My girlfriend, son, and I had Easter dinner at Quality Meats. This was our second visit—see earlier review—and cemented our view that Quality Meats is in the top echelon of New York steakhouses.
The most notable recent trend in Manhattan steakhouses—aside from the sheer quantity of them—is the rise of what I call “chick-friendly” steakhouses. It’s probably an unfair term, since plenty of women go to the standard Peter Luger-style steakhouses too. But at most of the classic steakhouses, the clientele is very obviously male-dominated. There are other stereotypes too, such as the wood paneling, unimaginative menu, and old-school waiters who seem almost bored.
Quality Meats, and others of its ilk, break this mold. They come across as fine-dining restaurants that happen to serve great steak, rather than as cookie-cutter steakhouses.
It would take a far more scientific study than I have time for to rate Quality Meats for the steaks alone, but they’re fairly close to the top of the heap, if not quite at the pinacle of it. There may be better classic steakhouses, but the supporting cast make Quality Meats a superior experience—from the excellent side dishes; to the homemade steak sauce, prepared tableside; and finally to the enjoyable AvroKO ambiance and first-rate service.
My girlfriend and I were both pleased with the 24 oz. bone-in rib steak ($44), which came with a foot-long rib bone still attached. The steak had the appropriate dry-aged taste, was done to the correct temperature, and was nicely marbled. My son did well by the 12 oz. filet mignon ($39).
We got the same side dishes as last time, the asparagus ($9) and the incredibly addictive crispy potatoes ($9), to which hot garlic butter was added tableside.
The wine list offers plenty to explore at reasonable prices. A Santa Duc Quatre Terres Côte du Rhône at $45 was a happy choice to go with what we had ordered.
For dessert, Quality Meats offers a great selection of ice creams ($6 for two scoops), so we all had that.
The restaurant did a brisk Easter business, but wasn’t full. Service was excellent, but for a repeat of the same upselling trick our server tried last time. We knew that steaks plus side dishes would be plenty, so we didn’t order appetizers. The server said, “Are you sure you don’t want appetizers? The steaks are going to take about 25 minutes.” Having been lured by this ruse last time, we politely declined. Sure enough, the wait for our steaks was more like 15 minutes.
There are plenty of great Manhattan steakhouses on my hit parade. If I’m just hungry for a steak, I walk in, order a slab of meat (with nothing else), and go home sated. But for a steakhouse that offers the whole package, Quality Meats may be the best of them all.
Quality Meats (57 West 58th St., east of Sixth Avenue, West Midtown)