Peter Luger Steakhouse  

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Steak for 4, served medium rare in BrooklynImage via Wikipedia
Peter Luger Steakhouse
255 Northern Blvd. Great Neck, 11021
(516) 487-8800

You should know
I mentioned last week that Chris just graduated from law school. He also just had a birthday. Between the two (and a wager I made with myself -- and lost -- to finish reading Ulysses by my own birthday), I told him I would take him out to dinner anywhere he wanted, so long as I had enough notice to make reservations.

He didn't tell me where he wanted to go until the same day we got the dinner, but at least he made the reservations himself.

Typical, though: I had terrible indigestion from brunch, and steak was the last thing I wanted.

Also, and this is something I didn't know until I got there: only the house credit card is accepted. Fortunately, they do accept debit cards, so I was fine, but consider having plenty of cash on hand (which I would have, had I been forewarned).

Chris's original plan was for us to split the Porterhouse Steak for Two ($83.90), a wise move on his part since there's no way I could eat the same amount he can, even when I'm in the best of health. Since that wasn't in the cards, he instead got the Rib Steak ($39.99), while I got the Mixed Green Salad with homemade vinaigrette ($7.95). We split the Creamed Spinach (for 2) ($8.95) -- the food seems to be designed for groups -- a bottle of Avalon Napa Valley ($30), and, since my stomach was beginning to settle by the end of the meal, we split an apple strudel ($8.95) for dessert.

Chris loved his steak, to the point where he was very nearly gnawing on the bone. I tasted a few bites, and am convinced that I want to come back sometime in the future. My salad was very nice -- the vinaigrette dressing tasted a bit strange, not bad but seasoned with something I couldn'timmediately recognize (I think it was capers). The creamed spinach was good, though not sensational, but oddly tasted very good as a substitute for butter on the rolls.

The apple strudel was delicious, and came with a heaping bowl of the restaurant's specialty whipped cream, or "schlag". You could easily use this as a cannolli filling. Amazing, though I limited myself to a few bites.

I need to speak highly of the service here, as well. Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive. He didn't give me a hard time for ordering the salad, and when Chris asked for a half-bottle of one wine, he recommended a different wine, which cost less for a full bottle than a half-bottle of the other did, and which paired even better with the steak.

It wasn't a cheap night (even with my light fare), but it was great for a special occasion.

Go to celebrate
I highly recommend this place, but given inflation, the price of gas, and all that other fun stuff, I can't in good conscience recommend going on a regular basis. Once or twice a year, assuming you've budgeted for it? Absolutely.

The rest of the Internet
The Wikipedia entry.
Frank Bruni at the New York Times reviews the restaurant.
Liza at I Eat NY is brutal toward the hamburger buns.
Adam at The Amateur Gourmet offers an enthusiastic review and amazing pictures of the food (and Ben Affleck).
More positive words and hunger-inducing pictures at foodyi.
Alex Gordon at The Blogging Affair offers hints and tips for your visit.

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