Quality Meats is Quality Everything

Quality Meats is Quality Everything

The dining room at Quality Meats

It all started with an email I got about Foursquare, the social networking device that lets users know what attractions, restaurants and businesses are available in their area. According to the press release, Foursquare, culling information from 55 million users, rated Quality Meats the Number One steak house in NYC. With that kind of impressive stature, I knew what had to be done: I dragged my executive editor away from his desk on a recent summer Friday and took a cab Uptown for an end-of-the-week lunch to check out the restaurant that holds such a heavy crown this summer.

I was impressed from the moment I walked through the door: Moorish castle meets upscale butcher shop was the vibe I felt in the handsome bilevel space: a filled dining room of chatty, energetic diners let me know that people here were having a good time, even if it wasn't yet cocktail hour. Dark wood, from wall to table, told you that you were in a steak house: Columns of rough, unfinished cement and a glass-enclosed wine room in the center of the room added even more character.

Then, it was decision time. Our waiter, with movie star good looks and a killer smile, answered all our questions with grace and offered suggestions as well. He guided us down the right path: A green goddess salad offered a well-chopped mix of vegetables with a creamy yet none-too-rich dressing. When my colleague ordered the Caesar salad, he was asked if he wanted it cut up in the kitchen or served long leaf style. We both remarked we hadn't ever remembered being asked such a thoughtful question. Next an oh-so-light and pretty crab and avocado plate arrived, with the thinnest and sweetest heirloom tomatoes I have ever tasted. For the main event, I opted for the strip steak: the beautifully grilled piece of meat comes unadorned on a plate, while another server creates a housemade steak sauce tableside while enthusiastically explaining the ingredients (rosemary, black pepper, thyme, roasted garlic, tomato purée, raisin and molasses) and then placing the marble mortar holding the sauce on the table. My editor loved his fat and flavorful hamburger, placed on a toasted sesame seed roll, with crisscross parmesan fries, pickles both sweet and sour and a spicy aioli sauce for dipping.

We simply couldn't fit in dessert, so instead I opted for a white tea with hibiscus that is brought in a beautiful, small glass teapot; I loved watching the tea bags continue to steep in the pot while I sipped from my cup. And despite protestation, the management felt compelled to have us try something to finish off our meal, and so out came The Grasshopper: mint oreo chunk ice cream, devil's food cake and mint icing, presented in an old-fashioned white and red paper ice cream cup with the Quality logo.

Impeccable service, an exciting ambience, top-shelf food thoughtfully prepared and presented: Quality Meats is that exceptional restaurant experience that locals and travelers alike are always looking for.

» Quality Meats, 57 W. 58th St., 212.371.7777