Old Homestead Steakhouse

Old Homestead

Old HomesteadI made a wee bit of an error with this place. I looked at the sign outside and the name and just kind of assumed the inside would match both. I imagined an old-school butcher block steakhouse all vintage and dusty in a good way. Tin ceilings, low lighting from formerly gaslit lamps and wood that looks like it has soaked up its share of Cuban cigar smoke and perhaps even suffered a tossing at the hands of a bareknuckled bar brawler named Bones McGillicutty or Big Bob Fitzsimmons. Turns out not so much. I’d call the decor late eighties bourgeois fat cat cigar chomper condominium chic. Or basically every kind of midtown expense account joint filled with lunchtime suits that expects every card to be a corporate one, but like darker and more claustrophobic. The whole thing was everything but grand, and disappointing if you’re looking, like I was, for a super old school experience. But who cares about ambience and surroundings, right? It’s all about the meat. And when it comes to that, meh. Yeah, meh. The onion soup was good. And the steak was, well, a steak. And this may be my lack of love for just a hunk of flesh without fanciness on a plate. I realize — only after hundreds of steaks — that I really like it when the thing comes sliced in a red wine sauce, or something that isn’t just a chunk of cow shoulder with a nice sear. I suppose, after being open for like a million years, this restaurant isn’t old so much as it is tired. Tired of pumping out grub day after day, tired of new businesses opening up that aren’t sequestered to an oddball upstairs space without windows that seems to lack an identity and tired of people like me writing shit like this that says you’re probably better off going to one of the many other steakhouses in the city that are more inspired and filled with life. [MF]

56 9th Ave.