Morton's The Steakhouse
551 Fifth Ave.
This international chain of steak restaurants may not have the gritty personality of Peter Luger or the classic Old New York feel of establishments like Wolfgang's or Keen's, but it's a decent option if you find yourself near West 45th Street just wanting an honest steak. The upstairs dining room is generic but cozy—photographs of Morton's throughout the years line the walls, a tuxedoed maitre d' strolls among tables—while a boisterous lower level includes a large bar area, open kitchen, and tall ceilings that feel more brasserie-like. Meals begin with a giant salted roll and a tableside presentation of dinner options in raw form under plastic wrap—from a four-pound lobster to a bone-in double-cut prime rib. Morton's prides itself on its aged prime beef, and rightfully so. The 48-ounce porterhouse for two, for which the restaurant is most famous, arrives tenderly cooked, flavored with its own juices, and elegantly presented. Sides, including creamed spinach and a giant baked potato, cost extra. An appetizer of broiled scallops wrapped in bacon and served with a side of apricot chutney, is an unexpected and welcome departure from the meat-and-potatoes fare. Desserts are underwhelming but that's fine after indulging in such massive dinner portions.