The Metropolitan Grill

tl;dr: You can’t go wrong ordering anything on the lunch menu at The Met. Order a side of fries if your dish doesn’t come with them, or steal some from your lunch date.

Some restaurants seem obvious in what they’re trying to achieve. The Metropolitan Grill is very clearly a high-end steakhouse. Important people dine here, and the classics are done well. No one needs to be told this, because it’s made obvious by the heated valet stand, the case of raw steaks in the entryway, the high-backed booths and the wood paneling everywhere you turn. When you walk in, you know you’re about to get treated to old-timey service by a guy in a white jacket. What most people don’t know is that The Met serves lunch, and that’s where the value is.

The Met’s lunch menu is a study in opulence. For less than $20, you can experience all the perks of dinner service while digging into a sandwich that seems hilariously out of place. The lunch options offered by The Met are all of the heavy, rich variety, and they’re all wonderfully sloppy.

Whenever I go to The Met for lunch, the menu taunts me. I have a favorite that I always order, and I always regret not choosing from the spectacular specials menu. That is, until my sandwich comes. The New York steak sandwich is an entire New York steak grilled and absolutely smothered with mushrooms, onions, and a pan sauce that can only be described as luscious. The whole thing is served open-faced on a giant roll, covered in provolone. Knife and fork is the only possible way to tackle this sandwich.

And the fries. It sounds silly to wax and wane over a pile of potatoes when a steak is sitting right next to them, but The Met’s fries are hands down the best in the city. They are seasoned better than any fry I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. They’re crispy and thin, but also have that wonderful squishy potato middle that so many fries miss. They are so on point that it wouldn’t surprise me if they had one person manning the fry station, testing a fry from each batch before sending them out.

Though the New York steak sandwich is most definitely my recommendation, the specials menu is always astounding. While doing research for this post, I peeked at the most recent lunch special menu (go look, it’s ridiculous) and it was all I could do to not schedule a lunch with any friend willing to plunk down the cash. Meatloaf, chicken fried steak, beef stroganoff, a Philly cheesesteak, and a burger dip don’t really sound worthy of a freak out, but when will you ever get to try any of these dishes made with the best beef money can buy? That is the idea behind The Met’s lunch. They aren’t blowing your mind with new, exciting flavor combinations. They won’t be putting anything on your plate that your mom couldn’t make for dinner. What they will do is take those classics and make them better than you ever could, which is exactly what I love to pay for. If you can render me speechless with a pile of fries, that’s talent.