Like most meat eating New Yorkers, I love the Peter Luger’s porterhouse for two. Just as shameless copies of Nobu’s miso cod has landed on many Japanese restaurant menus, clones of the Peter Luger concept has also spread around the city. To me, these knockoffs offer the best of Lugers (the meat), and does not have the annoyances (cash-only, parking, distance to Brooklyn). I’ve always been a fan of Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, which recently opened their second location. In comparison, Wolfgang’s is far ahead in its expansions, covering Park Ave, Midtown, Tribeca, Beverly Hills, and even Waikiki, Hawaii. So not too long ago on a brisk, fall Sunday afternoon, I decided to head to Wolfgang’s for dinner.
I chose the Tribeca location because I was already in Soho, and that I find Tribeca on weekends to be charming and quaint. On weekdays, these streets are lined with limos waiting for bankers, but on weekends this neighborhood does not attract tourists. What we have here are quiet streets, friendly people, and plenty of parking.
Situated only a few steps away from massive office towers, the restaurant features a wide and spacious dining call decorated with rich, wood and leather textures and colors. This is without a doubt a restaurant where power lunches and dinners take place on a regular basis. On weekends serving a mostly family crowd, it relaxing and almost serene.
We sat by the window, where our waiter warned that the setting sun will shine into our room in a few hour. I for one never mind natural sunlight when I eat. The service was very much no-nonsense New York steakhouse, but not to the extent of arrogance. Recommendations we prompt and swift, orders were taken quickly. We selected oysters and porterhouse, classic steakhouse favorites. I fought back my craving for the thick slices of Canadian bacon, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to finish the steak if I ate bacon.
The oysters were exactly what you’d expect at upscale steakhouses. The sauce, which I believe was a blend of cocktail sauce with the Wolfgang’s house steak sauce worked quite well with the briny shellfish.
Then came the clearing of the table, the placement of a small plate upside down in the center of the table as a “stand” for the oncoming sizzling hotplate. I absolutely love how these knock-offs shamelessly copy every detail. We all know the Luger’s system works, so why mess with it?
The steak was juicy, tender, and perfectly charred on the outside. The “juice”, or dripped off fat, doused the meat with intense flavor. I’ve always loved aged porterhouse, with the different sides of the bone giving two distinct cuts of meat, this was phenomenal.
Which brings us back to the Luger’s comparison. Was the steak better than Peter Luger? No. In fact, it tastes remarkably similar. The system works, and there’s obviously a sizable demand for these restaurants. If you like Peter Lugers for the steak alone, then you ought to give Wolfgang’s a try. Identical style, but with friendlier waiters, and they accept credit cards. It was definitely a very enjoyable experience.
If you’re craving steak on a weekend evening, head to Wolfgang’s in Tribeca. For Luger faithfuls, this is proof that dining like a carnivore can be a relaxing experience.
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Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Tribeca (Make a Reservation)
409 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013