For all of you that don’t know already, Peter Luger’s steak house has been around for a very long time. Many tourists always recommend eating here and rave about it. The locals though on the other hand are rather impartial. People have told me that their steaks suck and that their best dishes are their appetizers. Others have told me it’s the best steak they ever had. Time to find out.
First off even though you may be a party of 2 or less, always make a reservation despite whatever the phone operator tells you. My friend and I ended up waiting an extra hour because they said a reservation was superfluous. They have 2 lists that they iterate through for seating: 1 with reservations and 1 without. Reservation list is seated first before they dive into the no-reservation list.
Second, if you do arrive with no reservations, you should expect to wait at least an hour, if not more. We went in for lunch at 12:30 and it was a mad house up until around 2:30 PM EST. Their system is pretty archaic in that they hand write all reservations and take notes on paper.
Lastly, this place for the most part is cash only. They accept Peter Luger gift cards as an alternate form of payment though.
So after we got seated, we ordered the bacon. People say that this bacon is awesome and is a must get. I have to say people are on crack. The bacon was good, but it wasn’t blow-your-mind good. It tasted like regular bacon from the market, just 5x as thick. It had a nice char to it, but it wasn’t anything special.
We didn’t order any other sides other than the bacon because we came here to eat steak. People have recommended the burgers, but based on what I saw that came out of the kitchen, I was very skeptical. Most of their steak cuts are porterhouses, so we got the rare porterhouse for 2. The steak comes out cut up already on a very hot plate. There’s oil from the steak that is off to the side. Since I preferred my steak to be medium rare, the waiter took a couple cuts of the strip side and pressed it against the hot plate to cook it some more. The first servings were from the NY strip side. This was surprisingly pretty good. The meat was well flavored, and I’m pleased that Peter Luger doesn’t over season their steak. There’s also a nice char to the edges, so it’s kind of crispy. The strip side did have some tendons in it, that made it difficult to chew, but other than that, it was a pretty good steak.
I then took some pieces from the filet mignon. Since the plate cooled down by now, I was basically stuck on eating it rare. The filet mignon was superb. The meat was very soft and cut like butter. It was also very lean with very little fat or tendons. It was also very rich in flavor from the dry age. I dipped some of it in the steak oil, and it was delectable.
Peter Luger’s steak house is a pretty good steak house for what it is. The porterhouse NY strip side was good, but I can safely say that the filet mignon side was probably the best filet mignon I’ve had so far. Would it be worth waiting an hour? I don’t think so. There are supposedly better steak places around town, but you really can’t go wrong with this one.