The New York Post published its list of Top 5 Old School NYC Steakhouses, and frankly, that can’t be the end of it. It just can’t be.
Here’s their list:
- Porter House New York
- Peter Luger
- BLT Steak
- Keens Steakhouse
- Bull and Bear
Now here’s what’s wrong with it. (I’m going to try to have a rational debate about something as deeply sensory and emotional as steak, so stay with me here.)
First thing is first — BLT Steak is a great steakhouse — love the whole BLT empire. But that restaurant opened in 2004. If it were a human being it would not be able to drive, vote, or consume alcohol. It may not have even hit puberty.
It should not be on the same “old school” list as Keens Steakhouse, which has been around this town in one form or another since 1885 (1885!!!), or Peter Luger, which has been in the same family since the 1950s.
Jody Storch, the current owner/manager/Brooklyn Commissioner of Steak, got the restaurant from her father. He worked in the factory across the street, and when heard the restaurant was being sold by the previous owner, he bought it.
And speaking of family, there is a glaring omission on this list — Old Homestead Steakhouse.
I, personally, will stand for Old Homestead on a soap box until the cows come home (and we put them on a grill).
Not only was the restaurant around in the 1868 as the Tidewater Trading Post. It was called that because at that time, the Hudson river crawled right up to the restaurant.
Old Homestead as we know it now was bought by Harry Sherry in the 1940s, and his grandsons Greg and Marc, have built it into a great brand with locations in Atlantic City and Las Vegas as well as NYC.
And what’s more — what’s actually epic — is that Marc and Greg worked tirelessly with the Japanese government in the 1990s to bring Kobe beef to you and me, and all the other until-then-deprived Americans that need it. They worked with regulators to get Japanese farms up to American health code specifications.
This is diplomacy on at LEAST John Kerry’s level. At least.
When you go to Old Homestead, you are Marc and Greg’s guest. That much is obvious, and that is the heart and soul of a steakhouse.
That brings us to another glaring omission here. Gallagher’s — a steakhouse that lets customers choose their own cuts. It almost closed last year and grown bankers actually wept in the streets of New York (not really, but we got a bunch of super sad mail about it).
Anyway, listen. Be careful with your steakhouse lists. People care about this stuff. You have to spend a lot of time eating a lot of steaks and drinking a lot of martinis to get this delicate stuff right.
It’s work, people. Hard work.