When we go to the theatre, Stu has a rule - eat as close to the playhouse as possible.
So when we got tickets to “Rock ‘N’ Roll,” Tom Stoppard’s new play on 45th Street, Stu was delighted to eat at his favorite theatre district steakhouse - Frankie and Johnnie’s.
The former speakeasy, on 45th Street off 8th Avenue, has been a fixture in the neighborhood for decades, and definitely worth the walk up the steep staircase.
The restaurant is always packed, and the night we were there, several people had to be turned away. So if you are going to dine before a show, be sure to make reservations.
On previous late-night visits, Stu has seen several celebrities over the years including Woody Allen, Tony Roberts and Juliet Prowse.
The reason Frankie and Johnnie’s is so popular is simple - its dedication to quality food and great service. In fact, the restaurant is known for its “super steaks.”
The huge portions are enough for two, but be warned - there is a “sharing charge” of $10.
I began my meal with a Frankie and Johnnie’s classic salad - a huge plate of chopped Romaine lettuce topped with onions, cucumbers and tomatoes tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing that did not overwhelm the palate. Then I ordered a shrimp cocktail for my main course. Stu shared his luscious medium rare sirloin strip steak ($39).
The meat, still on the bone, was delivered by the waiter, who sliced it at the table. I always order steak on the bone, and this cut did not disappoint — it was tender, succulent and delicious.
Two cuts of prime aged meats are offered only after 7 p.m. - T-bone and Porterhouse for two.
Of course, they offer the traditional side dishes, with an amazing selection of potatoes - prepared eight different ways.
We ordered fried onions, fresh spinach (served as we requested, with oil and garlic), creamed spinach (a must-have with steak for me), and well-cooked hash brown potatoes.
And, of course, there is a dessert menu. Stu and I shared a slice of moist cheesecake with raspberry sauce.
If you want a classic New York steakhouse experience, you must visit Frankie and Johnnie’s.
They now have three other locations - 32 West 37th Street (212-947-8940); 77 Purchase Street in Rye (914-925-3900); and 163 14th Street in Hoboken, NJ (201-659-6202).
Try it, you’ll love it!
Frankie and Johnnie’s
269 West 45th Street, NYC
HOURS:Open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 2:30 p.m. and dinner Monday through Saturday, from 4:30 to 11:30 p.m.
PARKING:Complimentary limousine service in Midtown
CATERING:Private parties and corporate events