Fine Eats at Madison Square Garden

Fine Eats at Madison Square Garden

Nick & Stef’s. Photo Michael Marquand

It’s a lot of fun going to Nick & Stef’s, regardless of whether you are enjoying a leisurely dinner or a drink at the bar with friends: The handsome steak house (named after owner Joachim Splichal’s two children), right outside Madison Square Garden, is filled to the brim on any given early evening when there is a show at the arena. By 5:30 p.m., the small, convivial bar is overflowing with lively groups of twos, threes or more, and the dining room packed for a pre-hockey/basketball/concert event. But make no mistake: this restaurant is a lot more than just a pit stop before a night at MSG. The menu offers everything a red meat lover could want, from 28-day dry-aged certified black angus steak to filet mignon, rack of lamb and more.

The seafood plateau at Nick & Stef’s. Photo Lois Anzelowitz Levine

Sides fall into the classic steak house variety (creamed or sautéed spinach, wild mushrooms, jumbo asparagus), but you can also stick with seafood and shellfish, too: Recently, my friend and I were treated to the eye-popping seafood plateau, an irresistible tower of shrimp, oysters, lobsyter, clams, crabmeat and crayfish, chilled, fresh and sided with generous slices of lemon.

At around “showtime” (usually 7 or 7:30), the restaurant empties out suddenly, which is rather nice if you have no place to go. Just lingering over yet another Malbec at this friendly and fine dining oasis, and watching the place go from noisy and friendly to hushed and elegant—in an area where a good eatery is hard to find—is an awfully nice experience, too.

» Nick & Stef’s, 9 Penn Plaza, 212.563.4444