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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Rustic but comfortable: Quinta’s wood- and leather-accented dining room is perfect for a quiet steak dinner
24 East Central Ave., Pearl River
Brothers Ricardo and Armando Cerdeira opened this eatery five years ago this month, modeling it after New York’s Les Halles, where Armando was once maitre d’. (They even put a butcher’s shop in the entrance and will still sell you meat, if you ask, although the display cases are now full of cheeses.) Classic décor in the roomy space includes wood floors, mirrors, and bright red leather banquettes (“You have to have red banquettes,” Ricardo announces).
Chairs came from the famous Wall Street hangout, Harry’s at Hanover Square, their seats worn smooth by the expensively clad derrieres of hot-shot traders from the good old days. But apart from the look of the place, the Masters of the Universe chairs, and the high-quality meat being served, there are few similarities between the all-guy chopshop and this cheerful bistro. “That old-fashioned steakhouse is dying,” Ricardo says, noting that “businessmen, teachers, firemen, and families” all frequent his place. “Pearl River’s a very friendly town.”
Steaks — dry-aged Prime and Choice — come with fries and a side. Diehards can get an appetizer of crab cakes or shrimp cocktail, but most go for fancier fare like pecan roasted brie, baby grilled octopus, or chorizo empanadas. Traditional desserts — crème brûlée, apple tart, and cheesecake — are all made in-house.
A few Portuguese dishes (and some very reasonable Portuguese wines) perk up the menu, but it’s the basics that usually win out here. “Steak grilled with French fries is good, simple food,” Ricardo says. “It’s hard to go wrong.”
Crowd pleaser: The Angus, which comes with spinach and blue cheese risotto.
Special Appeal: Famous chairs; good prices; lively, bistro-esque vibe.
The bottom line: $19.95 for a 10-ounce hanger steak to $33.95 for the 22-ounce porterhouse (“Good for a big man”).
► Next up: Schlesinger's