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Wolfgang's Steakhouse

Note: Click here for a review of Wolfgang’s TriBeCa.

In mid-January, I paid my first visit to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. I ate at the bar. The Gustavino ceiling is priceless, but it makes Wolfgang’s noisy (and I was there before they really filled up). Carpeting, rather than hardwood floors, would probably make a big difference, but peace and quiet are clearly not the idea here.

Like Peter Luger, Wolfgang’s signature entrée is simply labeled “Steak for Two,” “Steak for Three,” or “Steak for Four.” It’s a porterhouse, but they don’t say so. I was alone, so my options were the ribeye, the NY sirloin, the filet, or the lamb chop. They’re all $36.50, so it’s just a matter of preference.

I ordered the ribeye, which was a hefty size and thickness, a perfect medium rare, and had heavy char on the outside. I was fully sated after finishing it. About four hours later, I had a distinct craving for another. One small strand of gristle was all that stood between my steak and perfection. It was still damned good.

Also like Luger, Canadian Bacon is on the menu. It’s $2.50 a slice, and you wonder why more appetizers aren’t offered with that kind of flexibility. I knew I was in for a large steak, so I ordered just one slice. Oh my, but was that superb: thick, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside.

Like many folks, I found the medical advice in Frank Bruni’s review (“Eat up, but don’t tell your cardiologist”) of dubious value. It doesn’t bother Wolfgang, though. A copy of the Bruni review is very prominently posted.

There are plenty of FOH staff roaming around, although it can be hard to get their attention. As I was leaving, I was looking for someone to fetch my coat, and quite inadvertently I ended up presenting my claim check to Wolfgang himself. Momentarily flustered, he said, “One of zee girls!” (Any girl would do, I suppose.) A couple of minutes later I had my coat and was on my way. Until next time.

Update: On a later occasion, two colleagues and I tried that porterhouse, which was amazing.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (4 Park Avenue at 33rd Street, Murray Hill)

Food: **
Service: *
Ambiance: *½
Overall: **

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