The One Group’s STK Midtown is one of those restaurants that’s just about impossible to leave without a smile on your face. From the service to the music to the food, it clearly has one mission: to put you in a jolly mood.
I had the opportunity to dine there recently at the invitation of the restaurant, and walking into the spacious room felt like making a grand entrance at a hopping party. You need to walk through the expansive bar area to get to the dining room, and the high vaulted ceilings, reminiscent of JFK’s masterpiece mid-century TWA Terminal, help frame the party below.
From our large round table, we were able to take in a whole lot of stimuli: a DJ spinning an eclectic mix of fun songs from the ‘70s through the ‘90s, the servers occasionally dancing along if they felt so inspired, the bustling scene at the bar area. But once the food arrived, all that faded into the background. Because at its core, STK knows that it all comes down to the food, and the food is good.
Appetizers include playful (yet delicious) items like foie gras French toast and “Shrimp Rice Krispies,” which crackle as lobster bisque is poured over it. There are also ample raw bar selections, and steaks are smartly separated into Small, Medium, and Large sections. For example, a “Small” dish would be a six-ounce filet, “Medium” a 16-ounce sirloin, and “Large” a 32-ounce Porter House, hopefully meant to be shared. The dedication to quality also extends to an offering you don’t see too often: real Japanese A5 Kobe beef, essentially the highest-quality beef on the planet, which you can sample for about $35 per ounce (above). If you’re not in the mood for steak there’s also organic half chicken, grilled rack of lamb, spiced big eye tuna, broiled Maine lobster, and wild striped bass. For dessert, they recently served “Drunkin Donuts” filled with raspberry Chambord jelly and topped with a rum glaze that were out of this world, and the “Birthday Cake,” an almond torte topped with cookies and cream ice cream and vanilla rum butter cream, which should definitely not be reserved just for those celebrating a birthday.
STK Midtown very well might be one of the best places to take a date in the entire city. The tables are far apart enough (and the music is loud enough) so that nobody can hear your conversation, there’s really something for everyone on the menu, there’s a general atmosphere of lively fun, and if you want to keep it going you can just move to a spot in the bar area — which you’ll definitely be tempted to do, since once you join the party, you’ll want to stick around for a while.