First off, I respect any restaurant that includes a nice slice of Banana Bread in its bread basket. Gallaghers, the 87-year-old steakhouse in the Theater District just had a comeback, and it came with a pricy multi-million dollar renovation. This place started out during prohibition and is a major classic to the city. Those who have been fans since day one will still feel at home (at least so I’ve heard) with their incredible steak and seafood offerings. The atmosphere feels timeless, there are tons of photos on the walls which have been reframed, the log cielings have been preserved and the back dining room is large and open so that you can also see into the kitchen through the floor to ceiling windows. The waiters are wearing black jackets and pull your dinner up on a cart to properly serve your portions or debone your dover sole table side. Now that’s service. It’s not everyday you have someone scooping your mashed potatoes onto your dinner plate for you.
Porterhouse for TwoTuna Poke
We started off with some raw bar items such as the Fluke Crudo and Tuna Tartar. I liked the fluke best, and it’s served with crushed pistachios giving it an added crunch to the citrusy flavors. Sadly, the Caesar Salad was not the best of my liking. I think they overdosed on the anchovies. However, I didn’t come here for salad, I came here to conquer the meat. You must order the Porterhouse. It’s served for 2, 3 or 4 people. One side is your typical New York Strip and the other side is packed with Filet Mignon. You get the best of both world’s here. I grew up always ordering a Filet, so this was a perfect time for me to try something different and get a viewpoint of each back to back. I kept changing my mind which side I liked better but they were both outstanding. They are tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly if you order medium rare. We somehow also tried the Ribeye with the sweet chili seasoning. It’s the executive chef’s favorite, but I think the porterhouse wins here. Maybe I was drunk off too much meat by the time the ribeye came to have a fair opinion, but I’d pick porterhouse over ribeye if you are trying to decide. Another note, ask for the “secret” steak sauce. All I know that’s in it is ketchup, worstershire sauce, mustard and something else, but this sauce is what kept me powering through and thinking about dinner through the next day. I think it could possibly cause me to leave my ketchup addiction behind. All of the steaks at Gallagher’s are cooked on hickory wood on a charcoal grill. Also, you will see the meat locker when you enter the restaurant where the meat is hanging to dry at 37 degrees. This is a fun little amusement to see.
Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp
The seafood options are also far and wide. We got the Dover Sole which came with a butter sauce you could pour over on your own. We also tried the Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp which came with four pieces. Both dishes are satisfying but don’t even compare to the steak. The Spinach side is a perfect pairing with all of these entrees as well because you will need some greens between each bite.
Yes, it is a fact that we got 4 entrees for two of us, and yes, it is a fact that the waiter told us he has never seen anyone eat this much. This is why I had to pass on the oversized layered chocolate cake. However, ice cream is always a deal breaker, and here it’s made in house. The Strawberry is a light treat and a good end of the meal cleanse.
Gallagher’s is packed with politicians (Eliot Spitzer), newspaper editors (former New York Time’s restaurant critic Sam Sifton), out of towners, locals using their expense accounts and those who want to reminisce and enjoy this classic steakhouse again now that it is back to life. The staff and service are impeccable, and Gallagher’s is the ideal steakhouse, a lively meet and greet at the horseshoe shaped bar for drinks or for pre-theater dining. They also have a great events space upstairs ideal for corporate meetings or holiday parties. Imagine this quality steak at your next holiday party? Sign me up.