Magazine article The New Yorker

Craftsteak; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Craftsteak; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

85 Tenth Ave., at 15th St. (212-400-6699)--During the prime dinner hour at this West Chelsea steak house, the large round booths fill up with groups of men, the collars of their dress shirts carefully loosened. The younger ones ostentatiously chomp on unlit cigars, compare notes on the best golf clubs, and recap last night's poker game. Here is the crowd that might order foie gras and peppery beef carpaccio, heaping bowls of crisp fries, perfectly battered onion rings, and thick slabs of precisely graded meat, all in one evening. The room itself could be called handsome, in the sense that it looks expensive without being particularly attractive. It's cavernous and clangorous, with an immense glass wall, which also acts as wine storage, separating the bar from the dining room, a rather sloppy landscape painting of the High Line on another wall, and a few lumps of unsightly pink salt rock scattered about. But the seats are roomy and comfortable, and the tables are narrow and spaced wide enough apart that a little insider information can be kept between friends.

The food is not nearly as blunt and bland as the decor might suggest. One recent evening, heirloom cherry tomatoes, accompanied by a spicy pile of cress, were soft and skin-free and burst with a bright sweetness. …

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