By Christopher A. Pape
Even in these tough economic times there are restaurants whose sole purpose and existence is testament to a way of life that most cannot realize. And even after all the turmoil in the financial markets, there stands a restaurant whose open arms are comfort to the moguls and financiers who have lost millions but who still have deep reservoirs. This establishment, within the Waldorf-Astoria (itself a legend among elites) is Bull & Bear Steakhouse. True to its location and its reputation it serves some of the most delectable steaks in our fine city.
Having recently celebrated a special occasion with a friend here, we were enthralled with the quality and abundance of food that was served – from the mouthwatering steaks to the famous Waldorf salad – each bite was considered and flavorful. We happened to love the signature drinks, which made it all that much easier to down the large amount of food that was consumed!
But from the top, the yellowfin tuna carpaccio with its slightly spicy aioli was special. And it was certainly a breath of fresh air and a true delight for the tuna was ultra fresh and the kick was unexpected but not unwelcomed. Also loved was the jumbo lump crab cake with a refreshing cucumber salad and a zingy horseradish sauce.
Of course I’d be run out of town if I didn’t mention their steaks. In this, the restaurant truly shines. Ordering both the porterhouse and the prime bone-in rib eye allowed us to bask in the warmth that is steak heaven. Each bite was succulent and cooked to rare perfection, my guest and I quibbled over which was the better cut of meat (for me it was the porterhouse) but we agreed that both cuts were tender and complex in their taste. We added asparagus, creamed baby spinach and au gratin potatoes as sides. The asparagus were cleanly presented (and thank god because they were super fresh) and the creamed baby spinach was steakhouse perfection but those potatoes were so good that I dreamt about them that night.
The dark and clubby atmosphere of the space with its rich mahogany wood complimented the food and enhanced the overall dining experience. The service was professional without being overly friendly and we loved the way in which the restaurant exuded a feeling of corporate boardroom without being too formal.
In the final analysis, Bull & Bear Steakhouse is a serious contender for best in the city. With awesome steaks, refined dishes, excellent service and a décor that is emblematic of the moneyed class, it should be on your short list of musts. And since it’s so close to my home, I’ve been back several times and loved every minute of it.