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3. Bourbon Steak New York_credit Rey Lopez.jpg Rey Lopez
Bourbon Steak New York serves a variety of cuts, including filets, ribeyes and Japanese A5 striploins.

Michael Mina brings his Bourbon Steak concept to New York — his first in the Big Apple

Bourbon Steak New York channels the classic American steakhouse, with steaks, seafood, and tableside trolleys

Michael Mina — the chef behind Mina Group, with more than 30 restaurants across the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas — is coming back to New York. While the acclaimed chef began his culinary career working under Charlie Palmer at Aureole in New York City, he had never operated a restaurant in the city before until Bourbon Steak New York opened on May 21.

“Ever since attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and working in New York post-graduation, I have dreamed of returning to open my own restaurant,” Mina said. 

While there have been other opportunities for Mina to return to the city, the chef said that it was important to get the timing right, both personally and professionally, and to find the right location. 

Michael Kleinberg1. Bourbon Steak New York dining room-credit Michael Kleinberg.jpg

The dining room inside Bourbon Steak New York.

The new restaurant is located inside the JW Marriott Essex House New York, which sits on the south edge of Central Park. The 300-seat space is influenced by classic American steakhouses and pays homage to the hotel’s art deco influences. The main dining room is connected to a patio, a lounge, and two private dining rooms. 

Interior design firm AvroKO and architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor collaborated on designing the space, using mixed metals, kiln-fired ceramic tiles and rust hues to evoke fire, while two trees and multiple planters soften the space with greenery.

“The opportunity to open in the historic JW Marriott Essex House is something incredibly special,” Mina said. “I’ve always loved Central Park and how you can experience nature and all four seasons right in the center of the city, so to be able to open a restaurant with a front-row seat to the park was something I jumped at doing. There is an energy in New York that is unparalleled.”

The Bourbon Steak menu features steakhouse classics, plus a few unexpected items. For instance, in lieu of bread service, all tables receive complimentary duck fat fries with pastrami spice. From there, meals begin with shellfish and caviar options, including a wild shrimp cocktail with gin-spiked cocktail sauce and live sea urchin with Aleppo pepper, lemon and olive oil.

Rey Lopez4. Bourbon Steak New York trolley cart_credit Rey Lopez.jpg

Tableside trolleys offer guests a selection of fresh seafood and shellfish.

Appetizers include a crab-stuffed softshell crab with green garlic cream and saffron, and an A5 wagyu tartare with celery root, fresh wasabi, and crispy potatoes. Mina’s popular tuna tartare —considered one of his most famous dishes dating back to his time at Aqua restaurant in 1991 —also makes an appearance. It’s topped with quail egg, pine nuts, mint, Asian pear and habanero-sesame oil, mixed tableside and served with fresh toasted brioche. 

As the name implies, steak is the star of the show here, and the Bourbon Steak team tried more than 50 cuts before curating the menu’s beef selection. There’s an eight-ounce center-cut filet, a 20-ounce bone-in ribeye, and a 40-day dry-aged 32-ounce porterhouse. Wagyu options include a bone-in wagyu New York strip sourced from an Australian farm, and Japanese A5 striploin from Hokkaido. Rounding out the steaks are accompaniments like Béarnaise sauce, black truffle butter, and chimichurri.

Diners desiring seafood instead can choose options like a phyllo-crusted Dover sole, salt-baked sea bream, and the Maine lobster pot pie.

For dessert, corporate pastry chef Veronica Arroyo gives a special nod to New York with her twist on the classic black and white cookie. Arroyo’s version turns the iconic cookie into a small ice cream sandwich with buttermilk semifreddo.     

Michael Kleinberg2. The Lounge at Bourbon Steak_credit Michael Kleinberg.jpg

The lounge at Bourbon Steak New York.

One element about the new restaurant that most excites Mina is the introduction of trolley service.

“I had custom-made carts designed and produced to roam the dining room and present different dishes,” he said. ‘There is one for fresh seafood and shellfish that guests can select by the piece, one for tableside preparation of seared foie gras, and another for our incredible dessert fondue.”

This is the first Mina Group restaurant to enlist these trolleys, but Mina said he’s looking forward to introducing them in subsequent Bourbon Steak locations. 

Opening Bourbon Steak New York represents a full-circle moment for Mina.

“For years, New York City has been my playground,” he said, noting that he’s enjoyed visiting friends’ restaurants and eating his way through the city. “Now, when I’m here, the balance of work and play has certainly shifted. But I love that, and I also feel lucky to have so many close friends in the culinary world here that I can connect and reconnect with in a different way now that I have a restaurant in the city as well.” 

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