Sparks

Restaurants, Steakhouse Midtown East
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
Sparks Steakhouse
Photograph: Lauren Foy Sparks Steakhouse

Sparks used to be a mob hangout. Now it’s just mobbed. Even with a reservation, you may have to wait for an hour at the cramped bar. It’s worth it: The signature sirloin is a lean 16-ounce prime hunk with a salty, lightly charred exterior. Savory beef scaloppine and steak fromage (filet mignon topped with Roquefort) are also outstanding. When your fork slides through a velvety wedge of chocolate mousse cake, you’ll feel sorry for Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano, who was famously whacked as he approached the entrance in 1985: He died before enjoying his last good meal.

Posted:

Venue name: Sparks
Contact:
Address: 210 E 46th St
New York
10017
Cross street: between Second and Third Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–11pm; Sat 11am–11:30pm
Transport: Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central
Price: Average main course: $45. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
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tastemaker

Sparks is something of a New York institution, having been around since 1966. It features on almost every list of best steak house in New York and I don't imagine it's changed much in the last 50 years. It feels like an old school mobster hang out, with regulars pressing crisp notes into the maitre d’ as they are led to their usual table.

The dining room is cavernous and dark and every inch of wall space is filled with art work. Service is formal. Waiters serve like they are doing you a favour. Smiling,it appears, is optional, an option no one exercises. I am determined to break our waiter.

We skipped starters and went straight to mains and thank god we did. I never thought I'd hear JK utter these words, but even he thought we should have shared a steak between us. Steaks are served one size, huge, I'd guess my steak was about 800 or 900 grams.

I went for the filet mignon and James the prime sirloin. We added broccoli, creamed spinach and hash brown potatoes, we probably didn't need to.

The wine list is extensive, expensive and, if you don't know your wines, pretty intimidating. So you can imagine my delight at seeing a Luigi Bosca Malbec on the list and one of the cheapest wines listed. I say a thank you in my head to Matilda for introducing it to me.

The wine arrived and was poured without emotion but it was excellent. Our steaks arrived and were stunning. Beautifully cooked, the outside was charred and caramelised to perfection. The meat was sweet, succulent, intensely flavoured. Worth noting are the hash brown potatoes, little bashed cubes of potatoes fried until golden and crispy, extremely moreish.

And then, to complete the night, our waiter came to pour us more wine, he said he was sorry he had rushed earlier when I'd asked him a question, it was a busy night, and then, then it happened, he smiled, a real smile. It stayed in place the rest of the night, only at our table but nonetheless. My work here was done.

Sparks isn't a cheap option, with service our bill came to around $210. I'd highly recommend sharing a steak, you’ll still eat too much meat and at least this way you might be able to walk it off.