Great New York steaks – with a side of savings

|     Shivani Vora     |

NEW York City’s lineup of long-existing steakhouses are tourist attractions in and of themselves.

These institutions are found in all the guidebooks, travel sites and apps that tourists rely on. But while they’re renowned, these chophouses are notoriously expensive, and reservations aren’t always easy to snag.

Skip the expense and hassle by trying New York’s more affordable and equally delicious – albeit lesser-known – steakhouses.

Peter Luger Steak House and Sparks: Famed destinations where cheques average USD100 per person.

Open since 1887, the 200-seat Peter Luger in Williamsburg uses only United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Prime beef – the gold standard in the meat industry.

TBar Steak & Lounge opened in 2007. – DAVID HECHLER

All the steaks are dry-aged in-house, but the 32-ounce porterhouse is the star of the show.

For sides, most diners splurge on the creamed spinach and German fried potatoes.

The key lime pie, topped with extra-thick whipped cream, is the best-selling dessert.

Location: 178 Broadway, Brooklyn.

Sparks, a sprawling 678-seat dark-wood-hued Midtown East hotspot, has been an expense account and special occasion go-to since it opened in that location in 1977 (It’s also famous for being the site of a New York mob murder).

The menu includes a half-dozen or so cuts of steak that come from USDA prime beef hand butchered and aged in-house – the 16-ounce prime sirloin is the most popular.

Sides include hash browns and mushroom caps in a lemon butter sauce, and come dessert, it’s almost sacrilegious not to order the New York cheesecake.

Location: 210 East 46th Street

TBar Steak & Lounge and Quality Eats: Newer steakhouses where diners can get away with USD55 to USD65 apiece.

Situated on the Upper East Side, TBar has been a beloved neighbourhood fixture since it opened in 2007.

The 120-seat white-hued dining room has a decidedly modern feel, and the steaks – filet mignon and New York strip among them – are butchered and aged from black angus beef.

Like Luger’s, the porterhouse is a must-order, and at 40 ounces, it’s more than enough for three.

Sides, such as creamed or sautéed spinach and the crispy Brussels sprouts, are meant for sharing, too, so you can save room for the housemade banana parfait with coconut and caramel sauce.

Location: 1278 Third Avenue

Quality Eats debuted in 2015 and now has three locations: West Village, NoMad and Upper East Side.

It’s the more accessible brainchild of Michael Stillman, whose father, Alan, founded the famed Smith & Wollensky.

All locations have around 60 seats, killer cocktail lists and walls adorned with graphic artwork.

Five varieties of steak are on the menu, including sirloin, hanger and bavette. The top seller is the Don Ameche – a sliced filet with chicken liver mousse on garlic toast with caramelised onions.

Corn crème brûlée and brown bag curly fries are the sides to order, and decadent desserts include “birthday cake”: chocolate malt ice cream topped with confetti cake and vanilla icing.

Locations: West Village, 19 Greenwich Avenue; NoMad: 3 East 28th Street; Upper East Side: 1496 Second Avenue

(Vora is a writer based in New York). – The Washington Post