You go to any steakhouse expecting to be treated like a royal, fully prepared to brace for impact when the steam from the sizzling tableside steak hits your face.
The newest steakhouse on the scene definitely lives up to expectations.
Several of the wait staff from Wolfgang’s Tribeca have joined Strip House Downtown’s General Manager Alfred Cetaj in migrating uptown to open Royal 35 Steakhouse, a brand new restaurant that boasts a walk-in meat locker purposely placed right before the main dining room for all diners to see.
The purpose of its placement, according to management, is to “stress the importance of their quality of meat and unique dry aging process.” At eight feet tall and over five feet deep, it houses 2,000 pounds of short loins and 500 pounds of ribeye at any given time. All of their beef is dry-aged there for 35 days using Pink Himalayan sea salt blocks, a method intended to ensure a more tender and flavorful piece of meat.
The 5,000 square foot restaurant offers steaks ranging from an 8 oz. filet to a 76 oz. steak for four, all cooked in an 1800 degree broiler and presented sizzling at the table.
It also features legendary head bartender, Sherif Nezaj, who has been bartending and operating restaurants in New York City for almost 50 years. Nezaj started bartending at the famed Mamaleones in 1969 where he served regulars like Frank Sinatra and Joe Namath. From there, he bartended at the notorious Sparks Steakhouse from 1979-1984, leaving just two weeks before gangster Paul Castellano was whacked. Nezaj left to open Il Monello Restaurant, an upper east side Italian favorite, which he managed and owned for 22 years. Following the close of Il Monello, Nezaj went back to the steakhouse world where he was head bartender at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse for the last six years. Now he joins the Royal 35 team behind the bar full-time.
So does the aging technique really affect the meat, or is it one of those fancy allures meant to draw in the curious?
Let’s put it this way: what little leftovers we had didn’t last very long.