Porterhouse for two at Wayne Steakhouse
I prefer Peter Luger's style of cooking/aging steak over any other. You can keep Sparks, Ben Benson's, The Palm, and all of the rest. When I want a steak dinner, I want a Peter Luger steak dinner. Or, at least a steak dinner at one of the many Peter Luger clones that have been popping up over the past 8 years or so.
First was Wolfgang's. You remember the story. The maitre d' from Luger ventured out on his own, basically taking the menu (and probably some trade secrets) with him. The results were stellar. I could now get my Luger fix on Park Ave in midtown Manhattan, instead of having to cross over one of those bridges over there. Not long after that, Ben & Jack (musical website alert) pulled the same move, much to my pleasure. Each of those restaurants has since expanded into multiple locations, spreading that Luger love. And so on with a few others.
A few years back, someone else defected from Luger and helped open Cliff's Steakhouse right here in New Jersey. It wasn't as good as the original, or the NYC clones, but it was nice to have an option for that style of steak near home.
Last year, yet another Luger clone opened in New Jersey, this time in Wayne, with some functional outdoor seating I should add. Wayne Steakhouse indeed boasts a very Luger-like menu, USDA Prime dry-aged steak, and cooks those steaks in a similar style. Is it as good as its NYC cousins? Not quite. Is it completely acceptable and even a bit exceptional? I think so.
While missing some of that flavor profile, the steaks at Wayne Steakhouse have been pretty good to very good. That Luger cooking style that I note is in full force here: charred, served on a hot platter, sliced, with that butter sauce.
The porterhouse for two isn't inexpensive, although its price is in line with other top New Jersey Steakhouses. It'll set you back about 80 bucks. However, it does come with a salad of mixed greens and blue cheese (not enough blue for me), and a side of onion rings, which we all enjoyed. Other sides are a la carte, and include the usual suspects: creamed spinach (which is made without cream), german potatoes (a favorite of mine, and done well here), broccoli, sauteed spinach, and so on.
While you won't get out of here for the price of a trip to Lonestar Steakhouse, if you're someone who enjoys wine or beer with dinner, you'll enjoy that it's BYOB. At about 65 dollars per person, plus your wine, it's not outrageous, considering the level of the food.
Service is eager and friendly, although those darned Yelpers get upset when there's any confusion whatsoever. Sure, you might have two people bring you menus, and several people bringing your food, but really. Come on. Who cares.
I think most people who enjoy Luger will enjoy Wayne Steakhouse, as long as they're not expecting an exact copy of Luger. If you temper your expectations, you'll likely find that you had a pretty damned good Luger-ish steak dinner for not all that much money.
Did I mention the bacon? Yes, they have that Luger bacon, and it seems to be the exact same product. A nice way to start the meal.
Wayne Steakhouse: Zagat rated
Wayne Steakhouse : 2230 Hamburg Turnpike : Wayne, NJ : 973.616.0047 : BYOB