When you enter a discussion regarding steakhouses in New York City or Long Island, I find that people often hesitate to mention Peter Luger’s. This has nothing to do with the quality of the steak, which is exceptional. Some think it’s too mainstream, not not unique enough to convey your knowledge as a food expert.
I have no problems with announcing my allegiance to Peter Lugers on Long Island, but being the steak lover that I am, I still take every opportunity to dine at the steakhouses large and small. An event invitation brought me to Blackstone Steakhouse, so it was time to get myself a porterhouse.
Steakhouses are timeless creations of American culture, and as Jean-Georges Vongerichten said after his V Steakhouse failed, you simply don’t temper with the formula. There need not be innovation, just execute nicely cooked pieces of aged beef, and provide big bold red wines to pair.
What I immediately noticed when I walked into Blackstone, however, was the presence of a sushi counter. While I suppose separating the two cuisines (albeit placing them together on the menu) does not make Blackstone less of a proper steakhouse, I really do not enjoy the smell of raw fish and vinegared rice when I’m slicing through beef.
Appetizers at Blackstone are mostly tried and true classics, with some dishes that were perhaps innovative in the late 90s. No shame in delivering tried and true classics, including the tuna tartare, which has found its way to so many steakhouses it might as well be a featured dish.
Service here perhaps draw too much inspiration from Luger’s. We all understand, and bare with the rudeness that you find a Luger’s, but I do not understand why some restaurants try to create that no-nonsense attitude. Why not strive for that 30-mark on the Zagat service square?
The main event of any steakhouse, assuming that you did not order a plate of maki rolls, would be the beef. The aged beef at Blackstone is tender, and cooked nicely to my medium-rare specification. However the cuts just didn’t seem to have as much flavor as many of the similarly styled porterhouses I’ve devoured in NY.
Perhaps I’m being too critical. For what it is, Blackstone is a very solid steakhouse, with an exceptional wine list (Wine Spectator has given its award numerous times). But keep in mind the prices are not cheap, a meal will easily run around $100 per person. Does this really justify going away from Peter Luger’s?
What does this rating mean?
Blackstone Steakhouse (Make a Reservation)
10 Pinelawn Rd
Melville, NY 11747