On the corner of Broad and Exchange stands a big, hulking, banklike building that is, lo and behold, the latest outpost of a revered steakhouse chain known as Bobby Van’s. Walk up a few stairs past the smokers taking a break, and you’ll enter a high-ceilinged bar area filled with men and women in boardroom attire. Despite the serious clientele, Wall Street location and high prices for wine and meat, this restaurant has a casual air. The waiters are friendly, even chatty: One lanky fellow cracked jokes under his breath throughout the night. If you like, you can sit at one of the 20 or so seats near the bar area or ask for a table in the back, where larger groups tend to congregate. In addition to run-of-the-mill shrimp and so-so mozzarella-and-tomato, appetizers include escargot, sesame tuna, beef carpaccio and eight types of salad. If you can’t decide which of 13 sides to order, ask for the combo of cottage fries, zucchini and onion rings—a heaping mound of greasy, soggy fried foods (a half order is plenty for two people). Steak lovers can feast on sirloin, filet mignon, rib eye and, of course, the porterhouse, which costs $41 per person—a standard fee these days. The one we sampled arrived neither piping hot nor sizzling and seemed to be inconsistently cooked: The outside was charred as requested, but the inside was rare (not medium-rare), and the rest of the meat was cooked somewhere in between rare and well done; perhaps it sat too long before being served. Seafood lovers will appreciate the fishier options: sea bass, lobster, tuna, crab cakes, scallops, shrimp and filet of sole. The wine list does not pretend to be fantastically large, but it is reasonably diverse and includes categories for American varietals as well as bottles from Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, Italy, Chile, Spain and Australia. We sampled the least expensive bordeaux, a $25 bottle of Château Moulin de Lagnet, St. Emilion, and found it to be just fine, though we wish there were more options under $40. Desserts seem like an afterthought, but the cheesecake ain’t bad. Chances are, you won’t have room for it anyway.
Bobby Van's Steakhouse
|Venue name:||Bobby Van's Steakhouse||Contact:|
25 Broad St
|Cross street:||at Exchange Pl|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 11:30am–10pm, Sat 5–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 2, 3 to Wall St|
|Price:||Average main course: $35. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|