This last week I was privileged to enjoy a double porterhouse for two at the midtown Ben & Jack's Steakhouse, 255 5th Ave -(28th- 29th Street). This 10,000 foot two level restaurant can seat 400. The food was so good I was able to enjoy it even when Ron started regaling the hospitable Executive Chef Admir Alibasic about his extensive adventures at nude beaches. To convey what the forced mental image of Ron Kapon naked in Europe would do to ones appetite is difficult... Let me just say that the steak was still juicy and delicious and the sides were still perfectly matched. A testament to its quality.
The centerpiece arrives on a sizzling plate and stewing in its own juices. It is slightly blackened from the thousand plus degrees the oven sears it in to seal in the flavor. The slight crisp gave it ideal mouth action as it melted in your mouth in a medley of carnal bliss. I mean carnivorous bliss but it’s the same thing for a steak lover. The wine pairing was appropriate - a deep red Malbec. There are many large format wines available with 40 California Cabernet Sauvignon's, 30 California Merlot's- 35 other California red varieties, 50 plus reds from around the world and 25 white wines.
How was this meal possible? Because Alibasic gave us the family treatment at his family owned restaurant. His experience and touch really made a singular difference as he started working at restaurants at age 17 years. This pedigree begins at Peter Luger's and Sparks - where his uncles learned the craft that he honed further with a Masters in Food Science. Of course you don't need an advanced degree to perfectly dry age a USDA prime steak, but it doesn't hurt. Mr. Alibasic individually inspects every cut of meat personally to insure that nothing substandard ever enters his kitchen. Mr. Alibasic is such a perfectionist that he has taken his world-class skills to the TV show "Beat Bobby Flay". I know I want to watch that episode.
In summary the meal in sumptuous surroundings was an experience. One that many can enjoy given the private dining room with seating for large functions. And one that I hope to enjoy again soon when I continue to frequent this fine-dining establishment. Prix-fixe menu is $29.95 for lunch and $48.95 for dinner.