Ok, so we opted for BLT Prime. I will start my long winded review by saying there are definitely two (maybe more) schools of thought when it comes to a comparison like BLT and Lugers. Personally I will travel wherever to enjoy good food. Whether it be hot dogs or white truffles. Travel really does not bother me. Then there is ambiance. If I am going to a place and know that it lacks ambiance then that’s fine. If I go to Le Bernardin and it is under construction and the waiters are rude it will absolutely take away from the over all quality of the meal. So if I am going to go to a place like Lugers I am not at all put off with the décor or the waiters. It is part of the "charm".
We went to BLT Prime with the expectations of good food and good ambiance. I have heard that the place is loud especially when seated upstairs. And yes that is very true. If I had my druthers I would have requested a seat downstairs. It is a comfortable space and I guess you could classify it as "Steakhouse Chic" if there is such a thing. There is a very nice variety of different entrees, including several different cuts of beef. None of us had anything other than beef. For starters we had a special soup which was Sunchoke w/shaved black truffles. My first impression was that that it had a sweet taste that was odd. But sunchokes ARE sweet, silly me! Was a very good soup. Not quite hot enough for me but so be it. We also had a Tuna tartar. It was so so. In my opinion it was nowhere near as fresh as it should have been. Had sort of a "fishy" flavor. And no, not fish as in sashimi grade fish...fish as in it was bought 3-4 days ago. I would pass next time. The Caesar salad that one of us ordered was decent but not great. Too much grated parmesan and the romaine leaves were too big (alot were whole). Dressing was ok but seemed to generic, no depth. Then the bacon. Everybody ants to replicate the Lugers bacon. Alot of places come close ie, Wolfgangs, Ben and Jacks. BLT's version gets an "F". And given that grilling bacon requires almost zero skill I was quite surprised. It was luke warm at best and watery. Go figure!
On to dinner. We had 1 of the "signature BLT bone in sirloin", 1 Filet (well done, and I will not comment on that) and 1 special American Kobe Flat Iron steak. The waiter (and Oh BTW...our waiter, to comical. He was fine and a nice guy, but I had a hard time getting over the Borat/Freddy Mercury resemblance...TOO FUNNY!) went on and on about how this was his 2nd favorite steak on the menu, only behind the Real Kobe Strip, priced @ $26 an ounce I might add. $26 an ounce...Come on. I guess there are some people who can afford that but seriously...$26 AN OUNCE! Ok my rant over. The Flat Iron was good. Not great but good. Had decent flavor but was a bit too tough for me. And the portion was extremely small. My Sirloin was very good. Was perfectly cooked, well charred and salted just right. Too many places over salt their meat and this was just right. For being dry-aged for as long as advertised (I think they claim 3-4 weeks) it didn't have that real game like flavor (almost funk if you will) that I love in a great dry-aged steak that places like Lugers and Smith and Wollenskys does so well. (I am not making a statement about the quality of SW vs BLT vs Lugers however I have found the quality of SW and Lugers to be constant. AND I am just speaking of the Bone in NY Strip @ SW and of course the Porterhouse @ Lugers.) Again, they were very good, just not great. The sides however were very inconsistent. The french fries were outstanding. The creamed spinach was at first taste good then there was some overpowering taste on the finish. Most likely too much nutmeg. The Potatoes au gratin...looked good. But then again if you put enough cream and cheese on a shoe it would taste good. These had waaaay tooooo much cream.
And lastly, I saved the best for last. Looking over the wine list it was pretty much like all other over priced wine lists. Anywhere from 2.5x mark up to 4x. And then I saw it...2005 Almaviva. Retail it is $60-75 a bottle. Here...$85!!! I ordered 2 right away. Delicious! My advice if you are going anytime soon, get this wine. Not only is it reasonably priced but a delicious bottle at that!
Would I go to BLT Prime again? Sure, if it were on someone else's $ and I had no input. If it were up to me to go there again...nahhh.
Lugers win, hands down!