I hate to break the news, but the local dining scene is more about beef than about Japanese-French fusion. This was true even before the Atkins craze, and mad cow fear has not made a dent. Every steak joint in town is packed.
No wonder every chef wants a beefery to his name, from Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Time Warner Center to former Cello seafood wizard Laurent Tourondel on East 57th Street.
The latest to irk Manhattan's edamame-eating legions is Uncle Jack's, spawn of the popular Bayside original that's one of Mayor Bloomberg's favorites. For a man of refined taste who last week was extolling the great global architects, his surf-and-turf fixation has me stumped.
Bloomberg has already dropped into the new Uncle Jack's, and he isn't alone. On the coldest nights since the woolly mammoth era, people are trudging to bleak Ninth Avenue for an ordinary meal that can easily top $100 a head with a bottle of modest wine, tax and tip.
. . . Like just about every other place, Uncle Jack's guarantees USDA prime meat and dry aging. You won't go wrong with the house pride, a 48-ounce cut of porterhouse ($79 for two only) - crusted, richly marbled and deftly sliced off the bone by the crew. The serving plate is tilted to form an impressive pool of juice.
Nothing else was in the same league. Uneventful rack of lamb ($35) was a chore: You must slice the ribs apart yourself, and you'll make a mess. Pork chops ($37) the waiter said were "marinated 24 hours in Jack Daniel's" did not intoxicate, lacking seasoning or moisture.