Price: Could be "Cheap but not too Cheap" could be "High"
Service: Pass (the waiters aren't as grumpy as some reviews write, they're just no nonsense)
New York's favourite steak house for 29 years in a row and one Michelin Star 2010~2012. These are big calls.
The steak was huge (but it did cost $92+tax+tip for the steak alone). First bite was awesome, soft, melt in your mouth beef. It's easy to let that first impression set in concrete but that's not our style.
The plate it's served on is very hot (they must cook the steak on the plate) and the meat is pre-cut before out gets to the table. This means the meat continues to cook and dry out as out as you eat so parts of it get a little chewy especially the last few pieces. Also curiously it doesn't taste like beef (we get equally soft and tastier beef from our butcher in Sydney and the beef we had in Carmine had much more flavour). Dare we say it, it gets boring.
We think NY standards may be misaligned with ours if this has rated so highly for so long but we do recognise it's pretty good beef and for now they cook it better than we can.
We recommend, book between 12 & 2.30pm get the lunch specials (circa $25+tip+tax at time of this visit, chopped steak lunch special looked decent for $13++). Or instead of getting a huge steak for 1/2/3, get individual smaller steaks.
P.S. It's Cash Only, given it was an hour wait at 3pm, if this place was Asian they'd say it was a front for money laundering...
P.P.S. Make a booking, they say "shouldn't be too long" and "soon" but they mean an hour. If you make a booking you still need to wait anyway.