Friday, April 27, 2007

Chophouse Review: Smith & Wollensky

After an eight week grind of 20-hour days, no booze, bad beats, and thousands of Howrudoins, the Heads-Up Poker team went out for chops to celebrate the end of the post-edit. Luckily, thankfully, I was not involved in the post-production. Did it last year, and I knew something was wrong when I started drinking coffee staight from the pot and blood began seeping from my eyeballs. But since I was in Vegas for the shooting of the show, I got an invite.
The dinner was at Smith & Wollensky in midtown Manhattan. Not only was it the first time in eight weeks that I'd be able to see some of my friends who sold their lives to the show, but it just so happened that Smith & Wo's was next up on my chophouse list. Steaks on the peacock? Sold.
So Wednesday night, a group of us walked the six blocks up 3rd avenue to chomp. Using the Bruce System of Chophouse Rankings, here's what went down...

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
Conine wouldn't have been happy with the asparagus.

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.
But there always needs to be a celebrity sighting to get the perfect score here. And Smith & Wolly's had it Wednesday night (and probably every night). Sitting in the adjacent room was a party from the Mets organ-I-zation (in honor of hockey players, I'm pronouncing it that way from now on), including Tom Seaver and Keith Hernandez. I was born in '81, so forgive me if I can't get all pumped up about Seaver. I only know him as a washed up Red Sox and as one of the worst baseball announcers this side of Joe Morgan. Seaver has always been a classic FIGJAM: Fuck, I'm Great, Just Ask Me. When you win 300 games in the majors I guess you're entitled to that, but whatever, the guy drives me nuts. Still cool to see a Hall-of-Famer though. Keith, on the other hand, was a tremendous sighting. He was sitting next to a broad that looked eerily like Elaine Benes. And it took all of my inner fortitude to refrain from shouting out "Reeeee-jec-ted!" when he tried to play airplane with her food and she failed to oblige. I kept waiting for him to look over at our table, see Margee and The Glaze and yell out, "What's that?! No women at the steak table!" SCORE: 10

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.


Anonymous said... bikini dream videos 11 year old in bikini masiela lusha bikini boy short bikini bottom brunette bikini gallery

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

just stopping by to say hey