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Best Steak

Strip House
13 East 12th Street
212-328-0000

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Some people would say Strip House isn't a real steakhouse because the waiters aren't surly and chef David Walzog cares as much about the sides as about the main attraction. Go ahead, be abused across the river. But you won't find a better steak anywhere than the $58 double-cut New York strip served in this aptly bloodred beef den. You crunch through a slightly salty, exquisitely seasoned crust into the tenderest, most mouth-fillingly flavorful beef imaginable. Add a hot little igloo of potatoes fried in goose fat, and perfect spinach in truffled cream, and you'll never suffer the surly fools again. There's also something to be said for those expense-account franchises that have been popping up like milkweed throughout mid- and downtown lately. You can count on them for huge, well-aged, precision-cooked slabs, but Morton's midtown outpost (551 Fifth Avenue, at 45th Street; 212-972-3315) is the best, not only because the $33.95 New York strip is so great and the carefully chosen wine list so reasonably priced (okay, relatively reasonably priced), but because it's much more intimate than the cow palaces. Finally, if you're unwilling to take out a second mortgage to beef up the whole family, Carmine's 38-ounce porterhouse (2450 Broadway, near 90th Street; 212-362-2200), sliced by the staff, is only $46 -- and so satisfyingly redolent of garlic you'll be grateful it's kin you're out with and not a first date.


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