I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smith & Wollensky - How?

I thought I was going to puke, so I went to bed.

I figured that if I lay down, things would settle, and my gargantuan-yet-incredibly-unsatisfying meal at Smith & Wollensky would stay down.

I was correct. But then I bolted up at 2:30, and it's now 4:15 a.m., and I'm unable to sleep, because I just can't figure out how that restaurant stays open.

I have eaten there three times in the last five years. Not. Once. have I had a steak I've enjoyed.



Thank goodness I have wonderful groups of friends that always make the experience redeeming in some way - last night, everyone I was with kept me so busy with witty repartee, that I didn't register (at the time) just how godawful the food was.

Maybe I've ordered the wrong steak all three times - tonight I ordered what I thought was a New York Strip. I have no idea what I got, except it was fatty, and gristly, and was rife with confusing bones (including a section of short rib?), burned on the outside, and raw on the inside.

I ate about 20% of a $44.00 steak (which, granted, isn't the MOST money ever... but c'mon) because I was so fed-up with figuring out where the fat was, where the gristle was, where the bones weren't - basically, I had to work wayyyyyy too hard to delve into the thing. And I don't like having to work to eat. It's one of the reasons I don't eat crabs. That's a lie. I don't eat crabs because I think they taste like garbage.

Tonight, I had possibly the worst Bloody Mary of my life - almost undrinkable - which, to add insult to injury, came naked (ha!), with no celery or salty accoutrement - when I requested celery I was told they had no celery, but I could have olives.

Seriously? Smith & Wollensky doesn't carry celery?

How was I going to barf with fullness, you ask? I'm not really sure, actually. The two gin and tonics, and two Bloody Marys didn't help... and I did fill up on bread (the highlight of the meal) and onion rings and mashed potatoes... and creamed spinach... and my friend's Birthday cake...

The setting is ideal. Lovely, even. The setup of the restaurant is a pleasant hodge-podge of rooms and levels... it's comfy - but - how the hell does that place stay in business?

Every time I go there, I leave vowing to never, ever go back, because I feel both robbed and nauseated. The operating cost of such a big place must be enormous... but everyone I've talked to about it says, "Oh, yeah, Smith & Wollensky. I don't go there anymore," and for good reason.

I guess the only way they stay in business is because their Elysian Government Cut bar slings stiff drinks. After two, an unpalateable and unsatisfying ninety dollar meal seems less like a gargantuan waste of money, calories, and time, and more like a terrific idea. Crafty, Smith & Wollensky. But I'm not falling into your trap again.

Drink at Smith & Wollensky... eat a Joe's.