I spent a lot of time preparing and planning what to do prior to travelling to New York City last week. There are just so many places to go, things to do, and I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. Mostly, I wanted to eat some amazing food and I didn’t want to have to choose based on whim, or a random recommendation. I asked colleges at work, my bosses, friends and family for suggestions and came away with a list. My partner and I analyzed the list of suggestions and picked out our favourites based on menus, reviews and their proximity to other plans.
We ate many great meals, but one definitely stood out. I don’t typically enjoy going to steak houses, as I have trouble justifying paying a large amount for a hunk of beef and that doesn’t even include sides. But, when my brother and his wife suggested Maloney & Porcelli’s and their weekend wine dinner, I knew we had to try it. At first, when talking to my brother I thought he must be exaggerating. He said that for $75, you get a 3 course meal with unlimited pours of 4 featured wines. Now at first I thought that maybe they just had a good waiter who topped off their drinks a few times, but when I looked at the website they confirmed his rumour. The menu also excited me for one more reason, it’s not a set menu. Generally, I like some of choices on set menus, but usually I’d like to change at least one course.
We made reservations for the Saturday, the night we arrived in NYC, as we wanted to have a destination after a day of travel. The weekend wine dinner starts after 8 on Friday, Saturday’s, and after 5 on Sundays. The restaurant was very nice, typical steak house décor. The place was busy, not packed, and we were seated immediately. We had a look at the menu and confirmed that we wanted the special menu, but also wanted to make sure we were reading it correctly.
They start you off with their home baked pretzel bread and flat bread with a mustard seed butter. As your first course you can have any appetizer, salad, or shellfish that you wish. For your entrée, you can select any main course or steak. And, If you want the larger steaks then you add an extra 10 bucks, same for the lobsters. Just so you know, the smaller steaks are by no means small, they start at 10 oz fillets, and are great cuts of meat. You may add sides for 10 bucks and then desserts are the final course. The normal menu is by no means cheap I must add.
As for the unlimited pours, you start with a sparkling wine, followed by a white and then two reds. And, they aren’t crappy wines by any means, they are listed on the website. You can keep all the glasses at the table and keep refilling any, or all, as you wish, I would know. The waiters also aren’t uptight about the pours as they keep them coming and actually encouraged us to drink up and have another glass, why not! I don’t know whether I didn’t tell him, or whether it reads differently on the menu at the restaurant, but my partner thought it was a 3 course meal with 4 wine tastings. It wasn’t until after they refilled his sparkling wine glass 4 times, while he had others in front of him, that he asked the waiter and had it was clarified that it was unlimited.
All of our food was amazing, we both enjoyed absolutely everything we ate. The only complaint I think either of us had was that we were too full. I actually didn’t even want to order my dessert, but I was talked into it since we were paying for it. Actually, more like I was forced, but it was also great! I guess I’m not really used to American portions, which should have been obvious by the size of the steaks. The crab cake that was the largest I’ve ever had, and almost entirely fresh crab meat, with next to no breading or other fillers. I had the surf and turf, which was a 10 oz filet and a large lobster tail. My steak was cooked perfectly and tasted awesome, as did the lobster. For dessert I had some sort of apple tart and tasted my partner’s berry cobbler. Both were really good and the only reason I cannot tell you the name of my dessert is because I was too drunk and don’t remember it.
We both stumbled out of Maloney & Porcelli’s very happy guys. We may have been a little too drunk, not surprisingly, as neither of us know when to say no. But somehow we still managed to have a night on the town after it. Since that night we have been raving about this place and can’t wait to go back!
Maloney & Porcelli
Between Park and
New York, New York