Written by Marilyn Hansen with M.J. Boyer

Past Reviews

Gallagher's Steal HouseGallagher's Steak House, 228 West 52nd Street, (212) 245-5336, is one of New York's venerable steakhouses.

Gallagher's was the creation of Helen Gallagher, a former Ziegfeld Follies dancer who billed Gallagher's as "the speakeasy that served steaks," when she opened it in 1927. Then when Prohibition came to an end six years later, the resourceful Mrs. Gallagher repositioned Gallagher's as "the steakhouse that served drinks."

Now in its 71st year, Gallagher's is truly a steakhouse to be reckoned with. Step inside and see the rows of U.S.D.A. prime beef dry-aging in the windowed 36F cooler. The grand circular bar will catch your eye along with the dark, wood-paneled walls lined with portraits of sport and movie stars.

The menu is ala carte; there is no prix-fixe. To start, best bets are blue point oysters-6 ($8.95), tender chunky chopped chicken livers with chopped onion and tomato on the side ($7.75). Gallagher's believes in soup: vichyssoise, gazpacho, onion and oxtail are always on the menu, $4.25-$4.50 for a generous bowl. A salad might strike your fancy; choose from spinach ($5.95), caesar ($6.25), mixed green ($5.25), watercress ($5.85). All steaks are broiled to your order over hickory logs. Choose one of our two favorites, the sirloin steak ($31.50) or filet mignon steak ($30.75). There's an excellent roast prime ribs of beef ($29.95), also salmon steak ($26.50), half chicken ($14.95) and Maine lobster (1-1/2 lbs $26.00-3 lbs, $49.00).

Sides are individually priced, hash brown potatoes at $4.95, jumbo asparagus at $6.50, spinach, creamed or plain at $5.50. There is a well-balanced, but not extensive, wine list. Best selection is American reds. Wines are available by the glass from $6.00 to $12.00.

Room for dessert? The creamy cheesecake ($5.50) and the chocolate mousse cake are recommended, as well as the "variety" of fresh fruit ($6.25). Gallagher's Irish Coffee ($5.95) -- great! There is a large selection of after dinner drinks, cognac, armagnac, brandy, single malts, liqueurs, ports plus a complete roster of Irish whiskey.

Hours: Gallagher's is open 365 days of the year from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Credit Cards: All major.
Dress: casual
Wheelchair Accessibility: Side door entrance.
Smoking: Yes, smoking area.
Price: $$$
Parking: On West 52nd Street between Seventh Avenue and Broadway.
Spotlight: Open 365 days of the year and a great place to spend St. Patrick's Day!!

Victor's CafeVictor's Café, 236 West 52nd Street, (212) 586-7714, is an upbeat Cuban restaurant serving authentic Cuban cuisine since 1963.

The attractive front dining room with a pastel sponge painted brick wall, large comfortable banquettes, tile floors, tropical plants and the spacious, rear showy rear patio room with vibrant murals and an airy skylight transports you to the Caribbean clime.

Meeting for cocktails? Enjoy Victor's well-made drinks, presented in generous glasses ($6.50). For a group, the assortment of appetizers with salsas is an entertaining way to begin your meal. Everything is ala carte; there is no prix fixe. Other recommended appetizers are smoked ham croquettes with Lulu's savory sauce ($5.00), shrimp in plantain cups - spicy shrimp in a peanut coconut sauce ($9.00), avocado and pineapple salad with mango and Seville orange vinaigrette ($7.00).

The menu continues with Cuban specialties: recommended entrees are: ropa vieja - "old clothes" - shredded skirt steak braised in a garlicky sauce of fresh tomatoes, sliced onions and green peppers served with rice and black beans ($16.00), pollo en manque-boneless chicken breast in a tangy citrus adobo topped with a blanket of finally chopped watercress, avocado, tomatoes and scallions ($18.00), suckling pig with cassava, garlic sauce, ($17.00), classic arroz con pollo, the well-known rice and chicken "casserole", cooked with beer, mediterranean herbs and spices ($16.00).

There is a well-priced wine list with many Chilean and Spanish selections. Beer, naturally, including the Cuban favorite Hatuey.

The traditional flan is our choice for dessert. Try coffee with Spanish brandy, carajillo, delicious! Also famous Cuban Partagas cigars.

Hours: Victor's Café is open every day for lunch and dinner from 12:00 p.m.- 12:00 a.m ., Friday and Saturday until 1:00 a.m.
Credit cards: American Express, Diners, Mastercard, Visa, Transmedia.
Dress: Casual.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Restrooms downstairs.
Smoking: At the bar.
Price: $$
Parking: Victor's will validate your parking ticket for a 20% discount at parking garage directly across the street from the restaurant on West 52nd Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.
Spotlight: Authentic, festive atmosphere. Piano music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

The Restaurant Revue Ratings

The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.

$ Inexpensive $25
$$ Moderate $50
$$$ Expensive $100
$$$$ Very Expensive $150

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