Peter Luger is reputedly one of the best steak houses in the world. Zagat have rated it the best steak house in New York City 26 years in a row. Its Brooklyn restaurant has been in the same site in Williamsburg for over 100 years. In 2002 they received a star from the French tyre company. Yesterday I went there for lunch.
Walking inside it's a very different atmosphere from the rest of Williamsburg. Over the last 10 years Williamsburg has become a hipster nest much like Shoreditch in London has. Peter Luger has not been affected by such shortsighted trendyness and venturing inside is like walking into proper old school New York. There are no hipsters in here (except me and Mathilde). The restaurant is full of proper Brooklyners having proper lunches. You can feel that this place is the elemental origin of the steak house. All those crap chains like Beefeater and Harvester this is where it began. This is what they all aspire to.
The waiters are all salt of the earth proper Brooklyn geezers and their customer service style is surly and honest. They roughly throw the menus on the table and in a "wadda ya want" way but they don't come across as rude.
I saw the bacon slabs on the menu and had to order one as a starter. A bit odd that a starter can consist of solely a large bit of perfectly cooked bacon. You do gat a bowl of bread on the table but it's still a bit weird as your only getting pure grilled bacon on the plate. It was the greatest bacon though.
Normally when you get a steak at Peter Luger you get a large steak for two. Mathilde now eats fish but is still off her meat bless her so I had to go for the single steak while she had the salmon. I also ordered some creamed spinach.
When the steak comes out theres a bit of theatre from the waiter. It's sizziling on the platter, they place it on the table with a small plate on under one corner so it's raised presented to you and the meat juices collect in a handy pool. They serve two bits placed artfully on top of each other with a splash of meat juice and you're then left to eat it as you want.
I will say this is one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Also for the small single steak it was pretty big. It was about the same size as a steak for two people I've had at London pretender Goodman's.
Each table also gets a boat of Peter Luger's own steak sauce. It's a ketchupy sauce with fresh horseradish. It goes very well with the steak and also my bacon starter.
Looking around the room the size of the steaks to be shared by two people are quite scary. The huge slabs of meat would easily feed six. A culture of doggy bags thankfully means many take about half of what they have ordered home with them.
The other diners in Peter Luger do not look like the heathlest of chaps. It was a bit of a culture shock walking in from off the hipster skinny jean wearing streets into a dining room full of elasticated waist bands. Cardiac medicine is not cheap when you don't have an NHS.
If you are planning to visit New York and would like to go to Peter Luger you'll need to book about a month in advance.