Sun-Thu, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm
1 at 23rd St.; N, R at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
14th St. to 34th St., Third Ave. to Ninth Ave.
A trip to the Outback Steakhouse gives New Yorkers the chance to feel like they've left the city. The trip isn't so much to the Aussie wilds as it is to another planet—the suburban malls of Tampa, Florida, where the chain originated. Most nights, the restaurant's filled with tourists seeking familiar comfort in the predictable. Wooden booths ring the perimeter of the dining room, decorated with faux road signs and boomerangs. The blooming onion appetizer is a signature Outback opener: a whole onion sliced into a floral grid, dunked in batter, and deep-fried to a spicy turn. For entrées, chicken and seafood play backup to the headlining steaks and chops, served in linebacker-sized portions. Baby back ribs are smoked and then grilled until the succulent meat falls off the bone. The center cut filet steak, a lean seared tenderloin, arrives unperturbed by heavy-handed seasonings, just a welcome slab of beef. Prime rib, porterhouses, and rib-eyes round out the beef options. Dishes here don't break new ground, but are restaurant classics well prepared. In New York, that's practically exotic.Recommended Dishes
Bloomin' onion, $7.99; baby back ribs, $21.99; Outback special steak, $19.99