Well, the wife and I visited MarkJoseph (one word) last weekend, and I am happy to report we had a great time. IMHO, this is a real contender to be among the top steakhouses in the city.
In the interests of full disclosure, we were touted onto this place by a friend who works there on the waitstaff. Don't know any of the principals, though we did meet and chat with one of the owners during our visit on Saturday night. He told us that they named the place after his partner's newborn baby.
The ownership and much of the staff are Peter Luger veterans, so they know what they're doing around a steakhouse, and, in my opinion, it shows. This is a very comfortable place, with large tables well spaced and a long, inviting bar as you walk in. They've been open just over a month and have had no press or word of mouth that I know, outside of a small blurb in NY Mag.
We started our meal with a shrimp cocktail (seem to have gotten back on shrimp cocktails after years of skipping them). You can order 4, 5 or 6 (at increasing prices), so we split an order of 6 for $20. They were what they should have been: jumbo, fresh and tasty, served with the classic sauce accompanied with Tabasco and horseradish.
We split a porterhouse for two ($60), done and served in the classic Peter Luger style, and for sides we had the hash brown potatoes and and order of string beans (as my wife doesn't care for creamed spinach). The steak was perfect, perhaps a small level under Peter Luger (perhaps not), and the sides were great. I'd go back just for the potatoes. Also had a bottle of Stag's Leap Cab, 1997, at $60, which we thought was within reason.
We were very well treated from the moment we arrived, and we were lucky enough to have had our friend Suzy as our waitress, which made the visit all the more pleasant for us. By 8:00 on Saturday night the place was about half full, which I thought was pretty good for having no publicity yet at all. So now is the time to try this place out, before the crowds arrive.
They have a very nice space in a landmarked building, but it can be hard to find if you don't know the area around South Street Seaport.