New York City is certainly not short of reputable steakhouses. I love me a good piece of red meat, but I must admit I always have trouble finding a good Manhattan steakhouse without feeling like an old man… And then came 4 Charles Prime Rib, direct from Chicago to my favorite West Village neighborhood, with a stellar menu and the coolest vibe that made me feel like a woman again!
4 Charles Prime Rib was opened in December 2016 by Brendan Sodikoff, the man behind Chicago’s infamous Au Cheval burger. I’ve had that burger on my to-do list for years, so I could not wait to try out 4 Charles Prime Rib. Little did I know that getting a table would be as tedious as planning a freakin’ trip to Chicago! The restaurant has a tiny space with limited seating and a crazy hype, so scoring a reservation that’s not after 11pm requires a lot of anticipated ground work. That being said, 4 Charles is the perfect late-night den.
4 Charles describes itself as an intimate supper club, which is exactly how it feels. The most notable part about this speakeasy-style restaurant is its incredibly charming atmosphere. The restaurant is located in the lower level of a historical West Village building. Its semi-hidden entrance on Charles Street (the name says it all!) leads to an underground, dark pint-sized room behind a velvet curtain that makes you think you’ve traveled back in time. The old-school, retro-clubby decor is downright sensuous and elegant, with upholstery leather seating, vintage light fixtures, and wood-paneled walls spotted with framed prints and mirrors (and a jazz soundtrack playing in the background of course). You’ll feel like a member of an old Roaring 20s prohibition cigar bar!
Try tracking same-day cancellations to score a decent reservation slot
After ordering one of their many Old Fashioneds from the extensive brown spirit and cocktail list, you’ll want to get right to the meat of the matter (see what I just did there?) 😆 . 4 Charles is namely renowned for its prime rib of course, but if Au Cheval came all the way from Chicago to NYC, you’re getting the burger! And you’re adding the extra egg and bacon to the double-pattied bad boy, because that’s really the only way to have it. This is the kind of burger you want to be alone with…
Other must-orders include any of their bone-in steaks, but 4 Charles’ menu also offers meatless options like a raw bar and seafood dishes (delicious Baked Crab Cake $25), or a $23.95 Cacio Pepe Carbonara Pasta (genius! 💡 ). All the food is on point, although the side dishes leave room for improvement.
Drinks wise, the wine list is – odd. There’s something for everyone, but the Scotch & Bourbon is definitely where the beverage menu shines.
As for the service, it’s arguably some of the best New York hospitality I’ve had in a while. The service is objectively perfect – the dapperly dressed wait staff is accommodating and personal, incredibly professional but fun and enthusiastic. They go above and beyond to make your dining experience as satisfying as possible, will accommodate to any dietary restriction, and don’t be shy about sending your steak back if it’s not peeerfectly cooked to your liking (Frenchies don’t mess with rare-to-medium-rare)!
4 Charles Prime Rib is great for its exceptional ambiance and glorious burger. To me it’s more of a cozy winter spot, but I’ll take the welcoming, sensual atmosphere any time of the year. If you’re lucky enough to get a table, come for a romantic date, an intimate family outing, a cool corporate dinner, or a late-night steak.
Open for dinner daily from 5pm-12am