Peter Luger Responds to Zero-Star Review: “We Know Who We Are”

The steakhouse speaks out after being panned by the Times

People walk past the Peter Luger steakhouse December 29, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
People walk past the Peter Luger steakhouse December 29, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / October 30, 2019 2:59 pm

After receiving a scathing zero-star review from the New York Times‘ Pete Wells, in which Wells declared that “Peter Luger used to sizzle. Now it sputters,” the famous Williamsburg steakhouse has issued a response defending its legacy.

“The NY Times has reviewed Peter Luger numerous times over the years,” general manager David Berson said in a statement to Eater. “At times we’ve gotten four stars, other times less. While the reviewers and their whims have changed, Lugers has always focused on doing one thing exceptionally well — serving the highest quality of steak — with a member of our family buying every piece of USDA Prime beef individually, just as we have done for decades. We know who we are and have always been. The best steak you can eat. Not the latest kale salad. We’re grateful to our customers who continue to pack our house every single day, and especially to our regulars whose emails of encouragement continue to flood our inbox.”

Wells mentions those regulars in his review, writing, “The restaurant will always have its loyalists. They will laugh away the prices, the $16.95 sliced tomatoes that taste like 1979, the $229.80 porterhouse for four. They will say that nobody goes to Luger for the sole, nobody goes to Luger for the wine, nobody goes to Luger for the salad, nobody goes to Luger for the service. The list goes on, and gets harder to swallow, until you start to wonder who really needs to go to Peter Luger, and start to think the answer is nobody.”

We’re inclined to agree with him. Read why we called Smith & Wollensky — and not Peter Luger — “NYC’s best old-school steakhouse” here.

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