Conveniently located in Midtown East on 55th St. at Lexington Avenue, Angus Club Steakhouse is a phenomenal bi-level steakhouse brimming with art deco décor and a luxurious, classy yet comfortable atmosphere. It is truly a labor of love, conceptualized and realized by four veterans of the restaurant industry who took a chance and claimed their piece of the American dream. The result is a four-star experience throughout, with flavorful signature dishes that place Angus at the top of a competitive space. NYC Monthly was honored to sit down recently with co-owner Margent Maslinka and Executive Chef Edward Avduli.
NYCM: Who are the people behind Angus Club Steakhouse?
MARGENT: We are four former waiters and managers from the restaurant industry. We developed quite a good friendship; we clicked. After three or four years of working together, we started entertaining the idea that maybe we could do something on our own. Eddie – the chef – was the instigator of all this. We entertained that thought for about six months, and then it started to get a little more serious.
NYCM: What makes Angus Club unique? What are you most known for?
MARGENT: When we first worked with Eddie we knew that he was a very picky chef… extremely picky. And that’s what we liked about him the most. Eddie goes and picks the meat himself, stamps the meat, and dry ages it here. We dry age everything on the premises. Eddie came up with a formula to dry age the steaks for 30-35 days. This is a little bit different than the rest of the steakhouses, whose standard is 20-25 days. The longer you dry age the meat, the more ways you can have it – meaning the meat is going to shrink, and all the moisture is going to come out while the fat goes in. That’s how you get the flavor and the tenderness of the meat. Other places will cut so they don’t lose as much meat. But here we are going more for quality. We age our steaks longer so they’re tastier and more tender.
NYCM: How would you describe the menu? What are some of your most popular dishes?
MARGENT: Our Signature Dishes are the Porterhouse and Rib Eye. These two sell like hotcakes. Practically all steak eaters judge a steakhouse by this criteria. But another way how we’re different from everybody else is our Bone In Filet. A Bone In Filet, since it’s by the bone, get’s extra flavor and that makes a big difference. We also have a Bone marrow, which was introduced later on, and people are raving about it! For the sides, our home fries, which are like hash browns, are very good. Mushrooms are a favorite. Long Island Cream Truffle Corn also is delicious. I’m a big fan of Mac and Cheese. For deserts, we make a homemade tiramisu – a coconut tiramisu. This is how we played a little bit with the desserts.
NYCM: Take us through the different rooms. Walk us through what each room is and what the idea was behind it.
MARGENT: When we were doing the construction we all had the same idea – we wanted to be different than the rest of the steakhouses. We did not want to use the red or dark mahogany that all the steakhouses use. So we decided to go with reclaimed barn wood – a different concept. We wanted to have a steakhouse feel a little softer – not too masculine. The chef’s room, located right as you come in before you go to the bar, is the only room that was left intact during the construction. The table is from a yacht and took about 5-6 guys to move inside, but it matches the décor perfectly. In the oak room, all the wood is mostly oak. This is the cork room, because all of the wallpaper here is made of cork. Then we have the leather room where the ceiling and the walls are all made of leather.
NYCM: Is it true that the leather room is soundproof?
MARGENT: That’s correct. The leather room is, “whatever happens in the leather room, stays in the leather room.” That’s the idea. If you can’t go to Vegas, I’ll bring Vegas to you. So when we started playing with all this, everything started to come together and look more presentable. Everything here is made with love. With each room there was a specific reason why we did what we did.
NYCM: When did Angus Club Steakhouse open?
MARGENT: Our grand opening was on February 6. We signed the lease back in September, which is when we began doing construction. In four months we did all this work, working everyday from 8am to 2 or 3am at night. Even the chandeliers are custom made.
NYCM: Are there any other details you’d like to share with our readers? If you were talking directly to a NYC visitor who wanted a classic NY steak experience, what would you sum up Angus with?
MARGENT: I would tell the visitor that we are the only steakhouse in the city that, if you come in, our Porterhouse is so tender that you can cut it with a spoon. And if you can go to another steakhouse and do the same thing, I’ll be very, very impressed.