Steakcraft: Porterhouse, Strip, and Rib Steaks at Porter House NY
Steak Fact SheetCuts: Porterhouse, NY Strip, Rib Steak
Grade: USDA Prime
Breed: Black Angus, Creekstone Farms
Dry Aged? 21 to 28 Days
Pre-Cooked Weight:Porterhouse 36 oz., NY Strip 18-20 oz. , Rib Steak 24 oz.
Price: Porterhouse $106, NY Strip $53, Rib Steak $57
Price per Ounce: Porterhouse $2.95, NY Strip $2.80, Rib Steak $2.37
It is an unfortunate reality that Chef Michael Lomonaco will always be closely associated with the events of the morning of September 11, 2001. The then-head chef of Windows of the World and his 73 coworkers narrowly escaped the North Tower's collapse. It was only an impulsive decision to stop at the optometrist that spared him. In the aftermath of the attack, Lomonaco played a significant part in the healing of the city. He helped to rally the survivors of the tragedy, establishing the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund and just as he had led his kitchen brigade on the 106th floor he gave voice to the victims and there families in interviews for newspapers, TV, and eventually documentary films.
Just as he helped the city to heal his love of hospitality, cooking and food, the things that had got brought him to the top of the world, helped him to move on. He opened Porter House NY in 2006, hiring many of the surviving staff of Windows. While Porter House NY is on its face a steakhouse, Lomonaco sees it as a direct descendant to Windows as a quintessentially New York restaurant with a strong focus on hospitality.
The name of the restaurant stems not from the cut of beef, but from Lomonaco's research—he is an avid collector of rare books—into the pubs and inns or "porter houses" of the 19th century, so called because they served porter beer. It is the sense of community and conviviality that these places engendered that he based Porter House NY upon.
That said, the steaks served at Porter House NY are of the highest quality, as good as any steakhouse in the city. All the beef is Black Angus USDA Prime, dry aged by Pat LaFrieda for 21 to 28 days. Porter House NY has an in-house butcher, so they can take in whole aged primals that are fabricated into steaks. The dry aged trimmings are rendered, clarified, and used to baste the finished steaks. Lomonaco treats his steaks simply and without fuss. He simply salts them prior to cooking (he does not like the acridity that can result from using pepper) and sears them in a 1600° Vulcan broiler before finishing them in rendered dry aged fat and Maldon salt.
Even after all these years, Lomonaco still gets choked up when talking about the events of 9/11. And while you won't meet a more friendly, jovial chef, you can also tell that he still bears a heavy weight from that day. Porter House NY doesn't just represents Lomonaco's comeback from the tragedy, but that of the city itself.
Take a look at the slideshow to see how the steaks at Porter House NY are made, and tune in next time when we look at some secret and off menu specials.