Porter House New York
I'll start off by saying that the two experiences I had at Porter House this week should only be taken at face value, as you will see, I never quite got to the main event - which to me is a big juicy steak. That being said, here's a quick review of my two brief experiences this week.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
I met up with three girlfriends (friends that are girls) from high school who happened to be in the area (one lives at Trump Int'l, the others were visiting her) and enjoyed a quick bite - as I was running late and wouldn't be able to stay long. Great to see these girls. They are truly awesome.
Here's what I sampled:
Caesar salad - pretty good though standard. Overpriced at $11.
Baked Clams Casino w/pancetta, smoked paprika butter. For clams casino enthusiasts, you'll be disappointed. This is the breaded variety (blech) than cancelled out any possible flavor. Also, the clams weren't pre-cut, making getting them a messy chore as the bread crumbs would fly off when trying to pry the clam from its shell. Granted, you get a good size portion (10 clams or so), but for $16, not a bargain. The ones at Grand Central Oyster Bar are worlds better (i.e., loaded with bacon) for much less ($9.95).
Seared Sea Scallops w/capers, brown butter, crisp parsley ($18). Three plump scallops for $6 a piece. You do the math. Okay, they were plump, but the brown butter and capers were barely evident. I'd rather have seen some fruity relish with this dish. Leave the grenobloise-style for skate.
Oyster Pan Roast with smoked bacon, brioche, tomato-tarragon cream ($16). This was pretty good. It was presented much better and was less over-the-top-creamy than the version at the Oyster Bar. But the difference was the amount of seafood. You get more seafood at Oyster Bar, but you pay more ($21 for a lobster/shrimp combo) too.
FRIDAY, MARCH 16
Burger with aged Cheddar and shoestring Fries ($15). This was presented with the skimpiest amount of ketchup I've ever been served. Maybe one tablespoon full in a round ramekin (monkey dish). The burger was nearly round, which was a bit unusual. Sadly it was overcooked (I asked for medium rare, it was medium) but still quite juicy. I should say that it was medium in the middle, more like medium well (gray) on the outside curves (there were no edges as it was nearly round). The cheese was flavorless but the burger had a nice outer char and was generously seasoned with salt.
I'd put it on par with the burger at Quality Meats. You get more fries at PH, but they aren't as good as the ones at QM. The presentation at QM is better too. The flavors are pretty similar though. I'd say that if the PH was cooked properly to order, it might be the better of the two burgers.
A good burger, no doubt. But this isn't for New Yorkers. We should stick to the Corner Bistro, Shake Shack, burger joint, Paul's and DuMont burgers this city has to offer. Rather, it's for visitors to the Mall or those staying at the Mandarin Oriental or the Trump Int'l. And sadly, I think the restaurant as a whole is the same way. Great room and view though, and service is VERY friendly and accomodating from hostess to bartender to waitstaff.