Details recently put out a list of “The Best New Steak Houses in America,” and it was not inaccurate. Most of the places across the country that delight enlightened meatheads made the cut: Cut in LA, Michael Mina’s butter-crazed Stripsteak in Vegas, and Robert’s (ill-served by an unrepresentative piece of choice beef in the picture) are indeed among the best going. But writers and diners alike are too happy to be served a big steak to gauge it accurately, which makes all steakhouse features unreliable at best.
Twenty-seven-year-old Sara (who asked that her last name not be used) has been a waitress at the Penthouse Executive Club since it opened in June of 2003 and has been popping Champagne bottles and serving tuna topped with quail egg in the lounge area and private rooms ever since. (The in-house restaurant, Robert’s Steakhouse, employs only male waiters.) The New Orleans native remembers how surprised she was the first time a woman came in alone and talked openly about her husband, but now she doesn’t bat an eye. “I generally know my guests by name,” she says, “and whether they have children.” We asked her to show, er, tell us a little bit more.