Right under the shadow of the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, an aircraft carrier docked on the Hudson River, The Penthouse Executive Club on Manhattan’s West Side occupies a windowless metallic looking warehouse shaped building. Approaching the main entrance gives you the feeling that this place is all business….a VIP club with red velvet roped valet parking and formally dressed bouncers/security guys flank the steps leading up to the doorway. Only now do you see the sign indicating this is an Executive Club. The dress code forbids shorts, sneakers, or t-shirts. Only after checking in your belongings and exploring a bit would you know that there’s a fine steakhouse upstairs.
On first consideration, you certainly wouldn’t make the trek down here for the meal alone. After all, Penthouse isn’t usually synonymous with sizzling porterhouse. And it’s abundantly clear from the hostesses and dancers that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and the brightly illuminated pictures on the wall showcasing feminine beauty, that it’s probably best you didn’t bring your wife or significant other. This is the domain of lap dances, strip tease, and ‘private rooms’. But if you’re here for this type of high class entertainment and get hungry, you’re in luck! Robert’s, up on the second level overlooking the dance floor and pole dancing stage, happens to be a highly regarded steakhouse serving up prime cuts to exacting specifications.
Chef Will Savarese dry ages large slabs of bone-in beef up to 3 and a half months in a room custom-built for controlling not only temperature and humidity but also airflow velocity, a key factor in producing better tasting meat. Savarese brushes the steaks with canola oil, broils them in a 1200 degree broiler with two decks, each a different temperature, searing them to a rich crusty char. My favorite is their charred filet mignon which has an unmistakable tanginess that accentuates and deepens the beef’s flavor. Little more than salt and pepper is added before serving. You can certainly visit Robert’s for something that’s young, fresh, and sits in your lap but don’t overlook the aged mature beauties that arrive on plates from the kitchen!