Sparks Steak House

09. July 2003 American, Midtown 0

210 East 46th Street between Second and Third
$200 for two, with a bottle of wine, without tip
♥ ♥ ♥

My older brother lives in Manila and whenever he visits New York City, he has one request: eat a nice slab of steak at Sparks Steak House. When mafia boss Paul Castellano and mobster Thomas Bilotti were gunned down in front of the restaurant in 1985 under the orders of John Gotti, it forever put it on the map as one of New York City’s institutions. It’s less violent today because the crowd is mostly made up of the younger finance bunch who want to splurge before signing a business deal, but commoners like me can still enjoy a juicy sirloin steak with a bold glass of red wine.

Avoid peak dinner times and reserve a table for 9pm or later, especially on weekends, because you’ll spend less money at the bar while you wait. (We once waited an hour drinking at the bar even with an 8pm table.) You might not be related to any one in the Gambino family, but you’ll feel like royalty after you treat yourself to one of the Ceetta Brothers’ cuts of meat.