The latest entry in the high stakes arena of New York steakhouses is Desmond’s Steakhouse, opening Monday, Feb. 25 as a contemporary interpretation of the classic genre, melding stylish décor and service with culinary substance. Located in Manhattan’s energetic Midtown West on Seventh Avenue at 38th Street, Desmond’s is less beef-centric and offers more diverse dining experiences than typically associated with steakhouses. Certainly, the imposing 8,000 square foot, 247-seat restaurant showcases USDA prime beef (five different cuts in six sizes), its 50-day matured-to-perfection process finished in the city’s largest open-to-view dry aging room. Desmond’s, however, also presents a large array of non-bovine related offerings, including: succulent selections from the glistening raw bar that will rival the dry aging room as visual food porn; a collection signature dishes such as skillet seared sea scallops, truffled mashed potatoes, asparagus; and steaks of a piscatorial persuasion, including grilled yellow fin tuna, complemented – as are their beef counterparts – by an array of house made sauces.
The diversity of the menu is complemented by that of the experiences Desmond’s Steakhouse affords diners. From a quick bite at the 70 foot-plus marble-topped bar, anchored by the raw bar, or a casual meal in one of the bar area’s high backed leather-clad booths to a business one at the dining room’s spaced-for-private-conversation tables or a romantic dinner at one of its cozy banquettes. There are also sexy crescent-shaped booths for gatherings of up to six and a semi-private dining room.
Being on Fashion Avenue (the local moniker for Seventh), Desmond’s takes a more modish approach to traditional New York steakhouse ambiance. A dramatic Deco glamorous staircase sweeps up from the street level entrance on 38th Street where the predictable burnished wood paneling is enlivened with distinctive architectural elements including glass brick and field stone walls, antiqued red brick coffered ceilings and beige brick framed dark wood floors. Decorative accents such as white subway tile, regal cream crown molding and richly textured wall paper accents are bathed in the glow of the theatrical lighting from statement-making fixtures throughout.
It is an unabashedly swank setting in which a cocktail program showcasing pre-Prohibition concoctions, such as the Gold Rush and Mamie Taylor seems fitting. While the wine room visible behind the bar is testimony to Desmond’s commitment to the appreciation of the viticulture arts.
Desmond’s Steakhouse is at 513 Seventh Avenue, with its entrance on 38th Street. It is open daily for lunch and dinner. For reservations and more information, call (212) 391-6900 or visit www.desmondsnewyork.com