Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House Restaurant ReviewJanuary 3, 2012 - by Richard Jay Scholem
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House is a place of glamour, excitement, red meat, and much more. It pulsates with the rhythm and energy of Midtown. Its soaring, two-story-high windows offer a spectacular view of Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and the parade of pedestrians along Sixth Avenue. Broadway’s theaters are just a block or two away.
Inside, it’s an imposing palace of high ceilings, winding staircases, balconies, woody columns, a back-lighted bar, wall decorations, massive art pieces, and wine cellars that offer diners over 2,000 selections from a stock of nearly 30,000 bottles. And it’s the ultimate choice for impressing a client or celebrating a special occasion.
Known for its award-winning wine program, Del Frisco’s offers guests the chance to embark on a private, one-on-one wine education class to learn about a range of wine topics firsthand from one of Del Frisco’s expert sommeliers. Guests can spend the afternoon tasting pours handpicked from Del Frisco’s coveted wine list along with small bites expertly paired with each by Executive Chef Brian Christman. Provided with a wide variety of wine education topics to choose from, including Old World vs. New World, Deconstructing Bordeaux, Lesser-Known Sparkling Wine Regions, etc., guests can curate a personalized experience based on level and interest ($275 for a two-hour session).
For spirits aficionados, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House New York offers a rare experience with pours of exclusive Armagnac bottles served tableside with the same pipette used at Remy Martin’s distillery. Spirits expert and sommelier Josh Stanko launched this tableside experience featuring a variety of hand-picked blends and vintages of some of the most exclusive bottles of Armagnac found in America, including Louis XIII Rare Cask (one of only two in NYC) and Pappy Van Winkle. Tableside pours of Louis XIII Rare Cask are available to guests for $1,395 an ounce or $2,790 for two ounces. Guests are also able to drink their birth year with a selection of Château De Laubade vintages ranging from 1967 to 1982. Additional vintages as old as 1893 are available for purchase when hosting events in any of Del Frisco’s five private dining rooms.
The menu tells much of the restaurant’s story: Its fresh, not frozen, USDA aged prime beef is shipped to Del Frisco’s from the Midwest daily. Its warm loaves of bread are baked daily, and all its salad dressings and desserts are made in house.
Del Frisco’s isn’t about red meat alone. Lobster, fish, lamb, and veal chops receive equal billing, but it’s about the best in basic, understandable food: shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, Caesar salad, and meat and potatoes (prepared four ways).
Steaks are boldly seasoned with salt and pepper and sport an agreeably charred surface. Guests are asked to cut into the center of their steaks before eating them to ensure they are done as ordered. My 24-ounce porterhouse was the medium-rare, mineral-flavored beauty I anticipated as was my wife’s two towering, juicy, eight-ounce lamb chops. A pristine Chilean Sea Bass, kissed by a sundried tomato and leeks sauce, was an appropriate pick for delicate eaters while a 22-ounce portion of rich, broiled Australian lobster tails certainly wasn’t too much of a good thing. The spinach supreme, the mother of all creamed spinach, and an order of king-sized onion rings were all the side dishes needed by four hungry diners.
Consider the heft of the entrées when ordering appetizers and target the lighter choices: no-filler crab cakes napped in lobster sauce; super fresh, briny oysters on the half shell; and shrimp any which way.
Full or not, order dessert, even if two or more share one. Select the luxuriant swirl of strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and Grand Marnier in the Strawberry Romanoff; the decadent, banana bread pudding; and especially the huge wedge of exemplary six-layer lemon cake. It, like Del Frisco’s itself, is a wow!
1221 Sixth Ave. at 49th St., 212-575-5129; www.delfriscos.com
Richard Jay Scholem was a restaurant critic for the New York Times Long Island Section for 14 years. His A La Carte Column appeared from 1990 to 2004. For more “Taste of the Town” reviews, click here.