1999-09-22 / Restaurant of the Week

Prime Steaks At Ranch Steak House

Restaurant

Of The Week

By Teresa Barile

Ranch Steak House on 21st Street in Long Island City has established itself as one of New York’s premier restaurants for the finest quality prime beef, chops and seafood and a host of daily specials to please everyone. Expertly run by the congenial George Contos and Steve Despotis, Ranch Steak House is proof that you don’t have to put up with surly waiters or make reservations a year in advance in order to enjoy prime steak. Just the sight of a sizzling hot platter of luscious Porterhouse steak serving for two to four people, will make your mouth water. It’s 48 ounces of buttah! On the menu, it’s known as "The Jackpot" and everyone wins when you order this massive cut of United States prime beef, carefully dry-aged and butchered on the premises for your gastronomic pleasure.

While the 48-ounce Porterhouse steak for two, smothered in its own juices, is undoubtedly the most popular entree, a variety of daily specials help round out the menu. We tried the rack of lamb, cooked to our liking and served with melt-in-your-mouth, oven-roasted potatoes. The lamb was the leanest and most tender I had ever tasted. Also featured that evening was a whole Maine lobster, weighing in at about two pounds, and fresh sole, stuffed with delicate crab meat. If you enjoy "the other white meat," Ranch Steak House makes an incredibly tender filet of pork, served hot off the grill, resting on a cloud of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. The grill marks on the filet make this dish a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Ranch Steak House has a rustic American log cabin facade. This decor is carried throughout the interior as well, including a central fireplace for cozy comfort. Besides its reputation for serving the best cuts of steak, chops and fish money can buy, Ranch Steak House prides itself on its superior service, delivered by an expert staff of waiters with many years of experience in New York’s finest restaurants. Combined with the reasonable prices, especially given the fact that steak entrees include potatoes and creamed spinach, you can be assured of a positive dining experience. A fine bottle of wine from their wine cellar is a must to enhance your meal.

Other entrees include a hearty, 18-ounce shell steak, served on the bone and cooked to order ($21.95). Juicy lamb chops are thick cut from the tenderloin, and served with mint jelly ($18.95). Baby back ribs served with tangy barbecue sauce are also popular for tender meat that falls off the bone. Center cut veal chops weigh in at about 18 to 20 ounces and are served sizzling from the grill ($24). center cut pork chops are served with chunky apple sauce for an old fashioned meal. Ranch Steak House also serves fresh fish each day, including broiled salmon, swordfish or tuna, for $16.95. For a taste of the land and sea, try the surf and turf special, in which a sweet, tender Brazilian lobster tail accompanies a juicy filet mignon. On weekends, slow-cooked prime rib of beef is served au jus for $18.95.

Start your meal with one of the many hot or cold appetizers, such as tender mussels in a red or white wine sauce, or delicious, fresh, blue point oysters, complemented with zesty cocktail sauce and horseradish on the side. Fried calamari rings served with lemon wedges are crisp and tender. On the cool side, giant shrimp cocktail is served with a tangy sauce and fresh Alaskan king crab legs are served chilled as a first course, or steamed as an entree. Even the tomatoes are beefy, tossed with red onion and peppers in a vinegar dressing. A basket of warm, crusty rolls spread with sweet butter add to your dining experience.

Ranch Steak House is open for lunch as well. The most popular entree is the prime rib au jus, roasted to perfection ($12). The open steak sandwich features sirloin steak on fresh bread, served with french fries, lettuce and tomatoes.

Do try to save room for one of their outrageous desserts, with kudos especially for the warm apple strudel topped with freshly whipped cream. The pecan pie is rich, sweet and loaded with chewy pecans, and the cheesecake is as thick as the Porterhouse.

Ranch Steak House is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. with free valet parking. A private party room accommodating up to 150 people for a business lunch or dinner or private event is available. The staff at Ranch Steak House urges you to make your holiday party plans early, as dates are already filling up.

Ranch Steak House

31-64 21st St. Off Broadway

Long Island City

(718) 726-5200

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