Skirt Steak’s concept is pretty simple: Make people wait in line, and then reward them with steak, peppercorn béarnaise, and unlimited fries.
Like the now-closed Ikinari Steak and Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte, Skirt Steak pretty much only serves one thing. (Guess what it is.) For $35, you get a Bibb lettuce salad, sliced skirt steak (cooked rare, medium, or well-done), and unlimited French fries served tableside from a big copper bowl. There are no other ordering decisions to be made here, aside from whether you want to add drinks, a couple sides (like some very good garlic bread and cauliflower gratin), or a slice of blood orange cheesecake or chocolate tart from the roving dessert cart.
To get into Skirt Steak, you have to wait in line on the sidewalk on 6th Avenue for an annoying amount of time. There are no reservations available, and you can’t put your name in and go waste time somewhere else. (But if you have a party of five or more, you can try to ask the Skirt Steak bouncer to put your name in for a larger table and then drink in the hotel lounge down the block.) Once you make it inside, you’ll feel like you’re in a perpetual barn wedding (exposed wooden beams and globe lights galore) with a dad-rock soundtrack similar to that of Outback Steakhouse. Everyone waiting in line will watch you eat like you’re a newborn manatee in an aquarium tank. Revel in this feeling. You waited 45 minutes for it.
Skirt Steak is unsurprisingly big on TikTok. A server even told us the restaurant had to double the number of staff on the floor since the place blew up online in December 2021. So if anyone is feeling skeptical about the influence that TikTok can have on IRL dining experiences, take them to 6th Avenue and point out the 50-person-deep Skirt Steak line–which begins to form around 4:15pm every day.
Some people aren’t going to want to wait on a sidewalk to eat skirt steak with peppercorn béarnaise and unlimited fries. That’s a reasonable stance to take, and we probably won’t go back to do it again anytime soon. But if you’re at least a little bit curious about an unabashedly-gimmicky restaurant with a $35 prix-fixe deal, you’ll love it here. The food is not only edible, it’s pretty freakin’ good.
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$28 Prix-Fixe Meal
There is no world in which you go to Skirt Steak and avoid this $28 meal. It's the only entree option listed. (Actually, it's just stamped on the butcher paper on your table.) You'll start with a mound of Bibb lettuce and endives with a mustardy shallot vinaigrette. Then comes unlimited French fries and a sliced skirt steak cooked rare, medium, or well-done. If you're on the fence between rare and medium, we like the rare version better. (You can always go halfsies with a friend and order one of each.) Dip your fries and steak into the peppercorn béarnaise. It tastes more like cream than peppercorn, but that's OK with us.
Your server is going to ask if you want to start with a $10 demi baguette of garlic bread. The correct answer is yes. The bread comes out hot enough that it might hurt to pick up, and it's full of garlicky, herb-studded butter.
Skirt Steak always has a couple of sides available, and they each cost $10. This cauliflower gratin, which tastes like a creamy bechamel mac and cheese, is the only side other than the garlic bread that we'd suggest you invest in.
At some point during the meal—or maybe even when you're standing outside on the sidewalk peering into the restaurant—you'll notice a roving cart full of cakes, pies, and tarts. You'll think, "Huh, I should probably investigate what's going on in that cart." Follow your instincts. We've had some unexpectedly good blood orange cheesecake as well as a rich Paris-Brest filled with hazelnut pastry cream.