Ben and Jack’s Review - One of New York’s Great Steakhouses

It would be difficult not to feel at home at Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Almost before you pass through the front door, you are greeted warmly and ushered into comfortable surroundings.  The walls are a warm ochre color, the paintings look familiar, the wine wall is inviting and the conversations  you may hear come from diners appreciating the experience. You cannot help being reminded of steakhouses you may have enjoyed elsewhere.

 

Dining at Ben & Jack's

Owners Ben and Jack Sinanaj are veterans of the New York steakhouse scene, most notably Peter Luger’s. Many of the staff, including additional family members, navigated the same upward trajectory as their leaders, rising through the ranks from busboy or back of the house crew. 

 

The original Manhattan restaurant arrived a dozen years ago, but is now closed. A remodeled, updated version of the original restaurant  should be completed before the new year. The Fifth Avenue steakhouse, where we dined ,opened in 2009 in a former bank, with seating for 320, and five private dining rooms on upper floors.  Four of those rooms were occupied on a recent Tuesday night, was usually a slow evening for restaurants.  The  main dining room is spacious, with tables well separated and it is pleasant to be able to converse without raising your voice.

  

Rib-eye steak

Steak in many forms receives royal treatment here and it is hard to choose from porterhouse, filet mignon, New York sirloin, rib eye and prime rib. For those who have other preferences, there are also veal chops, lamb chops, sole, salmon, shrimp, and lobster. But you’d need a ravenous appetite, or a hungry partner to put away the four-pounder Ben and Jack’s features. It’s the kind of menu you might find at a Ruth’s Chris or a Morton’s, but offers more choices among the appetizers, salads, soups, and pasta.

  

Porter House steak

My wife started with a green salad.  The dressing, made in house as are all sauces here, was a delicious and pleasing embellishment greatly improving greens that appeared a bit tired.  One other quibble. I had looked forward to a grand seafood plateau. Only part of what I expected arrived. While I enjoyed a generous portion of cold lobster and shrimp, and a couple of oysters, I was dismayed that there were no clams or calamari which are usually found on sea food platters.

  

Bacon wedge salad

But then the steaks arrived and all was well. I had a rib eye, grilled to that combination of perfectly charred exterior, bright red interior. I thoroughly enjoyed that juicy, tender steak.  We had excellent steak knives but I could have cut through that ribeye with a butter knife. You could have said the same for Rollie’s New York strip, but it arrived pre-sliced in the Peter Luger style and somehow the meat was still warm and appetizing when she was put away the final slice.

 

Seafood platter

Our server recommended German potatoes.  They came as a stupendous plate of russets that had been steamed not boiled, which kept them from getting soggy.  They were thickly sliced and sautéed in a mix of olive oil and butter, well caramelized onions. and served hot on a cast iron skillet. Our second side was spinach, made fresh each day, steamed with a chicken-based roux, and hardly starchy as so often happens with creamed spinach in less caring restaurants.

  

Bar at Ben & Jack's

Admir Alibasic, executive chef and all-around major domo for the restaurant, guided us through our meal, dismayed as he may have been because we failed to sample everything on his menu. Admir once had ambitions for a career in medicine, but was seduced into food preparation and service by his part-time work in restaurants and the satisfaction it brought him. He went on to study food science and that study  fueled his innovation in different forms of preparing and serving food. Admir believes in product over  frilly  presentation, simplicity over unnecessary geometrics, and assiduous  monitoring of quality.

 

Photos: Courtesy of Ben & Jack's Restaurant

 

For more information about this wonderful restaurant, go to the Ben & Jack's Restaurant website

 

 

Top of Page

lasplash.com
Join Splash Magazines
Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->