Entries in Quality Meats (2)


Easter Sunday at Quality Meats


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.

quality_meats_door.gifMy 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)

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


Quality Meats

Quality Meats is a new entry in the sub-genre of luxury steakhouses, a niche occupied by itself, BLT Steak, BLT Prime, and Craftsteak. Characteristic of the category, the décor is significantly more upscale and chick-friendly than the typical steakhouse, the wine list more serious, the side dishes more carefully thought out, and the prices are several dollars more per entree than the already expensive standard set by NYC steakhouses.

My friend and I gave Quality Meats a try last night. We found it a tad superior to Craftsteak, although with a few reservations. The restaurant offers a 64 oz. double bone-in rib steak for two, for $110. We’re both fans of the ribeye, so we gave it a try. This was enormous, sliced tableside, with more of a “prime rib” taste than usual for a solo ribeye steak. We asked for a preparation between medium and medium rare, which the kitchen executed perfectly. We brought the ample leftovers home.

The amuse bouche was a deviled egg, which struck us as unusual at this type of restaurant, but the kitchen did a fine job with it. They also sent out freshly baked dinner rolls, which were sinfully good. For appetizers, my friend had a salad, while I ordered the bone marrow ($9), which was excellent. While we awaited our steak, a server came over and prepared a terrific home-made steak sauce tableside. I don’t normally use steak sauce, but for this I made an exception.

For side dishes, we ordered the crispy potatoes ($7), which came in a hot pan, over which garlic butter was poured at the table. The effect was upscale potato chips. An order of grilled asparagus ($8) was wonderful. To go along with this, I found a very reasonable pinot noir. The total for two, before tip, was $215, which for a meal of this quality in New York was quite reasonable.

If the story ended there, I’d give Quality Meats a solid three stars. But there were a number of glitches with the service. When we asked for the double ribeye, we initially did not want appetizers, as we knew we were in for something huge. Our server warned us that the ribeye would take 90 minutes to prepare, and asked if we wanted to reconsider the appetizers. We were baffled as to how a steak could take 90 minutes, but we took her word for it and ordered appetizers. In the meantime, our steak appeared 35–40 minutes later.

We would also like to have been told that the steak came with about a pound of mushrooms and glazed onions, in which case we wouldn’t have ordered two side dishes on top of that. Lastly, we were subjected to unctuous upselling at dessert time. We were full at that point, but the server tried to break our resistance: “Are you sure you don’t want any dessert? Perhaps an ice cream to share?” On an already expensive bill, this bordered on offensive. We held our ground, but it was annoying nonetheless.

For a restaurant of this size, the noise level was manageable. The AvroKO décor is spectacular, but the tables are small and close together. Indeed, there was not room on our table for everything we had ordered, and our server had to commandeer the next table over, which fortunately was not yet occupied. I don’t know what they would have done had it been a full house.

I’m sure I’ll be back to Quality Meats — a steakhouse this good deserves to be on everyone’s list. I sure hope they’ll get their service team knocked into better shape.

Quality Meats (57 W 58th Street, East of Sixth Avenue, West Midtown)

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