Sam Sifton Bans Toddlers From Peter Luger

Peter Luger, New York’s gold standard for steakhouses, served its first porterhouse in 1887. It’s been a fixture  on Williamsburg’s south side forever (predating even the trucker hat). It’s grander than just a restaurant: It’s an institution.

But if you’re a dad looking to take mom and the tots out for some supper? Try another prime cut joint, says New York Times dining critic Sam Sifton. In his dining Q&A column today he whipped out a steak knife and more or less eviscerated any diner who’d dare try it.

I want to be perfectly clear about something before moving along to answer this question: Peter Luger is not a casual restaurant. It is true that you can go there for dinner and see people dining in Giants jerseys and mom jeans, as if the dining room were an airport gate filled with Americans waiting for a delayed flight to Las Vegas. But these people are to be derided and have done much to drag the restaurant down. Peter Luger at its best is a meat church, a restaurant to attend in suit and tie or cocktail wear, the sort of place where maybe you can’t get a reservation on the phone, but where you can always get a table with the help of a firm handshake and perhaps some understanding at the door. Children shouldn’t be in there until they’re 10, at least.

As snotty as this may seem, kids in restaurants are almost always annoyances and pests, so we’ll begrudgingly permit this elitism. Also: the phrase “meat church” in The Times.

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Sam Sifton Bans Toddlers From Peter Luger