Sun-Wed, 11:30am-10pm; Thu-Sat, 11:30am-11pm
1, A, B, C, D at 59th St.-Columbus Circle
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Michael Lomonaco has returned to the city’s fine-dining stage, with a restaurant called Porter House New York. As the name suggests, it’s a steakhouse. And why not? In good times and bad, high times and low, the steakhouse endures. The venerable, timeworn genre was invented here (New York is the home of the porterhouse cut), and the steakhouse is to meat-hungry, expense-account-fueled New Yorkers what the bistro is to Parisians, the clam shack is to Cape Codders, and the barbecue joint is to the sauce-slathered residents of North Carolina and Tennessee. Which is to say, in the high-stakes-casino world of increasingly pricey and baroque big-city restaurants, there’s no safer bet.
There’s also a settled formula to the old New York chophouse, which even the greatest chefs deviate from at their peril. The former occupant of the Porter House space was Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s much-maligned V Steakhouse. At this doomed establishment, the décor resembled the lobby of a second-tier Belle Époque hotel, and steaks were served with ridiculous garnishes like candied kumquats and rhubarb ketchup. Mr. Lomonaco is having none of this frippery. At Porter House, the room is colored in familiar clubby shades of tobacco brown. There’s a bar area up front, where caged magnums of Cabernet are on display and groups of pink-faced corporate lieutenants cluster with their frosty cocktails under a glimmering TV tuned to the ball game. The dining room, designed by Jeffrey Beers (Japonais, Fiamma), is spacious, with beamy rafters and lines of starched white-topped tables looking out over Central Park. There's plenty of seafood on the menu (clams casino, caviar), numerous varieties of porterhouse (veal, lamb, pork, beef), and no kumquats or rhubarb stalks in sight.Ideal Meal
Chile-rubbed rib eye, $52; coconut layer cake, $12