There are at least two, non-flexible prerequisites for a traditional steakhouse; the space must be grand and comfy, and you must source and serve a perfect steak (a killer wine list and assortment of solid, cream and butter-drenched side dishes doesn’t hurt either). And Lincoln Square Steak, a welcome new addition to Lincoln Center’s oddly dormant pre-and-post theatre dinner scene, satisfactorily checks both boxes, plus a few more.
We continue to mourn the slow and steady death of bread service, but thankfully not at Lincoln Square Steak where a meal starts with a seriously cheesy and comically large popover, which almost doesn’t need the crock of whipped butter it comes with (almost!). You’ll have your choice of lusty reds like “New World” Pinot Noirs and “Old World” Cabernets on the 25-page wine list, but a selection of “30 Bottles Under $30,” featuring Bodegas Colome Torrontes from Argentina, and Château D’oupia Les Heretiques Vin de Pays Rouge from France, is a welcome outlet for patrons who might not regularly splurge at steakhouses. There’s another list of “Sommelier’s Suggestions,” ranging from $35 bottles of Stemmari Dalila Viogner to the $195 Branaire-Ducru Bordeaux from Saint Julien, which is a graceful gimme for diners who lack a comprehensive knowledge of wine.
If you’re grabbing an early meal pre-show, the $39 prix fixe includes many of the best items from the menu — from an appetizer of Sizzling Canadian Bacon, to Hanger Steak or Petit Filet with Creamed Spinach, and classic New York Cheesecake for dessert. But after 6:30pm, you might as well go for broke and get the big ticket items, such as a 24-ounce Prime Dry Aged Double Eagle Bone-In Strip, salt and pepper-crusted Rib Eye, or unctuous Porterhouse, sized for 2-4 people and drizzled with hollandaise, béarnaise, bordelaise, green peppercorn sauce or zesty whole grain mustard. And since a luxurious meat feast simply isn’t complete without potatoes, you’ll find spuds prepared a myriad of ways; baked, pureed or gratineed, formed into garlic and herb-flecked fries or smashed into a plate-sized puck of subtly spicy, celery-scented hash browns.
A molten Chocolate Soufflé seems as happy an ending as any for an archetypal steakhouse repast, or you can appease your sweet tooth later on with the contents of Lincoln Square Steak’s parting gift; a bag containing house-baked treats, like tender blueberry muffins or crumbly chocolate chip cookies. Add another must for a gratifying steakhouse experience in New York — a flourish of good old-fashioned hospitality.