If you have a taste for beef, lots of sauces (I counted eight), and endless varieties of potato (nine), this is not a bad thing. As I’ve said before, Tourondel’s mix-and-match, small-plate/big-plate formula (borrowed, incidentally, from Craft) seems to work better with meat than it does with fish. The simple roasted beets were my favorite appetizer, and if I had to choose one entrée again and again, it would be the house “BLT”: ciabatta layered with tomatoes, bacon bits, thin slices of American Kobe-beef skirt steak, and foie gras. The top-dollar steaks are fine (the twelve-ounce American Kobe rib eye costs $72), though a version of barbecued beef brisket seemed way too sweet, as if it had been smothered in marmalade. If you order one potato, make it the leek hash browns. If you order one dessert, make it the coffee toffee sundae. It’s served in a tall, frosty glass, with a cherry on top, just like you’ll find in many of the better restaurant chains.
Address: 900 Broadway, nr. 20th St.; 212-461-4300
Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, noon to 2:30 P.M.; dinner, Sunday and Monday, 5:30 to 10 P.M.; Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 to 11 P.M.
Prices: Appetizers, $12 to $18; entrées, $26 to $54.
Ideal Meal: Cold terrines, pecorino fondue, duck or pork, brown-sugar cake.
Note: Even after several months on the job, the service is harried and haphazard.
Address: 111 E. 22nd St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-995-8500
Hours: Dinner, Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 11 P.M.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 11:30 P.M.; Sunday, 5 to 10 P.M.
Prices: Appetizers, $9 to $27; entrées, $24 to $72.
Ideal Meal: Roasted beets, BLT sandwich, New York strip, leek hash browns, coffee toffee sundae.
Note: Laurent Tourondel is a genius with fish, but the seafood here was uninspired. If you tire of beef, order the excellent roast chicken.