When you’re celebrating an anniversary, or making up for your terrible pre-prom dinner of years past, there are certain things you look for in a restaurant. The place should have a big drink menu, encourage you to dress up a bit more than usual, and serve food that you would never make at home. Marcel is that place, and then some.
Marcel is a steakhouse in West Midtown that solely exists for celebrating big moments. It’s a spacious, dark restaurant with giant leather booths, a large square bar, and servers in tuxedo-y dinner jackets who are always two steps ahead of you when it comes to refilling a drink or suggesting a bottle of champagne.
This place serves everything you’d expect at a steakhouse, along with a few French dishes and plenty of good wine. You can basically ignore half of the menu, though, unless you live in a parallel universe where eating fish and pasta at a steakhouse makes sense. Instead, just focus on how big of a steak you want, and save room for the baked Alaska for dessert, which is set on fire tableside. If you’re not ready to end the party there, Marcel has a cigar menu, for when you decide to embrace your inner robber barons after eating a steak the size of your head.
In case you stop somewhere else for drinks beforehand, Marcel also has a late-night bar menu. Is it the same experience? Not even close. But it’s the only time their excellent cheeseburger is available, which makes Marcel a great option for later in the night too.
Between the first-rate service, long wine and cocktail lists, and terrific steaks, Marcel is an ideal spot to spend a night recounting your most absurd school dance stories, or raising a glass to you and your person. And while a trip here won’t erase the memory of your dad telling you to “make good decisions tonight” in front of your prom date, it’s a good place to start.
Normally when we recommend a salad, it’s so that you can pretend you’re eating a balanced meal. The Salad Marcel is not that sort of salad. It comes with blue cheese, a maple and bacon vinaigrette, carrots, and apple, and is possibly the best chopped salad in the city. It should be on your table.
If you need a side dish to break up the multiple courses of steak you’re going to eat here, make sure it’s these cheesy scalloped potatoes.
It’s $168, feeds at least three people, and will make you all forget about learning that the former captain of your school’s lacrosse team was one of the first investors in Bitcoin.
The burger is topped with thick cut bacon, American cheese, and pickles, and it’s only available on the weekends after 11pm. If you end up here later than expected, this should be your first priority.
You can get the steak frites at dinner, or late-night when it’s only $12. Either way, if you want to avoid spending half your paycheck, this is the route to go.
Here’s what you need to know about the Beef Wellington at Marcel: It’s $110, you have to order it a day ahead of time, and everyone in the dining room will be jealous when it’s brought to your table.