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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of October 2, 2006: Porter House New York, STK, Fika. Plus, chocolate tortilla chips.

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OPENINGS
Porter House New York
10 Columbus Circle, at Broadway, fourth fl.; 212-823-9500
When the powers that be at the Time Warner Center went hunting for a chef to replace Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his avant-garde, bordello-red-and-gold V Steakhouse, Michael Lomonaco was a logical choice. After all, as chef at Windows on the World and Wild Blue, he’d had plenty of experience competing with spectacular views and coaxing diners to take an elevator to dinner. His straightforward approach also seemed like a crowd-pleasing panacea for anyone still holding a grudge over Vongerichten’s cheeky riffs on the sacred steakhouse genre. When Porter House New York opens this weekend, diners will find a familiar steakhouse setting (comfy leather booths and acres of cherrywood) and an unthreatening menu. “It’s food I really like to eat,” says Lomonaco—classic Americana like an oyster pan roast, dry-aged porterhouse for two, wild striped bass, and a Sunday-night chicken pot pie.


STK
26 Little W. 12th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 646-624-2444
Many a steakhouse has targeted that elusive female clientele. This week, the owners of One take a stab at it with STK, their sophomore meatpacking-district venture, where the design is more lavender lounge than dark-wooded men’s club, the lighting takes inspiration from Robert Wilson set designs, and the steak, like designer clothing, comes in small, medium, and large sizes, from a $28 skirt to the $79 porterhouse. Chef Todd Mark Miller may be best known for the $100 foie gras–and–Kobe beef–enriched Philly cheesesteak he created for Stephen Starr’s Barclay Prime, but these days, he’s moved on to roasted beets with yogurt and curry, and “surf turf & earth” (bigeye tuna, black truffle, foie gras). Some steakhouse traditions are sacrosanct, though, like offering a selection of mix-and-match sauces and sides. Meatpacking traditions, too, like the obligatory D.J.



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