A steakhouse for Generation Y that is serious on flavor, high in energy, and no stranger to creativity.
Branded as a "meat-centric" restaurant by restauranteur John McDonald and chef-partner Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar, El Toro Blanco, and Burger & Barrel, Bowery Meat Company is really like the old, traditional steakhouse’s fun and frisky little sister. She’s young, hot, and a little crazy, but she knows what it means to play with the big boys, and Bowery Meat Company is certainly keeping pace with the more storied steakhouses around the city, but not without a little bit of fun.
In this chic, dark space, one can still find seven different cuts of beef, a burger, and plenty of potatoes and greens for appropriately high-end price tags, but there is also a Duck Lasagna for two, a Chinese BBQ Pork Belly appetizer, and some Zucchini Carpaccio with feta and mint that all challenge the notions of what can fit into a steakhouse menu. Indeed, while the eponymous Bowery Steak, a cut from the famed butcher Pat LaFrieda, may share such a classic heritage with other legendary cuts of meat at older, famed steakhouses, it is decidedly new. The trimmed rib-eye cap here is topped with an almost upsettingly acidic chopped salsa verde and sits on a bed of creamy whipped potatoes, becoming simultaneously familiar and exciting to its consumers, even if the raw herbs occasionally overwhelm the perfectly pink meat.
Another fresh creation on the menu are the Wagyu Meatballs, resting on soft polenta and a light tomato pan gravy sauce with plenty of parmesan. Because the fats in wagyu beef melt at a lower temperature than any other animal fat, the meatballs are delicate and tender, the liquid fat having added a rich, juicy flavor with no detectable grease. The result is a recognizable piece of meat of premium quality in a young, accessible, and somehow acceptably gauche form.
Indeed Bowery Meat Company has done well transforming its menu to its kind, meaning that a table full of 20-something women in stilettos will all be ordering the Bone-In Filet Mignon, providing them with 14 ounces of light, peppery drama, even if no one finishes it. The real question is if the restaurant, which seems to cater so well to the youngest working and monied generation of the city, can evolve as its clientele ages. Will we still want to hang around the wild little sister when we’re 40? Or will this affect of cute, but psycho, but cute wear thin by then, leaving room for another steakhouse to come in and reinvent its culture?
Whatever the answer may be, for now Bowery Meat Company, with its fresh, "meat-centric" menu, is ours.