SAMMY’S ROUMANIAN157 Chrystie St New York NY 10002
For a vintage New York experience, head to Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House on your next outing with friends. Between the food, the crowd, and the atmosphere, you’ll find that ultimate rarity: a guaranteed good time. Walking inside the basement space you’ll feel relaxed and ready to rollick. The décor is zero-pretense, with old snapshots for wallpaper. The staff carries over the mood, dressed low-key in t-shirts, but with a high level of energy. Get things started right with a trademark bottle of vodka, frozen into a solid block of ice. Bring your appetite, as there’s nothing nouveau about these portions. The signature skirt steak makes no effort to stay on the plate, the succulent beef hanging over the sides. Order the chicken liver and it’ll be mixed tableside, more than tasty enough to earn a grandmother’s envy. That fluorescent-yellow syrup bottle on your table? That’s chicken fat, and it makes everything taste better. Speaking of schmaltz, the room will be laughing as much as eating thanks to the shtick of the emcee, who’s been working the crowd here for decades. You’ll love stepping back in time to the comedy of the Borscht Belt era, and once “Hava Nagila” starts up you’ll find it impossible not to take to the floor and dance. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone, and you’ll probably be leaving a night at Sammy’s with more friends than you came in with.
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Photograph by Arnold Gatilao
Edited by BlackBook