Peter Luger Steakhouse
178 Broadway. Brooklyn, New York
The night before we were able to get a reservation for the last sitting at Peter Luger. We were looking forward to it even though we were all still pretty full from our 5 1/3 pizzas earlier in the afternoon (not tiny Domino’s-sized slices either – proper “oh fuck I’d better fold this in half” slices).
Peter Luger has been rated New York’s best steakhouse for 24 years in a row and at the entrance to the restaurant they have a bunch of their awards displayed.
My expectations were high because quite frankly James does an awesome rib-eye (apparently the secret is to season with LOTS of salt and pepper).
Most people seemed to be ordering enormous steaks that fed anywhere from 2-4 people but we went with individual steaks because I wanted a rib-eye. In hindsight I regret not going for the novelty of a shared steak. The individual steaks worked out slightly cheaper per head but I think you got more meat with the larger steaks – I think they both came to around $40+ a person.
James and Jules ordered the Peter Luger microbrew. They both agreed it was pretty bad (James said it made him a bit nostalgic for his family’s old homebrews) – in fact it took Jules the whole night just to choke his down. There was some onion (?) bread to start with but it tasted like day-old Brumby’s bread.
Also another word of advice – forget the sides. We ordered fries and broccoli because we felt vaguely unwholesome just eating steak. The fries were gross (we barely touched them) and the broccoli was, well, broccoli.
The steaks arrived on hot ceramic plates. My rib-eye:
The outside was super charred but the inside was a lovely medium rare:
Jules and James ordered a sirloin each:
The steaks were great. They were enormous and well worth the $40ish we paid for them. You know what steak tastes like, and this was like … a steakier steak than you’ve ever had.
Jules and James both preferred their sirloins because they thought my rib-eye was too fatty. Initially I disagreed but the richness of the rib-eye did start to get a bit much as the meal went on. Normally I eat a regular-sized portion so it’s never come up, but after a steak the size of my face I was really feeling it.
They gave us some house steak sauce which I tried; it was really sweet and didn’t go with the meat at all. I don’t know why you’d go to all the trouble of dry aging and perfectly cooking a steak only to slather it in gross, sweet sauce. I used it to try and make the fries a bit more palatable, but nope – like I said earlier, just focus on the steak. Looking at some other reviews it seems to be a pretty common theme that people loved the steaks and hated the sides (also the service). The service was pretty bad – we spent most of the dinner with our water glasses empty, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.
Here is a view of our table most of the way into the meal. Notice the bread shunted off to the side and the nearly-untouched state of the broccoli and terrible fries (also the steak sauce that I had carefully scraped away lest it further contaminate the meat):
We were super full at the end but saw a lot of people ordering the sundae and figured why not (nooo James, that was the final nail in your lactose intolerant coffin!)
Why do Americans like whipped cream so much? It’s on everything. You can get green tea with whipped cream on it. Disgusting. But anyway we pushed the whipped cream off to the side and attacked the sundae. It was nice but not really much different from one you could get anywhere else.
Overall I reckon the steaks are fantastic – not life-changing but a definite step above what you can achieve at home – but everything else ranges from awful to mediocre. If you come here, seriously just order the steaks and if you’re still hungry afterwards (omg) pick up a sundae and some fries at the Maccas down the street.