May 2017 Steakboyz marked a return to a more traditional New York City steakhouse as the group visited the much talked about Wolfgang's. The Tribeca location was the venue of choice, which marked the third month in a row the group, would be downtown for the evening.
Wolfgang Zwiener himself started out at Peter Luger's in Williamsburg some 50 years ago now. After being the headwaiter there he started his own version of the popular steakhouse. The first venue was the one on Park Avenue, opening in 2004. The Tribeca location would open a few years later.
The prospects for the dinner were very positive as the group was allocated a large round centre table in the main dining area. Very quickly this host realized he had inexplicably messed up on the numbers, being one short. No room to add to the existing table, a smaller table had to be added at one end. My apologies to Alex and Leslie, less so to the latecomer Justin, as they would occupy the add-on table.
As someone who has dined at the location a number of times, a speedy discussion with the sommelier of all people was all that was needed and we were under way. No need to look at a menu. Following this, the host was led by Misho out to the stash of magnums behind the glass that a patron will see when standing in the bar area. The first upsell was a $2k bottle; I said politely that was kind of out of the price range for the Steakboyz. We settled on a good Robert Mondavi 3L for $450. I could not leave the magnum pen before he furnished an $18k bottle that he keeps for some Saudi prince that will always dine here when he's in town. Nice to know one can be surrounded by royalty at this place.
From here, it’s best to quickly describe the dishes from top to bottom. We started with the thick cut bacon and seafood tower. Three steaks for threes were prepared medium rare, accompanied by the German potatoes, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and mushrooms. Traditional New York steakhouse appetizers and a la carte entrees.
On the whole it didn't disappoint. The bacon is a common choice for the group and general feedback was it at the better end of the spectrum of bacon cuts we've enjoyed over the course of the last year and a half. This should be expected as well as since the restaurant is unapologetically modelled off Peter Luger’s. The seafood tower could best be described as adequate, not spectacular; a good accompaniment to the bacon and a satisfactory dish before the steaks.
The steaks proved to be a solid entry on the gamut of quality cuts the group has enjoyed. Three large sizzling plates of sizable porterhouses were delivered medium rare. For those who liked their meat less cooked than the next steak boy, the astute member would know to get their pieces off the plate sooner rather than later to avoid them cooking just that little bit more. Plenty of flavour with ample juices to drizzle over the pieces of meat. The sides could be described as unremarkable, but at the same time intelligently unglamorous so as to not take attention away from the main event.
So the unavoidable comparisons will be made to Peter Luger's. Thinking back to our venture over to Williamsburg in the summer last year, a few things stood out about that experience: the peculiar absence of seasoning in the steaks, the brusqueness of the wait staff, the inconvenient cash only policy - value however was close to the best of the year.
Flip all of this around and you have the Steakboyz Wolfgang’s experience. The steaks as mentioned rated highly; the value was not the best, but not the worst either. Like most restaurants the group could deliver a handful of credit cards to the waiter for payment at the end. The big surprise to some of us was the service and this is a refreshing upgrade to a Luger’s experience. Hats off to our head waiter Dino, the sommelier Misho and their whole crew to making our group feel a cut above the other tables around us on the night. Rightfully so too, we are the Steakboyz NYC chapter and have a right to feel a certain degree of legitimacy by now. Whilst it's unlikely we'll be venturing back there this year or next, this restaurant can be remembered by our group as a shining example of a classic New York steakhouse.
409 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013