Yesterday was boy 2's birthday and so he, I, the lovely wife, boy 1 and the in-laws piled into two cabs and headed to the East Side to the Palm Too to indulge boy 2 in his desire for cow flesh and potatoes. He had originally requested Peter Luger's, which I totally understand, but even Male Martha could not wrangle a reservation in Brooklyn the week before Christmas and I was not going to Great Neck on a weeknight. In fact, even before I write about the Palm's food, the fact that it is on the Island of Manhattan gives it an extra 1/2 star; especially during the week before Christmas. MM does not like traffic.
We were seated promptly for our 6:30 reservation. The room is noisy and boisterous, with autographed head shots of various celebrities (we ate next to Billy Jean King and Chris Everett!) as well as the famous Palm caricatures. Our server was nice enough, but clearly had served one to many steaks in his life. Given the size of the food, we opted out of the appetizers. We had three different kinds of steak: the strip, the rib eye and (a special that night) the porterhouse. The in-laws split a monster lobster. As sides, we had the cottage fries, the onions, regular french fries and creamed spinach. Dessert included chocolate cake and carrot cake.
The bottom line: its still not Luger's but its not bad. Much better than Wolfgang's, and more fun than Smith and Wollensky. The Strip, which is their specialty, was clearly the best steak, although the rib eye wasn't bad. I would avoid the porterhouse in the future. The lobster was fine, and physically imposing, but I am still a believer in turf over surf. The onions and cottage fries are both avoidable, the french fries are good and the spinach superb. The potato was the idea of boy 1, and was as good as a $7 baked potato can be. As in most other steak places, I would not go for the dessert, although many liked the carrot cake. One other weak point is that they do not have their own steak sauce, but rather Heinz Ketchup and A1 Sauce. And while its not Luger's, it only takes 20 minutes to get home and take a Pepcid after you are done.
You can easilly take carnivores over the age of 7 without a problem. I noticed a lot of strollers with tiny babies at the place, but no one between 6 months and boy 2 was to be seen. And thats probably for the best.
One other cool thing: you can book the Palm restaruants on line: we did this and it worked!