Saturday, April 3, 2010

NYC Food - Peter Luger's Steakhouse

It's been a busy 10 days since the last post from the commissary - we just got back from a 4-day visit to Des Moines camping out with Mrs. Hackknife on one of her project trips. Somewhat unexpectedly, this little sojourn has resulted in enough foodie material for another future posting, thus adding to my already-overflowing topic backlog. Time to get back to business....

On Friday night of our NYC vacation (some two weeks ago now), we joined up with our Manhattan friends Adam and Ellen for a little plate of steak at the legendary Peter Luger's in Brooklyn, located near the Williamsburg Bridge (which didn't open until 1903, a full 16 YEARS after the restaurant). Luger's is not your grandma's highfalutin steakhouse - the decor is plain (lots of wood, short on ornamentation), the menu is sparse (if you want steak, you will be receiving a Porterhouse), and credit cards are not welcome here. One can almost imagine the late 19th-century patrons dining in mostly the same environment, a slightly-casual-but-not-relaxing vibe (this is still New York, after all).

For starters, Adam insisted that we try the bacon appetizer (of course, minimal arm twisting was required). Our Eastern European-waiter presented each of us with a single, 6-inch long, thick-cut bacon slice on a white saucer. Chewy, fatty, and oh-so-gooood. At that point, I could have easily traded my impending steak for another 4 or so of these beauties, but alas, we're not dining at the "baconhouse" (future venture, anyone?), so on comes the steak. Adam assured us that the steak platter for 3 would be more than enough for all of us and he wasn't off-base. Served to us on a large plate pooled in warm butter were maybe two (I wasn't really sure how many there were since they were sliced up in the kitchen beforehand) giant Porterhouses cooked rare per our instructions. How much meat was it? I don't know and I don't want to know. Now, I'm not the biggest steak lover around, nor even the biggest one in the Hackknife household (Mrs. Hackknife has that distinction), but these were very delicious and very guilt-inducing. The heavenly slabs were accompanied down our gullets with German fried potatoes (in keeping with the heritage of the neighborhood), creamed spinach, and a bottle of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon. For dessert (yes, somehow we were able to do this after the prior carnage), the missus and I sipped small glasses of Port while our dinner companions split a chocolate mousse. Completely sated, we returned to our hotel in Times Square and proceeded to sleep in until 9:30 for the first time since the kids were born (nothing like copious amounts of butter-covered steak and red wine to act as a sleep aid).

After this feast, you'd expect that we would have eaten light the next day (you'd be wrong). Coming up a mere 14 hours after leaving Brooklyn in a fog of cow goodness was our impossible-to-obtain reservation at Per Se and what very well may have been the meal of our lives (stay tuned).....

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