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The Bone-In Strip at Minetta Tavern

When Frank Bruni pronounced Minetta Tavern “the best steakhouse in the city” and awarded an improbable three stars, our eyes rolled.

“There he goes again,” we thought, conjuring up the image of countless restaurants over-rated during his tenure.

But we’ll give Bruni credit for one thing: the man likes his steak, and he likes it the same way we do: dry-aged prime, with a crunchy charred crust. So if Bruni thought Minetta was the city’s best, we figured it certainly wouldn’t be bad. We had to try it.

There are really only two options, a bone-in New York strip and a côte de boeuf for two. I’m leaving aside the Tavern Steak ($21), which looked pretty good when another diner had it, but it’s neither aged nor prime. And I’m also ignoring the filet mignon, which can never be a serious test. And since I was alone, that côte de boeuf wasn’t an option either.

The strip it was. And, oh my! was it good: more marbled than the typical strip, cooked on the bone to give it more flavor, and including a “tail” of half meat, half fat that most restaurants trim off. Equally impressive, it was just $36.

I cannot say for sure that it was better than the Steak for One at Wolfgang’s, which was $0.50 more expensive the last time I had it. But it was certainly as good, and certainly more remarkable for being served on the bone, which few restaurants do.

A side of leafy spinach ($8) was commendably done, but not memorable the way the steak was.

Once again, I sat at the bar, which had just one stool available at 5:30 p.m. Service was a bit more distracted than last time, when I had the burger. This place is bursting at the seams. When I left, at around 6:45, there was a hostess standing outdoors with names on a clipboard. I wouldn’t call her a bouncer—actually, she was quite friendly—but I gather her job was to turn away walk-ins.

We’ll go ahead and give the steak 3 stars, since we haven’t had better, but you’ll have to put up with some hassles if you want to try it.

Minetta Tavern (113 MacDougal Street between Bleecker & W. 3rd Streets, Greenwich Village)

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

Reader Comments (2)

went last week overcrowded and overated loud and

August 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbill

Watercress, not spinach

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRndz

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