Quality Meats

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good steak and in New York a new steakhouse pops up virtually every day. The pure male bonding haunts still draw them in, but a new breed is emerging that keeps the basic tenets intact, but adds some nuances that expand the appeal to a larger audience. Quality Meats, from the people who bring you Smith & Wollensky, The Post House and others, is just such a place. How can you not be enamored with a classy place that serves Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in cans at the bar?

The decor is a take on 19th century New York butcher shops. This is a very cool design that manages to be contemporary, yet still warm and inviting. The use of brick, walnut plank walls, butcher block, vintage scales, bare filament light bulbs and meat hooks cleverly create a butcher shop mind image that isn’t really there.

First departure from the norm is a Charcuterie Bar with delicious cheeses and hams and Parmesan fries that are to die for. Great start to a meal or as a snack after a show or game.

Oysters, shrimp and lobster cocktails are fresh and perfectly chilled. A tomato and mozzarella salad with roasted red pepper aioli and country ham crisp is excellent. Try the Meyer lemon calamari too.

Steaks come from two legendary family butchers, Milton Abeles and Strassburger Meats and they are delicious. I’ve enjoyed the aged bone-in sirloin, the three filets and the long short rib. All expertly cooked, juicy, with great taste. Another departure and a great touch are the tasty steak sauces whipped up tableside. For sides don’t miss the Parmesan fries, corn creme brulee and the Cipollini onions.

8 choices of ice cream and 4 toppings are a nice change on the dessert menu, but the blueberry cobbler I had was amazing. I’ll get it again.

A strong wine list is a staple in Stillman restaurants and it’s no exception here. I like this list a lot for a number of reasons; interesting choices, wonderful descriptions and side notes about the wines and very fair pricing. If you are looking for the big dogs they’ve got some terrific choices, but you can also find value. My favorite idea though is the Sommelier’s Bin. Every time they update their list and clean up the cellar, inevitably they find some odds and ends around. These are wines that normally sell for $150 or more. They put these wines in the Sommelier’s Bin for $75. It’s a roll of the dice because you don’t know what your getting until it comes to the table. Great fun and I’ve never been disappointed.

Service is friendly and efficient. On one trip our server even gave us a complimentary glass of port after our meal.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Hey, it’s a steak house! But dining upstairs is a little more intimate.

Wine Spectator Award

A “steakhouse for the modern era”, this “energetic” Midtowner “proves itself” with “really solid” beef plus more “offbeat” sides and apps served in “hipper than average” surroundings (“no mahogany here”); “high” prices are a given, but you do “pay for quality.” ZAGAT.