There is a large amount of steakhouses Midtown: Ruth's Chris, Empire Steakhouse, Quality Meats, Quality Italian, Smith and Wollensky, Wolfgang Steakhouse...No wonder there are so many considering all the businesses located there. Because, let's be honest: steaks are fantastic in the US, but it comes at a certain price and you will not see that many families in steakhouses, especially now, as the price of meat is going up. Whenever I have visitors from Europe, I tell them to try a good steak if they can afford it, suggesting few places I tried and liked. So this time, I tried Bobby Van's with some of my friends.
Established since 1969, this family business has several locations across the US, five being in Times Square. We went to the one on 50th street that opened in 2006. It has all the characteristics of a steakhouse: masculine, warm and noisy. You may think looking at the photos that the restaurant was empty, but in fact, these photos were taken when I left, a little after 10pm; because, believe me, when we arrived, it was packed!
We had a small room reserved for us and we were all thinking: thank God, we will be able to hear each other. When we sat, I noticed that there was a small notepad on the table, wondering what the usage could be at the time of the smartphones and their note applications.
Menu wise, there is no surprise: you find the usual dishes a steakhouse proposes, such as crab cakes, shrimp cocktail or Caesar salad. Meat wise, they have the traditional cuts: filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin and of course a sizzling porterhouse.
As we were choosing from the menu, they brought us a bread basket with a nice variety, as well as some butter. Some say that the bread brought to the table makes the first impression: try in a way and so, for a steakhouse, you always expect one with different breads, breadsticks being a must have (don't ask me why...).
To go with our meal, we decided to order some wine. Red wine of course as pairing with a white wine our steaks would be a blasphemy. We chose a Bordeaux: Chateau Simard Saint Emilion 2004.
It is a wine that has a full and round structure, perfect with red meats, especially my favorite cut: the ribeye.
But first were the appetizers. I ordered one of my favorite in steakhouses: the crab cake.
Served with a mustard remoulade, the crab cake was 5 ounces of deliciousness. You could definitely see the lumps of crab and there was no apparent breading and filler, making it a fantastic appetizer.
Then, I also tried their cold seafood bouquet:
It was composed of lobster, crab and large shrimp. Nicely presented, it tasted very fresh and all the seafood was perfectly cooked.
But then was the plat de
résistance: the steak. I was ready for it!
I went for the ribeye:
It was big and thick. It might not have been the biggest I had in a restaurant, but it was probably a 22 ounce piece. Know that at Bobby Van's, they dry age
their steaks for 28 days, a process supposed to give the meat tenderness and enhancing the flavors.
I asked for my ribeye to be cooked medium-rare and it was perfect. Very juicy and tender, it had a delightful char.
It was so good that I did not even need their steak sauce.
Of course, when you have steak, you need sides and at Bobby Van's, they have a pretty good choice. We tried:
Creamed spinach (my favorite when wanting to eat vegetables...):
Brussels sprouts (another veggie: good diet, no?):
And my all time favorite with a steak: mac and cheese!
The only side I did not really liked was the hash browns that I could not photograph: maybe this was a sign. All the others were really good and comforting with the steak. I was just surprised that they did not have one with truffles as more and more steakhouses are proposing sides like truffle fries or truffle mash. Another classic missing was onion rings, but eh, they still have a large choice of yummy ones.
After that came the terrible choice of having dessert or not...Well, I could not leave without trying one of their signature ones. I chose the pecan caramel fudge pie.
Not only it looked appetizing, but it was sublime, the best part being the caramel that was not too sweet but buttery. I also loved the top that was made with the crushed pecans, giving some texture to the dish. To accompany it, there was nothing better than an espresso.
This was a delicious meal (with great company of course) with a high point on the ribeye that was divine. Bobby Van's knows how to cook the delicious meat they age for sure. And I should mention the exceptional service we had there from Garett. This is definitely on my list of favorite steakhouses!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!