Sun-Mon, 11:30am-10pm; Tue-Sat, 11:30am-11pm
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Gothamites have never had much love for national chain restaurants. They've always believed an integral feature of Manhattan dining is its exclusivity—available to Denverites and Chicagoans only via LaGuardia. Houston's poses a distinct challenge to this kind of gastronomic snobbery: It has franchised, Starbucks-style, a reliably satisfying business-meeting steakhouse that fits into Midtown just as comfortably as it does in a Phoenix shopping center. The plush leather banquettes, large modern paintings, and hardwood tables conjure a certain Pottery Barn aesthetic, but the furnishings also convey the macho-and-classy image often favored by corporate types and their clients. Diners dig into hearty, oversized portions with equally oversized forks and steak knives, while an almost uncannily well-choreographed waitstaff (programmed upon being hired with precise phrasings and responses to patrons) bring dishes, refill drinks, and bus tables in what seems like record time. Several excellent salads are served, along with what is rumored to be the absolute best veggie burger in town. Most evenings the bar area is teeming with affluent singles in pinstriped suits trading pick-up lines over Cosmos.Recommended Dishes
Campfire barbecue ribs, $29; Hawaiian rib eye, $36; grilled chicken salad, $18; house made veggie burger, $19