Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar's hibachi chefs pull double duty, acting as entertainers in addition to grillmasters. They captivate large groups of diners with whirling knifework, dynamic spatula twirls, and the occasional spout of flame at tableside hibachi grills, flipping hot portions of lobster and chicken directly onto waiting plates. Behind the bamboo-finished bar, the sushi chefs move more slowly as they carefully seal colorful combinations of veggies, seafood, and vinegar-anointed rice within sheets of delicate seaweed. Like a poltergeist beauty pageant, not all of the talent is visible to the eye—the culinary team makes some of the restaurant's most exotic dishes, such as kobe beef sliders and wasabi-crusted filet mignon, behind the closed doors of the kitchen.
Classics never go out of style, a truth that is both known and celebrated at Sweet Waters Steak House. Here, iconic American dishes showcase the menu?s combinations of comforting flavors. Chefs line the grill with as many as seven cuts of steak, including dry-aged sirloins and certified Angus strip steaks. Roasted organic chicken breast, pan-seared Norwegian salmon, and caramelized French onion soup serve as upscale takes on steak-house traditions.
With its dark wooden wainscoting, gilt-framed paintings, and green leather furniture, the restaurant?s d?cor mirrors the classical elegance of its menu. Crisp white linens adorn each table, catching the small bits of light cast by the dining room?s softly glowing lamps.
Diners recline on the aged-black-leather chairs at Christie's Steakhouse, sipping martinis as they watch as they watch international travelers drift in and out of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Servers emerge from the kitchen, nimbly juggling plates of Black Angus steaks, fresh seafood dishes, and artisanal pizzas. They set plates down on linen-clad tabletops, their faces illuminated in the glow of soft hanging lights and five glimmering widescreen TVs.
At South Fin Grill, the ocean breeze mingles with a menu of upscale seafood and steakhouse dishes praised by New York magazine. Amid what critic Ethan Wolff describes as a "priceless" ocean view, servers roll out lobster, crab, swordfish, and salmon incarnated as pasta, soup, and sushi dishes. The "turf" portion of the menu showcases grilled new york sirloin, filet mignon, and barbecued pork, but the focus once again turns seaside at a raw bar that features clams and oysters kept fresh by pearl-shaped breath mints.
Beams of blue and yellow lighting hover above the interior dining tables, each blanketed with a white tablecloth and centered with a flickering candle. Outside, the ocean deck's sea-blue umbrellas shelter views of the boardwalk, ocean, and seagull beach volleyball tourneys. The restaurant bolsters its elegantly plated cuisine with occasional entertainment acts, which have included DJs.
Peter Luger's is to steakhouses what Babe Ruth was to baseball—a dominant champion beloved by New Yorkers. The restaurant has been named the best steakhouse in New York by Zagat 28 years in a row, and it was even a charter member of that publication's hall of fame. Seated across from the long wood bar, one gets the sense the Babe would have approved of the restaurant's mighty meals, which typically consist of a porterhouse steak for two, three, or four (the sparse menu also includes lamb chops and fresh fish, but the steak is clearly the star). The owners of the restaurant are taking few risks in maintaining its superior status: they personally select the meat on daily visits to wholesale markets. The loin is then dry-aged in the restaurant's aging box, a process that makes it surprisingly tender, like a bully who suddenly realizes other kids need their milk money to buy candy. After it's broiled and doused in house steak sauce—a sauce the restaurant now sells online due to popular demand—the meat is ready to be devoured. It all adds up to the kind of meal that attracts actors, athletes, and the occasional covert lieutenant governor inauguration.
Lenny Passarelli grew up within the bustle of busy kitchens and developed a palate for decadent food at his family’s fine-dining establishment, Scotty's in Rockville Center, which the clan ran for more than 45 years. When he started his own legacy at AJ Maxwell's Steakhouse, he wanted to combine the two ingredients he'd learned to be most important to a restaurant: food and fun. In the fine-food category, Passarelli serves live Maine lobsters, dry-aged sirloin steaks, and massive porterhouses capable of feeding up to four. Attentive servers, who are trained to be sensitive to whether a gathering is a celebration or business meeting, keep the drinks flowing and the experience joyous.
The gentle glow of the overhead chandeliers reveals an intricate full-wall mosaic mural depicting ancient Roman life, which the owners discovered during the restaurant’s renovations. The mural was left behind by New York's Forum of the 12 Caesars, which was famous for being the city’s most expensive and over-the-top theme restaurant from the 1950s through the 1970s, attracting celebrities with its lush atmosphere and their pets with the promise of top-notch doggy-bag service.