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Ben & Jack's

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Ben & Jack's

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Address: 219 East 44th Street
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10017
Phone: (212) 682-5678
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Steakhouses
Area: East 40s
Entree Price: >$30



Better hide the steak knives. There's a steakhouse brawl going on and New Yorkers are eating it up. First, it was Wolfgang Zwiener, a 41-year veteran of Peter Luger's in Williamsburg, who bolted to open Wolfgang's. Now, two brothers, who also got their start at Luger's, have started up their own restaurant. Jack and Russ Sinanaj and their cousin, Ben Sinanaj, have opened Ben & Jack's Steakhouse on East 44th Street in the space that used to house Jimmy Sung's. Ben & Jack's fits the bill of a top-notch steakhouse. Dark wooden paneling and white linen table cloths greet you as you enter the main dining area, while side rooms offer private dining for movers and shakers. There's even a giant bull statue that may be a bit over the top. Prices may also be over the top, a least for some. Be prepared to shell out $36.97 or more for your favorite cut of beef, and $17.95 for a lump crab meat cocktail. So is Ben & Jack's worth it? In one word - YES! Ben and Jack apparently learned their trade very well. The New York Sirloin Steak was cooked to perfection. I mean savor-every-bite delicious. The inch-thick steak arrived on a still sizzling plate. The meat char-broiled to the point of being burned around the edges. Inside, the meat was pink and tender. No gravy needed. Just some of the natural juices poured on top. A large side of crispy onion rings were enough to complete the meal, or you can go for the house fries. If beef is not your bag, Ben & Jack's also serves up seafood, including grilled Norwegian salmon, Chilean sea bass and yellowfin tuna. Or, you can order one of their monster-sized lobsters. Even a trip to the bar is worth it, if just for a handful of their homemade potato chips. But Ben and Jack's isn't without controversy. We hear Peter Luger's is ticked off that the crest etched on the windows inside the dining room resembles its own. Meanwhile, Uncle Jack's Steakhouse is said to be upset with the use of the name "Jack." And the folks at Wolfgang's can't be none too happy that their maître d'hôtel, Ted Kempinski, jumped ship to join Ben & Jack's team. Kempinsky, "Teddy" to loyal followers, also worked at Luger's. How will this drama end? Maybe Ben Benson's will object to Ben's name being used. All I can say is enjoy it while you can. These restaurants are serving up some great steaks and you don't have to travel to Brooklyn to get 'em. And unlike Peter Luger's, you don't need cash!

Review By: Sam Sayegh