Cuisine: In taking on the classic American steakhouse, chef Laurent Tourondel has Frenchified it, softening its edges and aiming to imbue it with more sophistication. Meals begin with a big Gruyère popover (he knows better than to tamper with the steakhouse belief that size trumps all), and continue with a Mason jar of chicken-liver pâté as silken as whipped butter and five times as intense. The plates of seafood and steak that follow are monstrous, and often monstrously rich, none more so than a five-ounce portion of Kobe beef.
Mood: Most nights, the room is a tastefully lit, leather-appointed stage for the important and those who long to get a glimpse of them, from media mavens to political power players. Cash is flashed, and the Bordeaux flows.
Best for: Those wanting to impress, be it a big date or an important client; curiosity seekers who have the fortitude to resist the sticker shock that comes with seeing a steak priced near three digits.
Best dishes: Grilled double-cut bacon, its insistent richness leavened a little by a condiment of chopped garlic and parsley; oysters on the half shell, cool and clean and smartly sourced; bone-in sirloin; double-cut rack of lamb; a marvelous crepe soufflé, which swells to the size of a giant turnover.
Insider tips: The best parts of the meal are the popovers and pâté, and they come free regardless of whether you order the most expensive slab of beef or a simple hanger steak.
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.