Ben and Jack’s will be temporarily closed as the building is renovated into a hotel. They’ll be back in the same location when the hotel conversion is complete. In the meantime, the 5th Ave. location is still open for business.
Lets face it, New Yorkers love steak, and they are obsessed with Peter Lugers, so much that they are willing to leave the 212, accept a place that doesn’t take credit cards, and put up with crappy service. Aren’t these supposed to be cardinal sins of any self-respecting Manhattanite?
What Lugers has going for it is the meat, plain and simple.
Now what if the very people that know the meat in question started a new restaurant and copied all the good parts, while eliminating the issues mentioned above?
Location: Midtown Manhattan
Service: What we’re used to get in Manhattan.
Decor: Classic Mid-Town Steakhouse
A dry-aged recipe for success?
As the story goes, two brother and a cousin (Ben, Ross and Jack) spent over 30 years working as waiters at Lugers, and with their combined savings decided to live the American Dream. After receiving the support of chef Burim Bajrami, they scooped up a midtown location and opened Ben & Jack’s steakhouse. With no legacy tradition to worry about, they eliminated everything people hated about Peter Lugers. To top it off, they brought in long time Lugers bartender to work as the maître d’, thus providing instant credibility.
Stepping into this restaurant is like stepping into any other midtown steakhouse. The decor is warm, friendly, but not gimmicky. Waiters are professional and seem to actually care about your business. The menu is literally a xerox copy of the Peter Lugers version, so if you’re a seasoned steak lover, just order your usual fare and prepare to be impressed.
The appetizers include the usual NY steakhouse specialties of jumbo shrimp and oysters, and also the Luger favorite, tomatoes and onions. I’ve never been a fan of paying such high prices for sliced tomatoes, just go to a nice farmers market and slice your own. I do recommend the Canadian beacon though, it’s exceptional (sorry, no picture).
I won’t waste too much time talking about the appetizers, after all this is a steakhouse. Once appetizers are consumed, the waiters will come around to drop a small plate upside down on your table, used to prop up the scorching hot plate that’s going to carry the beef. Too familiar to anyone who’s been to Lugers. Two minutes or so later, out comes the beautiful porterhouse.
How do I describe good steak? Tender? Juicy? Flavorful? I’m not even going to try. Lets just say I think it tastes better than Peter Lugers. Just slightly, but that in itself is no easy task. Sides are also carbon copies of what you expect, so I recommend the cream spinach and baked potatoes.
If you still have room for dessert? Go on a diet and stop reading.
What does this rating mean?
Ben & Jack’s (Make a Reservation)
219 East 44th Street
New York, NY