2002-02-13 / Restaurant of the Week

Restaurant Of The Week

Ranch Steak House Is More Than Great Steak
By Teresa Barile

Of The Week

I've been a huge fan of Ranch Steak House on 21st Street in Long Island City since it opened in 1996 for many reasons. Firstly, Ranch serves consistently high quality, expertly cooked prime steaks, chops and seafood. Secondly, the service is always impeccable. Thirdly, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and you're always greeted with a warm smile by congenial owner George Contos, who knows most of his customers by name. Finally, the prices are very reasonable, considering the very generous portions and the quality of the food. At Ranch Steak House, you'll feel equally comfortable enjoying a romantic Valentine's dinner for two, a business lunch or dinner or a big family gathering. Ranch caters to all the customer’s needs, especially wonderful private parties in a separate room, just perfect for a business dinner or family party. Call Contos to arrange your next affair.

Picture a sizzling hot platter of luscious porterhouse steak, served for two to four people, that will make your mouth water. This is the place to go for mammoth-sized porterhouse steak, cooked to your exact specifications. In short, 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 U.S. prime beef, carefully dry-aged on the premises for your gastronomic pleasure. But before you enjoy that, you must try some of Ranch's enticing appetizers such as the giant shrimp cocktail, served with zesty dipping sauce, or the fresh blue point oysters and clams on the half shell. Two can share a generous portion of buttery soft mozzarella cheese and thick-cut tomato slices topped with a very tangy sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing that you'll want to soak up with a selection of warm rolls brought to your table. Your waiter will describe daily appetizer specials such as grilled portobello mushrooms, seafood salad and more.

One of the nicest things about Ranch Steak House is the wide variety of entrees other than steak, so that your entire dinner party will be pleased. For example, specials include the rack of lamb, which is sublime, cooked to your liking and served with melt-in-your-mouth, oven-roasted potatoes. Filet of pork, the other white meat, is grilled to perfection and served on a bed of creamy garlic-mashed potatoes for a satisfying meal. Also featured quite often is whole Maine lobster, weighing in at about two pounds, and fresh sole, stuffed with delicate crab meat. Baby back ribs are cooked slowly in a rich barbecue sauce so that the succulent meat simply falls off the bone.

Ranch Steak House has a rustic, American log cabin facade. This decor is carried throughout the interior as well, complete with a crackling fireplace for cozy comfort. For these reasons, I suggest you bring your Valentine here for a sensual steak for two, thinly sliced, oven-roasted potatoes and creamed spinach. A bottle of wine from their ample cellar is the perfect accompaniment.

Other entrees include a hearty, 18-ounce shell steak, served on-the-bone and cooked to order ($21.95). Juicy lamb chops, thick cut from the tenderloin, are served with mint jelly ($18.95). 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 both land and sea, try the surf and turf special, a sweet, tender Brazilian lobster tail accompanying a juicy filet mignon. On weekends, slow-cooked prime rib of beef is served au jus, for just $18.95.

Ranch Steak House is open for lunch as well, where 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.

Impossible it may seem, do try to save room for one of their outrageous desserts, with kudos 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 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 is available, accommodating up to 150 people for your business lunch or dinner, private event or bachelor dinner. Call right now for Valentine's dinner reservations. There's open seating all afternoon and evening.

Ranch Steak House

31-64 21st St. Off Broadway

Long Island City


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