Alan Richman's Honest Take on Peter Luger's
I have to admit, after reading year after year Gourmet's gushing praise on Peter Luger's, I'm glad someone is finally telling it like it is. Don't get me wrong. I think it's a fine steak, but Alan Richman concedes inconsistent. The sides for the most part are dreadful, except for the renowned bacon. I couldn't agree more with his take on the sliced tomatoes and red sauce. Above all, the attitude is so passe. From Richman's article for Bloomberg News:
Yet for me, after four recent visits, hot buttered steak does not define the place. A mean-spirited attitude does. Peter Luger has lost touch with the concept of restaurant hospitality.
The waiters, who seem all-knowing, will recommend the following: sliced tomatoes, which were supermarket-quality at the height of tomato season. The extra-thick, smoky bacon, not to be missed. The creamed spinach, salty but uplifted by masterful mixing of spinach and cream. French fries that taste fresh but were undercooked three of the four times I ordered them. The house-made whipped cream, which is indeed prepared on premises, unlike the strudels, pies and tarts. The thuddingly dull cheesecake.