When you walk into the new NYC location of Mastro’s Steakhouse on a Thursday night, you’re greeted with the singular sound of bankers by the dozen. They’re doing deals, they’re entertaining clients, and they’re celebrating (if they’re lucky).
Most importantly, though, they are crowning a new king of New York City “power steaks.”
“Midtown, 6th and 52nd is easy to get to — good music, great steaks, some clients like the ladies,” said one trader at a major Wall Street bank.
Last month, Business Insider reached out to its readers and asked them to identify the best new power steak in Manhattan. A power steak, obviously, is not only delicious, but also comes with the atmosphere and company to match. Despite being new on the scene, Mastro’s won the survey handily, with two of its cuts of meat — the “Chef’s cut” rib eye chop and the Double-cut porterhouse taking the first and second place spots, respectively.
Together, both steaks took 67% of the vote.
We should have seen this coming
The opening party for Mastro’s Steakhouse’s Midtown Manhattan location back in November was a snapshot of what was to come. Mastro’s is a part of Landry’s, a Texas-based restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment holding company owned by billionaire Tilman Fertitta. He came up to New York City for the party. After all, this party was his steakhouse’s assault on the East Coast. Mastro’s is known mostly for its West Coast presence.
Correctly, the party was a New York City affair. You had your CEOs, like Rich Handler of Jefferies; you had your TV personalities, like Melissa Lee and Scott Wapner of CNBC; and you had your athletes — former NY Giant Plaxico Burress made an appearance. There was a live band playing pop hits.
It was Mastro’s warning shot to every other steakhouse in the neighbourhood. Since then it has won over some seasoned steakhouse goers.
“How many steak houses have sushi and live music,” asked OptionsMonster founder and CNBC contributor Jon Najarian. “Mastro’s has great sushi, so if I’m with people that either love sushi, or with some client that would shy away from a big steak, they can enjoy some fantastic sushi. The live music is a great three piece set that keeps it cool until late in the night, when dinners have ended it turns up the rock beat.”
Najarian went on to rave about the service, the VIP host and finally the seafood tower. It comes out with dry ice. Presentation and power go hand in hand, you know.
What you’re coming to understand, hopefully, is that a truly excellent “power steak” isn’t just about the cut of meat. It’s an entire vibe.
On any given night Mastro’s will be packed to this gills with hedge fund guys in fleece trading vests, bankers in suits, and the odd Fox News personality kicking it after a hard day of work. It’s high energy and loud.
And then there’s the steak…
Naturally, Business Insider had to try the winning steak — the “Chef’s cut” rib eye chop. It’s a juicy, boneless 33 oz. slab of meat that could not possibly care less about your “cleanse” and could easily feed three adult humans. This, ladies and gentlemen is a power steak.
Your steak will come out sizzling and it will be cooked to your liking. Get the macaroni and cheese, and get the creamed spinach, order a martini the size of your face. Start off with the seafood tower at Mr. Najarian’s suggestion and ours. This is classic stuff, so you should know how to do it.
Fame is fleeting
It’s important to note that Mastro’s will never be able to rest on its laurels. Its neighbour, Del Frisco’s, has been one of Wall Street’s favourite hang outs for some time. Del Frisco’s is not going to give up that title easily, the place is still packed night after night.
Part of this is because Wall Street is a place of habit and tradition. Bankers and traders won’t easily forget that Del Frisco’s General Manager Scott Gould was a bond trader himself. They won’t easily forget that there are a bunch of secret items to order off the menu (who doesn’t like that).
And Wall Street will certainly not easily forget that one night — during the height of a beautiful time in recent New York Knicks history called ‘Linsanity’ — former Knick Jeremy Lin entered Del Frisco’s on a stormy night, sneaking in through the back only to find that his presence was well known, and that Wall Street was greeting him with a standing ovation.
But this story is about the new establishment, not the old and venerable. That’s why Del Frisco’s didn’t have a cut of steak on our list. As for new power steaks, trailing Mastros’ two cuts of steak on Business Insider’s survey was the Dry-aged bone-in Sirloin from the Hunt & Fish Club.
Surely you’ve heard of the Hunt & Fish Club.
Since its opening in December the New York Post has had its Page Six gossip reporters camped out in there monitoring the movements of every celebrity guest. And the celebrities have been in there — former Yankee Derek Jeter, model Christy Teigen, an assortment of Mob Wives and Real House-this-and-thats — they have all been there.
The restaurant is partially owned by Anthony Scaramucci, founder of investment firm SkyBridge Capital; host of Wall Street’s biggest and most star-studded hedge fund conference, SALT Las Vegas; and the unofficial social chair of a certain segment of Wall Street and New York City fond of cut glass chandeliers, marble, and over-the-top parties.
What this is to say is that a new power steak could be coming any moment.
And perhaps, since Hunt & Fish, Del Frisco’s and Mastro’s are all enjoying healthy foot traffic, it could also be to say that there’s enough room for a bunch of power steaks in this town, and that everyone can make a personal choice about which one they love the most.
But we doubt it.