Peter Luger Steak House
|Peter Luger Steak House|
The exterior of the Brooklyn establishment
|Current owner(s)||Amy Rubenstein
|Previous owner(s)||Peter Luger
|Street address||178 Broadway|
|City||Brooklyn and Great Neck|
Peter Luger Steak House has been named the best steakhouse in New York City by Zagat Survey for 30 years in a row. The Brooklyn location is known for its long wooden bar, and the "dining rooms have a Teutonic air, with exposed wooden beams, burnished oak wainscoting, brass chandeliers and weathered beer-hall tables".
In 2002, it was named to the James Beard Foundation's list of "America's Classics".
The Brooklyn location was established in 1887 as "Carl Luger's Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley" in the then-predominantly German neighborhood that would shortly thereafter be in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. German-born Peter Luger (1866 – 1941) was the owner and nephew Carl was the chef; when Peter died in 1941 his son Frederick took over and the restaurant declined.
In 1950, Frederick shut the restaurant and put it up for auction. Bernard and Lester Magrill, local auctioneers and frequent patrons, conducted the auction. Sol Forman, who owned a metal giftware factory across the street, bought it for "a whimsically low bid". According to Lester Magrill, the purchase price was $35,000, which included the building as well as the restaurant. According to one history, "the neighborhood was declining, filling up with Hasidic Jews, whose kosher rules forbade the eating of Luger's hindquarters. Forman had been eating at Luger for twenty-five years, and he needed a place to take his clients. He was the only bidder during the auction. The purchase cemented the friendship between the Magrills and Formans and Lester frequented the restaurant almost five days a week for sixty years. Legend has it that Lester visited the Great Neck restaurant one evening and when mistreated by the Maitre'd, he asked to use the house phone. He turned to the offending host and stated, 'It's for you'. On the other end of the phone an irate Sol Forman fired the offending host on the spot and Magrill was immediately seated. A rave from über-critic Craig Claiborne in The New York Times was proof that Forman had kept the Luger faith—and the four-star review generated a new legion of the faithful."
Additional entrees include a rib steak, lamb, seasonal fish and a rotating selection of daily lunch specials. The restaurant's supplementary dishes include a shrimp cocktail, beefsteak tomato and onion salad (served with steak sauce), home fries, french fries, creamed spinach, broccoli, onion rings, extra-thick bacon, and a variety of desserts. Steaks are served pre-sliced on an inclined plates. Peter Luger also serves hamburgers, which are only available for lunch, and can be served with a thick cut of pork belly bacon for an extra charge.
The restaurant features its own custom steak sauce which approximates the taste of cocktail sauce and traditional steak sauce, however Luger recommends not using the sauce on its fine steaks but to use it with the salads that accompany the dinner. Peter Luger also sells its steak sauce by mail order and through retailers around the country.
The interior bar section of the Brooklyn establishment
- Zagat, Peter Lugers
- "The Special Is Steak, and More Steak". New York Times. February 14, 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
The main dining room, with its wood floors, scrubbed-wood tables, dark ceiling beams, large wrought-iron chandelier and stucco walls, says steakhouse. Other rooms are more gentrified, with carpeting, tablecloths, red-leather banquettes and brass Williamsburg-style chandeliers. ... The menu is extremely limited, even for a steakhouse. Steaks are not listed by cut, only as steak for one, two, three or four. It turns out that that steak is a porterhouse cooked precisely to order, flavorful, tender and the pick of the menu.
- "Restaurants". New York Times. April 23, 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
The main dining rooms have a Teutonic air, with exposed wooden beams, burnished oak wainscoting, brass chandeliers and weathered beer-hall tables. ... Choices are limited to broiled porterhouse steaks in portions serving one to four, thick double lamb chops, prime rib (an occasional special) and broiled fish.
- Our Story, Peter Lugers
- Bernardo, Leonard and Jennifer Weiss. Brooklyn by Name:How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges and More Got Their Names. New York. NYU Press:2006.
- Brooklyn by Name: How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges and More Got Their Names by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss. NYU Press: 2006. ISBN 0-8147-9946-9 pgs 27 – 28
- William Stadiem and Mara Gibbs Artisan (2007). Everybody Eats There: Inside The World's Legendary Restaurants. p. 28. ISBN 1-57965-322-7.
- Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2008. ISBN 0-15-101202-4. p. 286.
- Everybody Eats There: Inside The World's Legendary Restaurants by William Stadiem & Mara Gibbs Artisan: 2007. ISBN 1-57965-322-7. p. 28
- "Where the Steak Reigns Supreme". New York Times. May 11, 1986. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
The restaurant reopened about two months ago after having been shuttered for a year and a half following a fire.
- "Steakhouse Owner Sol Forman Dies At 98". New York Daily News. November 28, 2001. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
Sol Forman, who put the sizzle back in the landmark Peter Luger steakhouse, died last Thursday at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was 98.
- Neuman, William (2001-11-27). "PETER LUGER OWNER SOL FORMAN DIES". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
- Parker, Billy (July 9, 2009). "Ravitch Was Secretly Sworn In At Peter Luger's". Gothamist.
- Alan Richman (September 27, 2006). "Where's the Welcome? Peter Luger's Hostile Hash". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
The porterhouse steak can be ordered for two, three or four. Also available is a single steak and a small single steak. ... The burger, assembled from steak trimmings and chuck, can indeed be breathtaking, but it's available only at lunch.
- About.com review
- Fodor's review
- Frank Bruni (February 18, 2005). "Peter Luger's Burgers". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
Peter Luger does its burger only at lunch, which is why it's an easy burger to miss. For many of us, the beefy heft of Luger's fare, coupled with its location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, casts this steakhouse as a place for dinner and nothing else. But if you visit Luger before 3 p.m., you can indeed eat a burger here.
- "Peter Luger". Burger Weekly. Burger Weekly. June 12, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Peter Luger Steak House Old Fashioned Sauce (company website)
- Gary M. Stern (27 October 2015). "How Peter Luger Steak House gets away with no credit card policy". New York Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
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