Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
Okay, Eater, this is kind of weird, but here goes: I’ve been a vegetarian for five years, and on and off before that, but this past month I’ve been eating meat, due to life events and general late-fall despair. It started when some friends wanted to go to Buffalo Wild Wings (I don’t know), and I’ve kept it up at various holiday parties. I also ate a bacon, egg, and cheese the other day, which was amazing.
I want to go back to not eating meat (except seafood) early next year, but before I do, I’d like to go to a kind-of-fancy NYC restaurant and eat something really good. I’m so tempted to go to The Grill, but I can’t afford it. What would you recommend?
First off, as a full-time carnivore, I’m sorry to see you go. Meat is so good! And New York does it especially well.
To take advantage of that for your alleged last time, a classic New York haunt comes to mind: Minetta Tavern. Maybe that’s because I walked in late-night recently and loved it as much as ever. Maybe that’s because the incredibly hyped black-label burger, made with dry-aged rib steak and topped with caramelized onions, somehow still lives up to the world’s high expectations. Maybe that’s because when you’re inside, you feel enveloped in all that’s best about New York — a trademark of owner Keith McNally.
Any one of those reasons is reason enough to go and gorge yourself on an unhealthy amount of beef, preferably accompanied by a few Manhattans. Start with the Caesar to make yourself feel a bit better about your life, continue with the funky — in a good way — côte de boeuf, and for dessert, lean in even further and end with the juicy, decadent burger. Bring a friend.