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Wolfgang's TriBeCa

I’ve been to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Murray Hill several times. It’s like Peter Luger in Manhattan, except that they take credit cards, the menu has more variety, and the serving staff are a whole lot friendlier. Steakhouses are my great weakness, so I was delighted when a branch of Wolfgang’s was announced for a building literally across the street from my office. Construction was plagued with delays, and it finally opened only a few weeks ago.

As an aside, Wolfgang’s TriBeCa was supposedly the first construction permit granted in New York City that fell under a new law that any public accommodation must have twice as many women’s bathroom stalls as there are men’s stalls. It’s a little ironic that Wolfgang’s would be the first, given the male-dominated clientele of most steakhouses.

The new space is considerably larger than the Murray Hill flagship. There are actually some soft surfaces in the room, so you don’t feel like you’re in an echo chamber, as you do uptown. The menu is identical in both restaurants. Prices are a bargain by steakhouse standards, with most steaks for one priced at $36.50, and the Canadian Bacon appetizer still priced at the ludicrously-low $2.75.

wolfgangs01.jpgMy friend had never had the Luger-style Canadian Bacon, so I persuaded her to give it a try. When you see the price of $2.75, you figure it has to be a microscopic portion. But I’ve learned from experience that one slice is all anyone can eat. And on this occasion, the bacon slices were even larger than I remembered them. They may be 85% fat, but boy are they good.

My friend does not care for porterhouse (Wolfgang’s specialty), so we both ordered the ribeye. The marbling was a bit less even than some of the better ribeyes I’ve had lately, but the meat was wonderfully tender. The aging program at Wolfgang’s is obviously working to perfection. A creamed spinach side dish was perfectly prepared, and I was happy to see a good bread service, with some delicious onion rolls.

The wine list is a little on the expensive side, but we were able to find an fine cabernet at around $50. Service was friendly—even Wolfgang himself came over to check on our table. It was a Friday night, and the restaurant was doing a decent business, but was not full. Those who were there seemed to be mostly couples from the neighborhood. But there was a boistrous table for 12–14 men in ties, most likely investment bankers. On most weeknights, I suspect this will be Wolfgang’s core clientele.

Wolfgang’s TriBeCa (409 Greenwich Street between Hubert & Beach Streets, TriBeCa)

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

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