Location: Tough to beat 49th and 3rd in Manhattan. Just a tad off the path from a subway is the only down here. SCORE: 9 (out of 10)
Ambiance: The inside of the joint screams chophouse. The classic decor, the red-faced waiters, the boisterous buzz, the sounds of sawing. Like John Amechi, it's packed in pretty tight on both floors, but it's gotta be that way to service the many clientele. SCORE: 9
Bar: Average bar here, and the lack of a plasma on the second floor hurts the cause. That Sabres 3, Rangers 0 score would've looked nice in HD, I'm not gonna lie. SCORE: 6
Bread, Appetizer, Salad: Quite a variety in the bread basket, so there's no way someone like BCSmut33 could refer to it as stupid. Granted, nothing in there came close to the popover bread at BLT Steak, but what could? After surveying some of the bread, I tried out the breadsticks, which basically look like flattened everything bagels. They tasted good, but I got a little nervous when my pal The Glaze, a staunch liberal, started busting my balls for eating hippie food. Several seafood platters were brought out right away, which, while extremely classy, was torture for someone with a vicious shellfish allergy. As is my habit, went with the Caesar Salad, which certainly fell above the 50th percentile of Caesars I've had. Croutons left a bit to be desired, but a good amount of cheese and dressing made up for it. SCORE: 8
Sides: The creamed spinach looked a little too much like pesto sauce and tasted a little too much regular spinach to come anywhere close to the Cap Grille Popeye Standard. Dabbled in the asparagus, but the lack of seasoning/sauce wouldn't have made Jeff a happy chomper (see below). Can't complain about the hash browns though. So good job right there. Didn't bother with the broccoli, and was kicking myself for not asking for a side of wild mushrooms. SCORE: 6
Chop: Disappointing. Went with the regular sirloin, which was a bad job on my part because I probably should've gone with the bone-in NY strip (poor recommendation by the waiter - more on him in a second). Cooked to a perfect medium, but slightly under-charred, which is a baaaad job. Of the 14 oz, I'd say only 10 was meat; the rest fat and gristle. And the taste just wasn't there. Lack of spices, lack of flavor. To top it all off, the plates were unusually small - very difficult to cram the sides on the same dish. SCORE: 5
Dessert: The the cheesecake had too much lemon flavor. I'm looking for a cheesecake, not a meringue pie. Small break, please. I'm told that the peanut butter chocolate cake was good. SCORE: 6
Crowd: Boisterous class all around. Obviously sitting with good peeps from work - Margee, The Glaze, White, Dru The Divine, Boss Moose, Missus Moose, Chocolate Boy, Don Gotti, Mush, DByrd, MikeD, Ro, and Eddie C - and despite the abundance of females, it made for an enjoyable chomping experience. The Boss Moose impersonations were flying around as usual, everyone was busting balls, and you can't imagine how damaged souls are lifted when there's a free meal in the air.
Service: My boy forgot my Caesar, failed to acknowledge three requests for another round of Amstels, and continuously knocked into The Glaze as he was serving the food. And she's got a pretty small dome, so it was easily avoidable. Just a salty demeanor all around. Baaaad job. SCORE: 5
General Class Factor: You feel like you're in a classic chophouse at Smith & Wo's. They handle mind-blowing numbers of chompers every night, and manage to be classy throughout (except for the occasional surly waiter). SCORE: 8
Final Score: 72. Kind of a skewed score here. No doubt a classy place, and arguably the most well-known chophouse in the city. And I know that they treat my boy the Mayor awfully well. But overall, a satisfactory meal. Ranks just below the 75 turned in by Cap Grille Las Veags, but the food itself wasn't that close. Kind of like a team down by five who hits a 3 at the buzzer to make the score respectable.