In his blog yesterday, Harvey Steiman notes how many of the modern-day steak houses are wine-selling machines, and I couldn't agree more. That's why I love them—they really crank through a lot of the juice.
Last night I was at Porter House New York, in the Time Warner Center. While I was putting away the chili-rubbed rib eye and a bottle of 2003 Tommaso Bussola Valpolicella Classico Superiore TB, the rest of the restaurant seemed to be doing the same. (I've been ordering more Italian wine in restaurants these days to get in the groove for my upcoming Tuscan vacation). I noticed bottles of wine on nearly every table, and many folks asked for the wine list as soon as they sat down. As a wine guy, I love to see that.
When I first chatted with sommelier Beth von Benz, who runs the wine program there, she noted how much Pinot Noir she was selling. Last night her assistant Patrick told me they actually sold more Pinot last week than Cabernet, perhaps due to the short heat wave.
For me, steak is probably the best meal (preferably with some shaved black truffles on top, of course), and there isn't a better food pairing than a great steak and a juicy bottle of red—any red really, from Pinot Noir to Bordeaux to Valpolicella.
I love all food—my trainer will tell you I love it all a little too much—but if I were to be rescued off a desert island after being stranded for a few years, my first meal would be a steak. And if I'm lucky enough to know when my last meal is going to be, it'll be a steak.
I would say that right now, Porter House New York and Rothmann's Steakhouse are my favorite steak houses in the city: they get the meat done perfectly to order, and the wine lists are chock-a-block with fun stuff to drink. I used to love Sparks Steak House for the same reasons, but alas it's not what it used to be. I'm curious to hear your faves, in New York or elsewhere.