Posted May 10, 2023

We had yet another show to catch, so we decided to look around the Bryant Park area. I stumbled onto Charlie Palmer, and it had been on my list of steak places to try. What was nice about this place specifically is they offered a 2-course pre-theatre menu for $49 which included a starter and entree. If you wanted dessert, you would have to pay an additional $10. Lucky for us, we weren’t that hungry, so a 2-course meal sounded fine for us. The waiter mentioned that the portion size for either course was the same as if you ordered in peak hours.

Ambiance & Service

The ambiance is really not much different than other steak places in the area such as Del Frisco or Oceans. It has that luxury feel where you know that it’s also serving as a clientele hot spot for business deals or after work get togethers.

The service was pretty fast, as we were seated and out in less than an hour easily. It lends itself perfectly to a dine & dash.


The complimentary bread came with 3 different types of butters. The bottom was just regular butter with some salt on top. I remember that the middle red one was described as a buffalo butter in that it had a little kick to it with some peppery vinegary flavors. The top was some butter with something in it, which I ended up liking the least of the 3.

The Pineapple Mojito ($18) came with rum, pineapple purée, mint syrup, and lime. It was mixed pretty well, albeit as usual it was perfectly sweet to my partner’s palette.

The Pinot Noir ($21) came from Limestone, Russian River Valley, California, 2018. This was medium body, neutral, smooth, and has a small funk to it. The first time I had wine from this region came from Napa Rose in California. I remember enjoying it much, so I wanted to try another vineyard. I was pleasantly surprised how it matched my steak well.

The Caesar Salad was a starter and came with romaine lettuce, sourdough crumble, and pecorino. There was nothing standout of this salad, but overall, it was refreshing and crisp. The dressing was just the right amount for me, and I tend to prefer my salads lightly dressed.

The East Coast Oysters was a starter and came with 4 oysters along with champagne mignonette. The oysters tasted great in that they weren’t too salty. My guess is they were probably blue point oysters.

The Steak Frites came with au poivre sauce and crispy fries. The steak was cooked a perfect medium rare, and the fries were cooked crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. The fries tasted like they were fried in some type of oil (I’m guessing lard or leftover oil), so there was some back taste to it that bothered my partner a little. For me, it was fine.

Final Verdict

Charlie Palmer, overall, tasted pretty good to me for its steak offerings. If you happen to desire a pre-theater menu, they are definitely a good option to consider especially for the value. I would love to come back to try their proper steak options, so I can compare it to the rest of the Midtown steak places.

Yelp Jabs

I would probably not recommend this place for a date as it’s quite conservative and not really a “fun and hip” place.

Despite what this Elitist says, it definitely can be a “date” place, especially if you want to have a more semi-formal dinner.

The price for drinks are definitely on the pricier side and it is not worth it. Soda should not be more than $4-$5 dollars at a steakhouse. Manhattan is $18 for like 2 sips. For this reason, it already made Charlie Palmer disappointing compared to other steakhouse.

I would say that the cocktail prices here are about comparable depending what you order. I’ve been to other steakhouses where their Manhattans taste like a bad mix ratio and was flat out unenjoyable. Assuming this Elitist actually enjoyed the taste of their drink, that’s really what you’re paying for. I know I would pay a little more for a different, balanced Manhattan than something that follows traditional ratios.


  1. May 10, 2023 - Initial revision.