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Written by Gary J. Arzt

Saturday, 10 May 2008

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From the minute you see the old scarred, double wooden doors; you understand that this restaurant has something special about it as far as the décor is concerned. With sections of butcher block walls; stainless steel, marble and lighting fixtures fabricated from ‘meat hooks, the premises were warm and inviting. It took a little more time to realize that the same attention to detail, given to the design of Quality Meats, has been given to the menu, wine list and all the ingredients and recipes of Chef Craig Koketsu.


When our waiter brought the pan of small, freshly baked, soft garlic rolls, I knew there was a connection to Smith & Wollensky. To make a long story short, after S&W Restaurant Group went public, founder Alan Stillman and his son, Michael, created Fourth Wall Restaurants, and wound up with the Group’s NYC properties. They went on to create Quality Meats, which in my opinion, goes well beyond anything Stillman had created previously.

The menu is replete with shell fish appetizers and other superb dishes. An excellent selection of salads and a couple of wonderfully prepared soups.

I chose Cherrystone Clams, which were plump and tasty, accompanied by a true cocktail sauce (white horseradish and Tabasco were brought to the table). I should have had another half-dozen! I was fortunate enough to taste the Roasted Bone Marrow one of my dinner companions ordered, not often seen on menus today, it was exquisite. My favorite, sliced tomatoes and onions with Roquefort dressing were excellent…typical New Jersey Beefsteak tomatoes.

While the menu had a good selection of fish dishes, the restaurant is Quality Meats, so we all indulged our passion for steaks. I opted for a Filet Mignon while two at the table had the Aged Rib Steak and one of my fellow dinners had the Cajun Seared Tuna, which he opined was the best he’d ever eaten!

We chose a beautiful 1999 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet, which was rich, full bodied, with depth and elegance, typical of Far Niente. The choice was made difficult by the vast array of excellent wines on Quality Meats’ expansive wine list…something that Stillman has made a hallmark of all his restaurants.

The steaks were succulent, precisely cooked and extremely tasty. An array of side dishes was unique. We selected gnocchi and cheese, corn crème brulee and a terrific mushroom pot pie.

The service was fine…attentive without being overbearing or ‘hovering.’ The waiter returned several times to see that we were satisfied or in need of anything else. He was pleasant and charming.

We passed on deserts, and settled for rich, piping hot espressos. Unfortunately, without outdoor seating, Quality Meats is not a place to smoke an after dinner cigar, so, we were eager to get down the street to the Carnegie Club, where we enjoyed our cigars and a few ports.

Quality Meats is a unique, excellent steakhouse well worth a visit…or two or three!

57 West 58th Street
New York City, NY 10019
Telephone: 212.371.7777
Facsimile: 212.371.9362
www.qualitymeatsnyc.com




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