In a nutshell: The juicy bone-in sirloin and plush monkey bread are winners at this contemporary steakhouse in Midtown.
When I first heard the name “Quality Meats,” an image of a meat wholesaler or specialty market instantly sprung to mind. Is this where I’d be buying my roasts and chops for this evening’s dinner? Much to the contrary, this refined steakhouse located in the heart of Midtown goes beyond raw slabs of meat and prepares interpretations of familiar steakhouse dishes.
Designers AvroKO used warm wood, stainless steel, and white marble to create industrial-inspired décor inspired by traditional New York City butcher shops. As mentioned on Quality Meats’ website, the “interior details include an homage to a traditional ‘meat locker’ interior with finished walnut planks covering the length of the downstairs dining room wall, butcher block end‑grain wood as the primary material for the staircase, and vintage market scales that have been transformed into a lighting installation in the upstairs dining room. These elements coexist flawlessly with understated accents drawn directly from butcher shop inspiration, such as white ceramic tiles, and chandeliers made of pulleys and large steel butcher hooks.”
Everything is served à la carte, so order the dishes that suit your fancy.
An elegantly-prepared amuse bouche atop a worn plank of wood kicked our meal off: spring radishes no larger than quarters, topped with parmesan breadcrumbs and scallions. Crisp and refreshing.
“Be careful, it’s hot,” our waiter cautioned us when he brought the bread course to the table. He couldn’t have been more right–the steam that tickled our fingers as we tore in was a toasty indicator that we should exercise more patience. Lacquered with butter and sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt, the piping-hot and incredibly soft monkey bread was one of the best bread courses I’ve experienced at a restaurant.
The crab cake is “pure colossal lump” according to the menu. Indeed, there’s hardly any filler in this cake, allowing the natural sea flavor of the meaty chunks of crab to shine through. Placed atop of a smattering of red onions and a sunbeam of tomato, this was a meteoric hit.
While I’m not much of an oyster connoisseur, these pearls of the sea were briny perfection. Quality Meats features a host of different species to sample. The meat was plump with a slight firmness, and its buttery texture made it go down easy.
A waiter soon arrived tableside, pushing a cart with a small crate on top. He was here to show off his skills with a mortar and pestle, blending us a made-to-order steak sauce with various ingredients including rosemary, thyme, tomatoes, roasted garlic, raisins, molasses, and black pepper.
I’d like to take a moment to thank Steve (or Finnigan, as he says he’s called) for being such a standout waiter. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about more than just the food and having such a great sense of humor. We want to come back just to see you!
The filet mignon was moist and tender, but somewhat lacking in flavor compared to the other cut we purchased. Maybe that’s what the steak sauce is for?
The bone-in sirloin was much better received. To start, the portion was massive–18 ounces of glorious steak served us many meals over. Cooked to a lovely red rare interior with an excellent charred salt-and-pepper crust, this cut was overflowing with natural flavor and meaty juices. A winner in our books.
Fresh and cooked to picture-perfect pink, the salmon is a spot-on choice if you’re in a seafood mood at a steakhouse. The bed of pesto underneath provided a lovely herby counterpoint to the fish. For a red meat place, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the salmon.
The asparagus is simply prepared: it could have been grilled longer for more tenderness. The vegetables did help balance out the protein-heavy meal.
This side had two things going for it: waffle fries and parmesan. Execution-wise, however, the fries could have been much crispier and could have featured much more parmesan on top. Meat and potatoes are pretty standard for steakhouses, though, and this was a pleasant alternative to the classic baked potato.
For dessert, the sorbet comes as a welcome palate-cleanser. Both the strawberry and grapefruit tones make prominent appearances in the icy treat. (I hear they do epic ice cream sundaes during the summer!)
If you’re wandering through Midtown and are in need of a classy steakhouse that’s refined yet not stuffy, Quality Meats may be your place.
57 W 58th St
New York, NY