Famed Steakhouse Gets Brutal Zero-Star Review From NYT

Nothing beats cutting into a juicy, perfectly seared steak, but try cooking one at home and chances are you'll make a mistake. But if you were hoping you could just treat yourself to an indulgent meal at Peter Luger Steakhouse in New York and get that perfect beef experience, think again — this Brooklyn legend recently received a zero-star review from The New York Times

Restaurant reviewer Pete Wells recently gave an updated review of the restaurant, which was last reviewed by Frank Bruni in 2007 when it earned two stars. But the steakhouse seems to have fallen off track since the last review, and Wells was unimpressed by everything it had to offer when dining there, from the service to the food itself. 

Why Peter Luger Steakhouse got zero stars

One of Wells' main complaints about Peter Luger is that the standards of service have fallen. For such an upscale — and pricey — restaurant, you expect the finest service, but now, Wells says, "Diners who walk in the door eager to hand over literal piles of money aren't greeted; they're processed," bemoaning the lack of courteousness in the waitstaff, the long waits that are common with or without reservations, and the process of dining at the bar, which is unnecessarily convoluted. 

Though the steakhouse has modernized in some ways, now accepting credit cards and reservations, for instance, Wells doesn't seem impressed by these new advancements. That's because, at the end of the day the meal comes down to the food, and it was the quality of the food — or lack thereof — that was the main force behind the zero-star review. 

Is the food at Peter Luger Steakhouse actually good?

According to Wells, even the food at Peter Luger has fallen off from its glory days. 

Former favorite dishes like the German potatoes, once golden and crisp, are now mushy and sometimes served cold; the sole was dry and "almost powdery;" the Caesar salad soggy with croutons "straight out of a bag" and a topping of "white and rubbery" grated cheese.

Even the meats seem off. Not only are the burgers and steaks not cooked properly, but Wells says that the steaks at Luger, while tender and marbled, lack in flavor, and that their dry-aging process only seems to improve tenderness, not umami. 

"You start to wonder who really needs to go to Peter Luger, and start to think the answer is nobody," Wells decides. Some say it's for the atmosphere and the history, but when you can't count on good food, good wine, or good service, why bother spending any money there at all?