Steak Market

Midtown's Steak Market has been on my radar for a while--mostly from some eye-popping (in a good way) posts that kept showing up on my Instagram. Dramatic presentations of smoke billowing out of cocktails delivered by attractive, youthful servers, eye-candy dish after dish, and (literally) gold-crusted steaks served Salt Bae style tableside virtually ensured a radical departure from the stuffy confines of the Boy's Club steak houses of yesteryear. My wife and I were overdue for a date night so I decided it was time to see what the buzz was about.

One thing is certain: this is not your parents' steak house.

Their logo is an "S&M" so right there before you even set foot onto the property it's a naughty little wink. As you approach the front door a logoed "step and repeat" backdrop creates a red-carpet feel (even without paparazzi) and once inside, the ambiance is more like an upscale lounge-like a nightclub (they are, in fact, open until 2 am on weekends). Crystals hanging from the ceiling, strings of twinkling lights, and bottles of Cristal and Louis XIII hiding in plain sight set the tone for the evening. I started with a "Nitro Martini" which came with the aforementioned smoke (caused by a dry-ice popsicle inside the drink). The cocktail comes on a small tray with its own special lighting and then the server sprinkles rose petals around the table and hands you (or your date) a free-dried rose. Very dramatic! And I have to admit, you do feel like a celebrity getting bottle service (or at the very least like it's your birthday) ordering one of these drinks. Watching the revelry at other tables was fascinating as well; the looks on people's faces and on their phones trying to capture the spectacle was its own theater.

Beyond the pomp and circumstance, Steak Market does do the cuisine of the classic steakhouse very well: wedge salads, charcuterie boards, crabcakes, lobster tails, raw seafood, and of course, steaks. These are all prime cuts of beef featuring both Japanese and Australian Wagyu beef, known for its intense flavors and marbling. Steaks are cooked on a coal-burning grill so and if that's not enough and you want to go "over the top," just let your server know you would like your steak encrusted in 24-carat gold leaf (yes, it's edible) and voila, you will have the ultimate social media post! The price of this "add-on"? $200-$250 depending on the size and cut of your steak. Does it change the taste or the flavor? Not really. But it looks super cool! So if you want to really celebrate or have the date of a lifetime or another YOLO special occasion, Steak Market is your spot! But put on your big boy/girl pants--this isn't cheap (nor should it be). Heck, they even have a dessert for $50...but it's a spectacle that you have to see (and eat) to believe.

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