Best Steak House - 2006
Steak houses are like people. Well, not really. But sometimes like our human kin, some are unpretentious old money, solid as a duchess in a pair of Wellies. Others haven't given up the checkered tablecloths and celebrity photos after 60 years of business, but the cuts are still prime and dry-aged -- the Andy Rooneys of the steak world. And then there are those shiny, vacant newcomers, interchangeable as Hollywood starlets. Occasionally, a true palace of meat comes along, a place of glamorous mystery and first-quality beef, and when you find one, it rules your heart and invades your dreams. Such a thing is Gotham, as fantastic a place as the mythic city it was named for, shimmering with dark woods and amber lamps, with sheer platinum curtains and walls of candlelight. Gotham bakes golden flatbreads in its wood-burning oven and sends out "silver pot" black Canadian mussels in wine and saffron, wooing the appetite with Dry Sack lobster bisque and chilled Maine lobster cocktails. But all this is foreplay for the main event: dry-aged meats imported from Chicago and cooked over hardwood coals -- center-cut fillet, New York strip, chopped steak with caramelized onions, and that studliest of steaks, the cowboy bone-in rib eye. You'd have to travel many a mile, pardner, to find a rival for your carnivorous affections.