I have 3 tiers for steaks at restaurants...
* Better than you can make at home
* Same as you can make at home
* Not as good as at home
I know most restaurants won't qualify for even "same as home" steak so I rarely order steak out unless at a place known for steaks. Among those all but a very few fall into the "better than at home" category.
Sparks joins the better than at home tier with LG's steakhouse in Palm Springs. Sparks' New York steak was one of those rare steaks that looks good, has good flavor and is tender. It came perfectly cooked, medium as ordered. You finish the big steak completely leaving nothing on the plate because of boring flavor or leather like texture.
The simple green salad with Roquefort dressing was light and comforting, exactly what a salad should be. Why do so many places insist on making the dinner salad a fiber bomb that tastes like straw?
I have a thing for creamed spinach. I think it goes great with steak and always order it even though it's always awful. Most of the time it has too much "white sauce" or too much cheese. The former lacks flavor, the latter is a salt bomb.
Sparks' creamed spinach has a spinachy flavor and is not too rich. Great job!
The crowd was mostly yuppie and reminded me of the crowd at a famous NYC restaurant that sounds like Monica Lewinsky (can't remember the name, went there 2 years ago). Nasty steaks, obnoxious crowd.
The service was A+. The wine list huge. We ordered a bottle of wine we were served by the glass at the bar -- Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon. Reasonably priced and bold. Great with the NY steak.
Interestingly as we were walking back from Sparks we went past Bobby Van's steakhouse which we tried last year. It lacked the energy of Sparks and the Porterhouse for 2 was a little too "nutty". There's a fine line between aged meat taste and rotting flesh taste and BV came too close to the line. In all fairness the steak was excellent but I'm beginning to believe that a well cooked NY steak will beat out a huge porterhouse for 2 every time.
Thanks again for the suggestions. Next I will be looking for breakfast restaurants in the Columbus Circle area.