By Christopher Pape
It is an unfortunate truth that a common misconception of American cuisine is that it stretches no further than greasy and oily fast-food chains. Europeans would sooner point to mac and cheese and fried chicken, while the British may raise a cheeky smile in finding a nation with an equally poor culinary reputation as they supposedly have. Thankfully, it is places like Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse in New York City that debunk this stereotype and evince that American food is good food.
As the name suggests, this is not a place for die-hard vegetarians, although, there is a wide variety of enticing salads. All of their meat is USDA –which essentially means that it is from America and is good stuff- and cooked with care by expert chefs. Uncle Jack’s claim to uniqueness perhaps lies in their policy of only serving meat that has been dry-aged for twenty one days as they believe that beef is ‘as important as aging a fine wine’, and once you try what they have to offer, you will realise that they’re on to something. The New York Strip is a particular highlight; prime sirloin prepared on the bone in its own juices with a choice of side dishes to please even the pickiest eater. Seafood is also on the menu, their ‘Surf and Turf’ is a ten ounce prime filet and a ten ounce Brazilian lobster tail. Their undisputable specialty, however, is the Kobe Beef. Kobe Beef is renowned world-wide for its flavour, and the chefs massage all the meat by hand and with Sake to ensure absolute tenderness. Of course, the meat is then aged for all of twenty one days, cooked to perfection, and then served in its own juices.
This is a steakhouse with class, and, since its opening during the prohibition era, has been a magnet for celebrities, so ensure that you dress accordingly. As soon as you walk through the door you are greeted by smiles and impeccable service that will stay with you for the entire course of your afternoon or evening to see that all your wants and needs are met. The lighting and intimate layout make this a great choice for the romantics of you, and yet it is so family-friendly at the same time. The brick walls in particular are a nice touch, giving it a sense of authenticity and history that you just don’t get with other restaurants, let alone steakhouses.
Admittedly, the first steakhouse appeared in Paris nearly three hundred years ago, but, while it was born in France, I would argue that the steakhouse has been raised in America. Indeed, if you go to steak houses around the world, you will find that many restaurants have an American state or city either in the name itself or as the title of a dish on the menu. It is an American tradition, and, in keeping with this local and home-grown theme, we wholly recommend you try out Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse in our own midtown Manhattan. •
44 West 56th Street
New York, NY