Message from the Meat Man:





Dear Steak Enthusiasts:

Go to the new website. It is a fuck-ton better than this piece of garbage page. Enjoy, and bon apetit, bitches.

Yours in Beef,
Johnny Prime, CC (Carnivore Connoisseur)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Statler Grill

The Statler Grill overall score: 75

Groupon recently had a sweet steakhouse deal: $49 steak dinner for two that covers $18 worth of apps, $114 worth of steak, and $18 worth of sides. That's a steal! It turns out the restaurant was The Statler Grill, a joint I had wandered past a few times near Penn Station and always wondered about.

1) Flavor: 9
I had the ribeye, which was partially boneless at about 22oz. Nice and flavorful, cooked perfectly through the whole way, nothing uneven, nice and tender and juicy, well seasoned, well rested... It didn't need anything, yet there was just something missing that I couldn't put my finger on; maybe it was the atmosphere (see below)? Whatever it was I couldn't give it the full 10. My wife got the lamb chops, which were amazing; nice crust, not too gamey, but full of great flavor.

2) Choice of Cuts & Quality available: 7
The menu has the basics: strip, filet, ribeye, porterhouse. All seem to be prime quality. No specials, but they did have lamb chops and a veal chop to mix it up.

3) Portion Size & Plating: 8
We were full, so the size was good; I estimate the ribeye to be about 20-24oz (there were no numbers on the menu), and about 3-4oz for each lamb chop (6 chops per order). Plating is basic; white plate with meat + a little green garnish. Nothing fancy.

4) Price: 8
I wanted to give this place a 9 or 10 for price, since we paid so little for our meal, but the menu prices were high for dining without a sweet groupon. The ribeye was $54, lamb chops $48. Kinda pricey for a place like this. The lobster cocktail was $18, and the smallish sides were $9 each. If the atmosphere was a little different (see below) if might be worth it at full price, because the food WAS cooked properly and tasted great... but for that price, head over to Keen's, Wolfgang's or Delmonico's for serious atmosphere. That said, our meal, with drink, tax and tip included, was $42 over the initial $49 I paid for the groupon.

5) Bar: 6
The bar is kinda small and junky. It probably gets some customers who are awaiting their LIRR train, so not empty. They do offer some interesting beers and wine selections, and their martini was made properly, but this isn't really the kind of bar I'd want to hang at for too long. Contrast with Delmonico's or Keen's and you see what I mean.

6) Specials and Other Meats: 6
No specials! That's fine; after all, it is a steak joint. The basic cuts are all that is required. Other than that they had veal and lamb, a good deal of seafood and chicken as well, for the wimps.

7) Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with the lobster cocktail; nicely cooked, accompanied by some dipping sauces: a kicked up, horseradishy cocktail sauce, and a spicy mayo type sauce. The lobster was split in two long ways to split the tail meat, and the claws were pre-cracked and ready to devour. The creamed spinach was certainly creamy. What it lacked in salt and savory it made up for in cream, so it served as a good cut to the well-seasoned meat. I found myself dipping fork fulls of meat into the spinach with every few bites. Only bad thing: the size was a bit small. The order of fries was good too; crispy ribbons, well salted. About 2 potatoes worth, so also a bit pricey for $9. We skipped dessert. If I was still hungry, I probably would have rounded off the meal with some oysters. One thing looked particularly interesting on the menu: the Dr. Olsen Salad - basically a cobb with a seafood twist.

8) Seafood Selection: 8
Chilean sea bass, grilled salmon, shrimp scampi, crab cakes, and seared sesame tuna graced the seafood menu. That covers most bases, though there was no lobster aside from the cocktail. They also offered oysters AND clams on he half shell as apps (oreganata clams too - and nice move offering both clams and oysters), as well as fried calamari, shrimp cocktail, lump crab meat, and app sized portions of scampi, crabcakes and tuna.

9) Service: 9
Our waiter was really friendly and outgoing to all his tables - an older man - and the waiters were dressed in the classic shirt & tie manner. Crusty bread was hot when it came to the table, and served with a nice basic whipped butter that wasn't cold and solid.

10) Ambiance: 6
This place could use a makeover. It is not BAD inside, but it doesn't have a steakhouse feel (see Lugers) OR a fine dining feel (see Mark Joseph). It feels more like a Heartland Brewery, yet at least in Heartland Brewery you know you have a kickass bar/drink selection. The floors are nice; dark wood, Ceilings are high with the exposed warehouse look, and tables are what you would see in any regular restaurant. Walls are covered with random stuff like trumpets, artwork, etc. I think they need a new space, or a new decor. Even the doorway seemed cheap; more like a bar door or a standard storefront shop. It could be the location - it is directly across from MSG and Penn Station, down 33rd street about halfway to 6th Avenue, so it lacks a certain character or uniqueness trait. The bathrooms, cleverly marked "Joseph" and "Josephine" for men/women, were standard bar bathrooms - not dirty, but not the kind you expect in a fine steakhouse.

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