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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151 Bryant Pond Rd., Mahopac
Chef James Russell and his wife, Denise, opened this eatery right off the Taconic in 2005, naming it in memory of Denise’s mother and adding the word “neighborhood” to suggest its easygoing vibe. A big brick fireplace warms up the sprawling dining room, with its wraparound windows and curved wooden bar.
Russell keeps costs moderate by choosing wet-aged USDA Choice beef, and butchers the generous cuts himself. (At least one reviewer has declared his meat “stellar.”)
Steaks come with a salad, a medley of vegetables, and a potato in one guise or another. The popular stuffed baked version has “onions and lots and lots of sour cream and butter — it’s very rich, and very high-calorie,” Russell gleefully reports. But who’s counting calories in a steakhouse? Special a la carte sides include the usual suspects as well as Russell’s signature prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with citrus beurre blanc. “It’s nice,” he votes.
The latest additions to the menu are rib-sticking German specialties like Sauerbraten, bratwurst, and Wiener Schnitzel. “Good comfort food for winter time,” notes Russell. As for the clientele: “We aim at everyone from the suits to the construction guys. Sunday’s a big family day — we’ve got an old piano and kids bang away on it. Weekenders and skiers — we catch them on Thursday going up, and then on Sunday going home. We love that.” And the wine list: “Choices are from all over. My wife changes it like she changes her clothes.”
Crowd pleaser: 12-ounce New York shell steak, served on Cognac caramelized onions and topped with butter blended with Gorgonzola, roasted garlic, fresh parsley, and sundried tomatoes.
Special appeal: “We just want to keep the customers happy,” says Russell.
The bottom line: From $23 for a 16-ounce rib eye to $30 for Kansas City shell steak.
► Next up: Roudigan's