4 Charles Prime Rib
Why did you come to New York? Were you chasing a career? Looking to start fresh with a new group of people? Did you want to be exposed to more culture? Were you profoundly affected by the show Friends?
If you didn’t grow up here, you ostensibly moved to this great city for a reason - and it wasn’t to spend all of your money on rent and Pick A Bagel. If you’re anything like me, you moved here because you want to experience life at full speed. I came to New York because doing exciting things mattered more to me than having a “bedroom” or “livable space.” To live in this city is to have unique experiences every single day. 4 Charles Prime Rib is one of those experiences.
photo credit: Stan Ptitsin
Opened by the Chicago restaurateur responsible for Chicago’s most famous burger joint, Au Cheval, 4 Charles is basically a high-level concept restaurant. Imagine the same kind of set dressing and theatrics that you’ll find on display at Carbone, but instead of an old school Italian restaurant, this concept is a boozy steakhouse that you can easily picture someone like Sammy Davis Jr. frequenting in his day. It’s a small, dark place that you go to when you want to eat and drink irresponsibly, at irresponsible times of the evening.
Which brings up a few important points about this restaurant. First of all, it’s impossible to get a prime time reservation here. The space is very small, with no bar area, and they don’t turn tables quickly. That means that the few reservations that are available for normal dinner hours get snatched up quickly when they are released 30 days in advance. It also means that the times that will likely be available to you will be after 10:00pm. Some people see this as a bad thing. We do not. Because you’re not supposed to eat at 4 Charles Prime Rib before 10:00pm.
4 Charles Prime Rib is the kind of restaurant where you eat a hamburger as an appetizer and follow it with 20 ounces of prime rib, a hot bowl of creamed spinach, and about four bourbons. You really think you’re going to do all that at 8:30 and then be up for your hip hop kickboxing class in the morning? Of course you aren’t. So you might as well go all in and experience this place the way it was meant to be experienced - late at night and with reckless intent.
That leads us to the second important thing to know about 4 Charles Prime Rib. If you are trying to keep things healthy or maintain any sort of dietary balance in your life, you are going to have a bad time here. This is not a restaurant that should be frequented more than a few times a year, and it’s certainly not a restaurant to bring a vegetarian to.
But if you’re the kind of person who came to New York to live life at full speed, you’re going to love it here. Good luck finding anything like this anywhere else. And good luck at work tomorrow morning.
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photo credit: Chris Stang
The famous Au Cheval burger in New York - almost. If you’ve been to Au Cheval, you should know going in that this burger is not that burger. It’s close, but it’s not exactly the same, and it’s not quite as good. But it is still one of the best burgers in New York City, and it should be on your table - as an appetizer. They’ll even cut it four ways so your group can share. From there, move on to some prime rib. We like it with bacon, but skip the egg. It doesn’t add much.
There are three different cuts of prime rib available at 4 Charles. You really only need to eat the smallest of the group, the English Cut. Unless you’re one of those chest-beating meat obsessives, in which case go big on the bone-in 4 Charles Cut and maybe check in with a physician from time to time.
Cacio Pepe Carbonara Pasta
Don’t waste your stomach space. This is a fine pasta, but it’s not why you’re here.
Gem Lettuce Salad
That’s cute. You got a salad.
Baked Crab Cake
It’s midnight. Eat a crab cake. Fck it, smoke a cigarette.
Order this. Order some fries. Dip the fries in the spinach. Smoke another cigarette.