I ate at Sparks last night and left very satisfied. Here's a brief report.
Appetizer: Tomato and onion salad. Don't get this. It's not that it was bad, but it was just unimpressive. The veggies were sliced very thin and soaked in dressing. Even though I am not a Luger's fan, I freely admit that this salad cannot compare with its impressive cousin in Brooklyn.
Entree: Sirloin, cooked rare. Absolutely outstanding. When I cut into that sucker, I wanted to take a picture of the inside. It was that beautiful. When I took a bite, it was heaven. A delicious, salty (but not TOO salty) crust and that perfect zing that makes a good sirloin. Also, it was mammoth, but that didn't stop me from eating it all . . . and a little of my friend's filet, which seemed great but which I cannot fully evaluate because he had it cooked medium.
Side: Asparagus. Nothing special, but perfectly good.
Wine: 1999 Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet at $40. Considering I just bought a bottle at Sam's Club for $17 or something like that, this was tough to swallow, but I don't think it was a particularly bad markup in the end.
Service: Actually pretty darn excellent. Originally, we had ordered spinach instead of the asparagus. The waiter allowed us to change our order after he had already put it in, without giving us any NYC steakhouse attitude.
The tab: Something in the neighborhood of $140 after tax, but before tip. Really a lot for steak at first glance, but a bargain for a sirloin that was perfection!