.  Our waiter recommended that we try it with a rust brown sauce sitting on a table in a gravy boat.  The sauce, their signature, reminded us of a cocktail sauce, not very sweet and heavy on the horseradish.  The sauce was great on the tomatoes and onion and delicious when sopped-up with bread.

We ordered steak for three (yeah, that’s how you order it at Lugers) and it was [insert beefy superlatives].  It’s the best selection of meat that is dry aged on site before it’s butchered and cooked perfectly.  But, at the end of the day–and I know my grandfather is spinning in his grave as I type this–it was still steak.   I just don’t know if I’m able to tell the difference between a really good steak and an amazing steak.  The thick cut bacon, that little appetizer I didn’t elaborate on, was the home run when it came to the meat.   Fatty, but not overly so, this little bit heaven had prefect crisp on the outside and a smoky flavor that is still making me salivate as I think of it.  I felt like I was experiencing a whole smoked ham in every bit.  (To my vegetarian, Muslim, and Jewish friends: if you every change your mind run here and order several slices of this.)

For sides we took down the creamed spinach and the German potatoes.  The creamed spinach was unremarkable, but a necessary bit of color and texture for a plate of steak.  The German potatoes, not so different from home fries, were the prefect crispy starch that every good steak needs.  You can also get a baked potatoe (thank you Mr. Quayle) or french fries–I’m happy with our pick.

We decided to round the meal off with a tall ice cream Sunday that seems to hail from an old school ice cream shop.  A prefect sweet ending to a great meal with a literal cherry on top.


1 Comment

  1. […] recent post on Peter Luger reminded me of a trip to the Post House a few months back with my good friend Alex.  Alex lives in […]

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