« Re Sette | Main | Shelly's New York »

The Old Homestead

Here are two reviews of The Old Homestead (56 9th Ave btwn 14th-15th Sts, in the Meatpacking District). My first visit was in February 2005:

I’ve been taking a leisurely tour of Manhattan’s steakhouses, and last night was the Old Homestead’s turn. The décor, the service, and the menu all scream “old-fashioned steakhouse” — in both the bad and the good connotations of that phrase.

Where the Old Homestead diverges from the stereotype, it’s in their extensive “Kobe” beef selections. (Perhaps their version really is from Kobe, but I suspect it’s the American-bred “Wagyu” beef they’re serving.) You can get a Kobe ribeye for two for something like $150. Also on offer: a Kobe burger at $41 or a Kobe frankfurter (the mind boggles) at $19.

I went for the Gotham Rib Steak ($39), which they say is their signature item. Elsewhere it’d be called a ribeye. The cut of beef was practically a carbon copy of the ribeye I ordered at Wolfgang’s a month or two ago. The preparation was respectable, but not quite as accomplished as at Wolfgang’s: the char was less even, and parts of the steak were a tad overdone. The Homestead added a welcome helping of shoestring fries, which the Wolfgang’s version didn’t have.

At another table, I overheard a couple who are clearly frequent visitors. They ordered the porterhouse for two ($75), which was served just as they do at Luger’s, Wolfgang’s, and Mark Joseph, complete with the familiar tilted plate, allowing the unserved slices to wallow in juice.

The restaurant was not crowded, and there were plenty of servers hanging around. Despite that, the staff was not as attentive as it should have been, and my own server seemed rather bored with his job. I was served a piece of raisin bread that was practically rock-hard, as though it was a leftover from last Friday’s bakery run.

Although it doesn’t get my vote for top steakhouse in the city, the Old Homestead is better than many. I’ll probably be back, but not before trying a few other candidates.

I was back on November 8th, 2005:

I was back at the Old Homestead last night. I wandered in without a reservation. At 8:45pm, there was a fifteen minute wait for a table. The place was packed, and diners were still arriving as I left an hour later.

On this visit, I had the New York Strip, which was perfectly charred and bright red inside, as I’d asked for. Aside from a tiny bit of gristle on one end of the steak, it was a top-quality cut, prepared as expertly as anywhere in town.

The waitstaff look like they’ve been there forever, and they seem bored. I didn’t receive a menu until five minutes after I sat down. I was not offered a wine list. When I asked for wine by the glass, the waiter declaimed as if annoyed, “Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz, or {inaudible},” as if that were all one needed to know. I chose the Shiraz.

On the plus side, at $36 for the strip and $9 for the glass of wine, I got out of the Old Homestead for several dollars less than one would pay for comparable quality at other Manhattan steakhouses. I didn’t order any sides, but I noticed that most of them were priced at around $7 or less, which is less than the $9–10 that many steakhouses charge.

In a neighborhood where there’s a new restaurant every week, the Old Homestead seems to be just as popular as ever.

The Old Homestead (56 Ninth Ave. between 14th–15th Sts., Meatpacking District)

Food: *
Service: Fair
Ambiance: *
Overall: *

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>