Porterhouse. Rib Eye. Filet Mignon. Are you hungry yet? From city-style hot spots to down-home dining rooms, here are eleven of the Valley’s best places to find the beef
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Grilled for greatness: Neil Schlesinger cuts his own steaks and dry-ages them for at least 28 days
475 Temple Hill Rd., New Windsor
Attention cigar-smoking steak lovers: Here’s a place for you! First the meat: Neil Schlesinger, who enjoys an occasional cigar himself, buys Prime and Choice beef from the same supplier as Brooklyn’s legendary Peter Luger, then dry-ages it in-house for at least 28 days. “You need to be fussy about getting your own specs, size, and quality,” he says. “A lot of new steakhouses will get precut steaks. But I’m old school — I’m the butcher, and I keep a close eye on the aging. Nothing’s served until it’s ready.”
His fussiness pays off — steaks here have been voted best by Hudson Valley’s own readers, and Schlesinger’s name comes up as an example of how to do it right in on-line chats on the subject. He has been in the steakhouse biz since 1972, so he knows whereof he speaks — and he has also witnessed the genre’s enduring popularity. “There are crazes — they come out with this diet and that diet, but people listen only for a very short time. Americans have always been steak and potato people,” he asserts.
Yes, potatoes: Don’t miss the Rocky Mountain Mashed Potatoes here — a signature garlic mash with the skins that Schlesinger takes credit for inventing 14 years ago. “I’d never heard of them before that,” he says.
The restaurant is set in the 1762 fieldstone Brewster House, distinguished as one of the few places where Washington did not sleep during the Revolutionary War (although some of his troops were quartered there). The dining room is cozy and atmospheric, with mustard walls, wood chairs, and white tablecloths.
Good news for cigar smokers coming up: Twelve years ago, Schlesinger and his glamorous, body-building wife, Glynna, connected the main house to the onetime carriage house, installed a cigar bar in the new space, and furnished it with comfy sofas, club chairs, a walk-in humidor, and four tables. Now cigar aficionados can dine and indulge after dinner in comfort, without troubling other diners.
Everything on the menu, from soups to desserts, is homemade. The latest addition: “Delicious crab cakes and steamed clams.” And what about that half rack of ribs listed as a side? “Some of our customers are hearty eaters,” Schlesinger replies.
Crowd pleaser: “Our steaks are all about equally popular,” says Schlesinger.
Cigar smoker’s crowd pleaser: Twice-yearly cigar dinners on the pretty patio.
Special appeal: Family friendly in the main dining rooms, with penne pasta, chicken fingers and such for the little’uns.
The bottom line: $23 for a 12-ounce ribeye “pub steak” (with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and blue cheese) to $27.95 for a 12-ounce filet mignon. The T-bone at “market price” is usually around $40.
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