2006_03_luger.jpgThe Grey Lady is paying a return visit to Peter Luger Steak House in tomorrow's dining section. This New York institution was last reviewed by Ruth Reichl, who awarded it a hefty three stars, proclaiming it "the best steak in New York City." Her description of the Luger experience is almost pornographic:

You know the steak is great before you even taste it. You know it from the fine, funky, mineral aroma that wafts across the table and announces that this is a piece of meat. When the waiter appears with the platter, he stands there spooning a mixture of butter and meat juices across the sizzling porterhouse in an exercise of pure theater. He is merely prolonging the moment, allowing the aroma to revive all your primal instincts as he stretches out the time until you can actually sink your teeth into the flesh. Finally he serves, slowly doling out slices of fillet and sirloin. As your mouth closes on the incredibly tender piece of beef, aroma and flavor come together, exploding on the palate.

Has it stayed three-star worthy since 1995, over a full decade ago? Tune in tomorrow, and we'll see what Mr. Bruni has to say. We're curious - how many stars do you think Peter Luger should get?

178 Broadway, near Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 387-7400.

Photo of steak at Peter Luger by Tien Mao