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Restaurants & Hotels, New York City 2014

Peter Luger Steak House - 178 Broadway (at Driggs Ave.), Brooklyn, NY

Venerated Peter Luger resides in an expensive space reminiscent of old New York and early German ale houses - an endless line of visitors only service to reiterate how special a place this truly is. Add to that a series of imposing pane windows, wood-paneled walls, and decorative old steins, and find yourself utterly smitten.

Begin with a thrillingly fresh and full-flavored shrimp cocktail in a rich tomato-based dressing; or smoky bacon slabs, crisp on the outside and nearly sweet on the side. But, what really leaves diners speechless is that delightfully succulent Porterhouse for two, three, or four. These plates of beautifully naked meat seem simple but their marbling is a thing of complexity and perfection, sizzling in drippings. The wedge salad sets a new standard; it is an enormous slice of iceberg with chopped tomato, their own bacon, blue cheese dressing and crumbles. The feast is complete only when sanctified by crispy French fries and creamed spinach. The properly prepped servers are cordial, yet informal and never chatty.

A thick hunk of New York cheesecake, creamy, rich tart, and served with a mountain of schlag, is every bit as classic and marvelous as one may imagine.