Note: After this review was posted, Shelly’s moved down the street to 41 W. 57th Street. It has since re-branded itself as Shelly’s Tradizionale, an Italian seafood restaurant.
Shelly’s New York, located at the other end of the block from Carnegie Hall, is ideally situated for a pre-concert dinner, which I suspect is where much of the clientele comes from. It was packed at 6:30pm on a Sunday night in November, but by 7:45 there was a noticeable clearing-out. With Carnegie booked every night, it’s surprising that dining options nearby are not more compelling.
There’s a lot to like about Shelly’s, including a terrific wine bar, designer martinis, and a large raw bar. My friend and I ordered the porterhouse for two, which was competently prepared, but won’t erase my memories of the better Manhattan steakhouses.
Shelly’s isn’t cheap, but for a steakhouse in Manhattan it is reasonable. For instance, the filet mignon is $38.75; at BLT Steak, a block away, it’s $40. The NY Strip is $37.75, but it’s $42 at BLT. The porterhouse for two is $73, but it’s $79 at BLT. Overall, the steaks at Shelly’s are a couple of dollars lower than you’d find at top-end steakhouses.
The owners, Fireman Hospitality Group, are also behind the Brooklyn Diner, Trattoria Dell’ Arte, Redeye Grill, and Cafe Fiorello. They don’t aim high, but these places have all done well. Somebody knows what they are doing.
Shelly’s New York (104 W. 57th Street at Sixth Avenue, West Midtown)