BEN & JACK’S STEAK HOUSE
ADDRESS: 219 E 44th Street, Between 2nd & 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017
PHONE: (212) 682-5678
OPENING DATE: July 11, 2005
OWNER: Harry Sinanaj, Ben Sinanaj, Russ Sinanaj, Jack Sinanaj
Background: Ben & Jack, long-time waiters of Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, have opened a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. We offer prime, dry aged porterhouse steaks and a dazzling assortment of steakhouse favorites. Our chef, also, comes from Peter Luger’s.
DESIGN & CONCEPT: Private dining rooms for all dining needs, including meetings and celebrations. The etched glass throughout the dining room, gives an antique, classic look.
SIGNATURE DISHES: Porterhouse steak, Chilean Sea bass, German potatoes, creamed spinach
PRICE POINT: $50 and over
PRICE RANGE: Lunch (entrees): $16.95 – $25.95
Dinner: Price Range: Appetizers: $2.50-$17.95. Entrees: $36.95-$151.80 (Steak for 4). Vegetables: $8.95. Desserts: $ 7.95-$8.95
Alcohol: Full bar. Excellent Wine List: 7 Wines By The Glass: $8.95. Bottles: $42-$1,895 (Chateau Petrus 1986).
BAR: Full-service sit-down bar. The 20-foot long custom-made
mahogany bar features an extensive selection of global wines
with a particular emphasis on California wines. A select
number of wines are available by the glass. In addition,
a premier selection of spirits, liquors, after-dinner drinks,
dessert wines, imported beers, and specialty cocktails such
as Ben & Jack’s Martini, are also available. The Lunch and
Dinner Menus are available at the bar.
BAR/LOUNGE: Cozy, intimate Bar/Lounge. The handsome
Bar/Lounge, located in the front of the restaurant,
is enhanced by a 20-foot long custom-made mahogany
bar, mahogany and leather bar stools, mahogany and
leather chairs, round mahogany tables, a large Austrian
crystal chandelier, and mood lighting to create an intimate
DESIGNER: Cesar Pelli
Mon: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Tues: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Wed: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Thurs: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Fri: 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sat: 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sun: 4:00PM – 10:30PM
CAPACITY: 250 people
Review By Nancy Walman
Ben & Jack’s Steak House, the sophisticated new midtown-Manhattan steakhouse, features the menus of talented chef Burim Bajrami, formerly at Peter Luger’s Steak House. The restaurant, which opened in August 2005, is owned by restaurateurs Ben and Russ Sinanaj, and their cousins Jack and Hari Sinanaj.
Ben & Jack’s Steak House’s handsome, expansive atmosphere recreates the charming ambiance of an Old World steakhouse. The ambiance reveals itself through an 18-foot high ceiling, mahogany and floral fabric-upholstered chairs, mahogany walls with large mirrors and wood colonnades, antique chandeliers, plush burgundy carpeting, frosted etched glass doors opening onto six separate private party rooms, mod lighting, and an eye-catching golden bull.
In addition, Ben & Jack’s Steak House features a cozy, intimate Bar/Lounge at the front of the restaurant. The handsome, sophisticated Bar/Lounge is enhanced by a 20-foot long custom-made mahogany bar, mahogany and leather chairs and tables, a large Austrian crystal chandelier, and mood lighting. A selection of specialty cocktails are available at the bar or in the Bar/Lounge.
The menu signatures offer such appetizers as Ben & Jack Salad: Shrimp, tomato, onion, bacon w/ Ben & Jack sauce; Shrimp, Crabmeat or Lobster Cocktail; Fresh Oysters or a fabulous Seafood Combination, combining Shrimp, Crabmeat and Lobster Cocktail bi-valves of your choice (the cocktail sauce is outstanding. The whole lobster is extraordinary and offers another option as a first course, when grilled and split in the kitchen.
Of course a steak house must excel in the meat and seafood departments and Ben & Jack’s does a superb job with standouts such as a 44oz Porterhouse Steak for 2 (also served for 3 or 4). Singles can opt for the 22oz Rib Eye Steak, which is fork tender, bursting with flavor and well marbled. Lamb Chops are huge, juicy and cooked to a turn. If you crave fish, try the Chilean Sea Bass or for something more substantial, the four pound lobster will blow you away. For the trendy crowd, you can ‘t beat the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna. Whatever you order, don’t miss the hearty German Potatoes, creamed spinach, terrific peas and onions or a combo of Cottage Fries and Fried Onion Rings.
While Ben and Jack’s offers the best assortment of bread in steak-house-land (especially the chewy onion rolls), save room for dessert. The “Holy Bull” Hot Fudge Sundae offers just the right mouth-feel and cooling temperature, without being too sweet, despite its abundance of homemade “Schlag”. Authentic German Apple Strudel is as good as your mom wished she made it. The wine list is extensive and spans the globe. Like everything else on the menu, don’t expect bargains, but rest assured: quality is there. Cocktails are massive and beautifully constructed; Service is a standout.
Ben & Jack’s has evolved into one of the best steakhouse’s in Manhattan. Be happy you no longer have to schlep to Brooklyn for a superior product accompanied by service and atmosphere that outclasses its sire. That’s A Major on the Walman Report.
Note: A Second Ben & Jack’s is in the works. We’ll keep you posted!
Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved
Sample Dinner Menu
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Maryland Crab Cake
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
Little Neck Clams on the half shell
Fresh Oysters on the half shell
(per person )
Sizzling Canadian Bacon
(extra thick by the slice)
Mixed Green Salad
Ben & Jack’s Salad for Two
Beefsteak Tomato & Onion
Fresh Mozzarella & Beefsteak
Tomatoes for Two
Choice of Dressing: House Vinaigrette,
Russian or Roquefort
Steaks & Chops
Porterhouse Steak for Two
Porterhouse Steak for Three
Porterhouse Steak for Four
Prime New York Sirloin Steak
Rib Eye Steak
Chilean Sea Bass
Grilled Norwegian Wild Salmon
Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna
4Lb. Jumbo Lobster
Broiled or Steamed
Jumbo Baked Potato
1/2 Cottage Fries & 1/2 Onion Rings
Asparagus – Steamed
Broccoli – Sauteed or Steamed
Fried Onion Rings
Peas and Onions
Ben & Jack’s Steak House BACKGROUND
Ben, Jack, Russ, and Hari Sinanaj, two sets of brothers who are also cousins, comment on opening Ben & Jack’s Steak House: “We are delighted to have opened Ben & Jack’s Steak House. All of us worked at Peter Luger’s Steak House in Brooklyn for many years. We always wanted to open our own steakhouse and provide personalized, hands-on attention to every aspect of our restaurant. We brought with us two other Peter Luger’s alumni, our executive chef Burim Bajrami and our maitre d’ Teddy Kempinski. We personally select our prime aged steaks. All of us work in the restaurant as waiters, bartenders, and hosts. We oversee every part of the dining experience from start to finish to ensure personal attention to every diner. We wanted to create a contemporary, sophisticated steakhouse with an Old World charm. Ben & Jack’s Steak House is the fulfillment of the American dream for us.”
Ben & Jack’s Steak House’s seasonal menus are sophisticated and creative, yet simple and earthy. Chef Burim Bajrami’s seasonal menus feature a choice selection of hand-picked prime aged steaks along with a variety of seafood specialties.
Burim comments: “Ben, Jack, Russ, Hari, and I personally select the prime aged steaks to ensure first-rate quality. In addition, I also prepare a variety of seafood specialties so that our customers can enjoy our steaks and seafood dishes.”
Restaurateurs Ben, Jack, Russ, and Hari, two sets of brothers who are also cousins, oversee the areas of wine, service, and ambiance. In addition, they work at the restaurant as waiters, bartenders, and hosts, providing personalized, family-style service and attention to all diners to ensure a memorable dining experience.
Ben, Jack, Russ, and Hari explain: “We have attempted to create a comfortable, family-style environment with friendly and attentive service – professional and unobtrusive yet warm and welcoming – treating each diner as an individual. We enjoy meeting, greeting, interacting, and waiting on our customers. Some of them we know very well from our Peter Luger’s days. We want our customers to come and relax. Most people like simplicity, consistency, and warm, comfortable surroundings. It is a pleasure providing this special hospitality.”
Ben & Jack’s Steak House features a superior selection of wines from around the world with a particular emphasis on California wines. The global wine list, created by Jack Sinanaj, changes seasonally. An impressive number of wines by the glass are also available.
Jack explains his philosophy of this seasonal global wine list: “Our global wine list offers an extensive selection of first-class wines. We work closely with both small and large-estate vineyards to create a unique selection of wines to complement Burim Bajrami’s menus. It is our belief that by removing an intimidating edge to the presentation, selection, and service of wine, our guests can relax, have fun, and become more familiar with the exciting variety of international wines.”
Ben & Jack’s Steak House has already become so popular that many customers have rented the restaurant and six lovely private party rooms for private parties, business events, and even weddings. Ben, Jack, Russ, and Hari work closely with their customers in creating customized special event menus and accommodations.
At Ben & Jack’s Steak House, the prices remain moderate. Lunch entrees range from $16.95 for the Hamburger up to $25.95 for the Small Sirloin Steak. Dinner entrees range from $29.95 for the Grilled Norwegian Salmon up to $36.95 for the Filet Mignon. The restaurant is open weekdays for lunch, and seven nights a week for dinner.
Ben, Jack, Russ, and Hari conclude: “Ben & Jack’s Steak House, first and foremost, celebrates the union of fine wine, food, service, and ambiance with Old World charm. Although we have created a sophisticated dining experience at Ben & Jack’s Steak House, we want our customers to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves as though they were in our own home. There is no attitude or pretense here.”
Ben & Jack’s Steak House, with its first-class menus created by Executive Chef Burim Bajrami, superior global wine list, charming Old World steakhouse setting, first-class service, and personalized family-style proprietorship, offers a memorable dining experience for all to enjoy.
Ben & Jack’s is a top-notch traditional steakhouse establishment. The family-owned operation of Jack, Russ and Ben Sinanaj may have gotten its feet wet at the famous Peter Luger, but it isn’t just another notch in the Luger alumna belt; they’ve got a technique, style and aesthetic that’s all their own- signature Ben & Jack’s, characterized by unique beef-aging techniques, simple and secret seasonings and charismatic American style.
Start off dinner with Jack’s Maryland Crab Cakes, made from a family recipe that rivals any coastline professionals’, or opt for Extra-Thick Cut Sizzling Canadian Bacon for decadence done right. Whether you decide upon Porterhouse, Ribeye, or one of the other traditional cuts, you’ll notice the quality that comes from the in-house aged meats and unsurpassed expert char. If you’ve dragged along a less carnivorous date, the 4 lb. Steamed Lobster or Grilled Norwegian Wild Salmon can do no wrong, and when topped off with some piping hot creamed spinach or herby German potatoes a meal needs nothing more than a good bottle of wine, which you’ll also easily find. With a spacious interior characterized by warm burgundy velvets and deep oak furnishings, you’ll settle into your own 1950’s Manhattan hideaway, although this toddler of a restaurant is fresher than the antiquated era it resembles.