Steakhouses are for business “meatings” and men. At least that’s what it looks like when you walk into the classics. What about us ladies? Bowery Meat Company is your answer. It’s more relaxed and trendy versus an uptight, white table cloth steakhouse. It has unique menu items such as Duck Lasagna for 2 (but really it’s for 6) versus just a jumbo shrimp dish. It has a lively environment with good looking people and is seriously not just for business or only meat. It’s for restaurant lovers. It’s for all of mankind, and it’s for those looking for that fun New York restaurant experience that you don’t find on every corner. There is no surprise here that it’s sir, Chef Josh Capon’s spot. He knows how to work a room, make customers happy and how to make you feel like you are his favorite diner even though you see him giving the same amount of attention to every person in the restaurant. This is why I love going to all of his restaurants: Lure Fishbar, El Toro Blanco, Burger & Barrel. He is a blast, and he cooks the kind of food you want to eat all night long. Josh becomes your friend in an instant, and it’s obvious this is why he is in this business. He treats everyone as VIP. Just introduce yourself and we shall see what happens.
The room at Bowery Meat Company made an amazing transformation from the late Veselka that was recently in the space. Tables and booths face each other making it amiable and friendly. Some of the circular light fixtures remind you of Lure Fishbar. Capon has a few signature moves here, and the first begins with his introduction to his plate of raw meat. He jumps on your table showing all of the cuts offered that evening. Lets be real, you are going to Bowery Meat Company to order steak, the award-winning burger and at minimum the lasagna.
Start with the Broiled Oysters with breadcrumbs to coat that stomach. The Crispy Polenta with mushroom ragout, shaved parmesan is a tickling treat as well. We loved the Chinese BBQ Pork Belly lettuce wraps. The sweet sauce brings memories of Asian influenced restaurants and it’s tender as hell. The hype of the Duck Lasagna is unstoppable. This is definitely the best lasagna I’ve ever had (in addition to Florian’s Lasagna Ossobucco). You feel at home as the chef brings out a baking dish and cuts up slices individually for the table. The layers beyond layers are soft, al dente and the duck and sauce are tantalizing. The heaping topping of parmesan is even crispy at some corners and pillowy on others. I would come here just for this dish any night of the week.
On to the steak. Go for the Filet or the Chauteaubriand for Two which is a 20 oz. center cut filet served with brussels sprouts and potatoes. The veggies aren’t much of a show here, but Bowery Meat Company’s filet could easily be the definition of how to cook medium rare after this execution. The medallions are perfectly cooked, and boy does it taste better when someone else already cuts it up for you. The secret here is to add the mushroom gravy that is considered their steak sauce. It ups the ante in ways that are not explanatory. For some of you meatheads, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be pouring this on everything and even drinking the rest of it straight from the silver pouring dish. Who can blame you though?
The New York Times’ restaurant critic Pete Wells says that this restaurant is a steakhouse and that they don’t know it. I know what he intends, but I don’t want it to lose those customers who are opposed to steakhouse vibes because Bowery Meat Company is way more than a steakhouse to me. Yes, they do have that large layered chocolate cake but this isn’t the dessert to order anyway. The S’mores Sundae is your girl, and the homemade ice cream and fudge are delightful. My absolute favorite of the night is “off the menu.” The Chocolate Bread Pudding is unreal. It’s everything you’d ever require in a dessert: melted chocolate, ice cream, gooeyness, happiness and pure love. Yes, even after eating an entire sundae, I made room for this baby because you will see that this is worth everything. It also comes in a baking dish like the lasagna, is quartered and cut up for each individual. I think this would sell on its own if there was a bread pudding stand somewhere in Chelsea Market. Not a bad idea….
Chef Capon you strike again! I’ll be back to try the burger with a side of lasagna and bread pudding.