NYC Restaurants

Ben Benson's Steakhouse
123 W 52nd St
New York, NY, 10019
(212) 581-8888
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Cuisine: Steakhouses , American

Menu:   View the Menu

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Cititour Review:

In our quest to live up to our name, New Yorkers often focus entirely on the new, new, new. In doing so, we often overlook old favorites, restaurants that have satisfied us decade after decade. Such a place is Ben Benson's Steak House. Summer is a particularly nice time to make a return visit – or even your first – since you can dine al fresco on the restaurant's expansive "Front Porch" facing 52nd Street (which is rather pleasantly traffic-free on the weekends). If you choose the well air-conditioned interior, be prepared for a supremely masculine environment, full of dark woods, animal heads and bronze sculptures.

On our visit, plenty of women didn't seem to mind. The setting is appropriate, since Ben Benson's serves what used to be known as man-sized portions (at prices to match), including the largest baked potato I've ever seen. Or take the lobster cocktail, which is actually an entire one-pound lobster in the shell (cracked open), served cold and accompanied by a kicky horseradish sauce. The house's special salad is a lovely variation on the chopped salad, using such upscale ingredients as hearts of palm, asparagus, string beans, yellow tomato, as well as onion, cucumber, and red tomato, all tossed in a light dill vinaigrette. Chopped anchovies (which can be ordered on the side) up the flavor ante. The house offers about two dozen entrees. It is justly proud of its roasted prime rib of beef, which is uncommonly delicious (if just a tad too fatty). I can hardly imagine what kind of cow produced the filet mignon on our table – it was that big.

Diners looking for a somewhat lighter option will enjoy the perfectly cooked shrimp scampi (also available as an appetizer) which comes in a thickish lemon sauce. As with all great steakhouses, sides are a la carte. I recommend the lightly battered fried zucchini and onion rings, though my tablemate was very pleased with the creamed spinach. The oddly named "double ugly mud cake" is a chocoholic's dream come true. The key lime pie could be a bit tarter for my taste, but it gets bonus points for the graham cracker crust. But desserts are a bit superfluous, anyway – the steaks are the meat of the matter.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 50s

Entree Price: >$30

Takeout:Yes

Delivery: Yes

Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard


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