Strip House…or Slack House?

I recently dined at Strip House Steak House with reservations on a Thursday night around 7pm. My friend and I were looking forward to Striphouse for a while since it is always highly regarded in the conversations around best NY steakhouses. In our opinion though, Striphouse was very disappointing and lacking in not only the food, but the service and ambiance as well.

Even with reservations, we were seated in the bar area instead of the main dining area, which was unappealing for a couple reasons. The noise level in the bar area was very lively, as expected, but not what you want during a dinner. Also, the bar area was uncomfortably cramped. Every time you shift around in your seat or move your arms to cut a piece of steak, you feel like you’re going to bump the person behind you or trip a passing waiter.

The meal itself wasn’t terrible by any means, but it definitely wasn’t memorable in a good way either. Our waiter did well to take our drink orders, then gave us ample time to look over the menu and tell us about the specials. We passed on the appetizers this time around as nothing quite stood out. I will add that we usually go for steakhouse bacons; however, there was never enough buzz around Striphouse’s bacon to warrant a go at it, especially after you’ve had Luger’s, Wolfgang’s, and Del Frisco’s.

For our entrees, we both ordered medium-rare 20 oz. bone-in NY strips (the cut that Striphouse is supposedly known for). The steaks arrived with perfectly crispy chars on them that deceivingly promised an equally tasty treasure laying inside. Upon cutting into the steaks, my companion’s meat was more rare than medium-rare, whereas mine was a nice warm red medium-rare. One of our biggest gripes with the steaks was that they were not tender enough to compare with the other top steakhouses. If it normally took 3 cutting motions there, it took 5 here. We felt that we spent more time and energy cutting than enjoying. To add to the disappointment, our steaks were showered with an overly-generous amount of salt. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice salty and well-seasoned steak, but when the salt crystals overpower the meat, that’s when you have a problem. I will say that the accompanying roasted garlic is a nice touch though.

Based on the other reviews, we decided to go with the crisp goose fat potatoes and black truffle creamed spinach sides. The potatoes were deep fried on the outside, but provided nothing special in terms of flavor or texture. The spinach wasn’t as pureed (which I prefer) so you could actually see and taste more of the spinach leaves. Unfortunately, I could not taste that much black truffle in the dish. As with the steak, the potato and spinach sides were over salted, leaving us disappointed and thirsty.

The last straw came when it was time to pay and our waiter even handed us the wrong bill. I understand that it’s busy, but a quick glance at a $540 bill for a party of 2 should have set off some bells that something was amiss. He expressed his apologies and fetched our correct bill, but still, this sort of mix up should never occur.

Overall, it will be a long time before I would consider coming back to Striphouse. Over-salted food coupled with less than great steaks led to a disappointing experience. For the same price, there are other NY steakhouses that offer better food and service.