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For My Fat Big Bank Vault Dinner: “Butcher & Banker”

As I alluded to in my review about Bungalow Bar (, I love a good meal at a steakhouse.  

I have spent the last year or more really trying to teach myself to cook and if you follow my #dinneralaDonna on social media you will see that I am mostly successful. But my downfall is steak. No matter the kind I buy or technique I use, it never ever compares to those meals I have seared in my memory from steakhouses I have visited. 

One of top steakhouse experiences I have had has unquestionably taken place at 22 Bowen’s ( 

The second happened at Butcher & Banker. 

Before we get to the dining details, we have to talk about the space. The restaurant resides within a former bank vault!! 

When this restaurant opened last year it was the first time in thirty-seven years anyone from the public has stood inside this vault. 

The kitchen is located through the exit of the vault. 

The building, which dates back to 1930s, is now The New Yorker Hotel. Back in the day it was the site of Manufacturers Trust Company. The hotel is gorgeous but a bit too rich for my blood. But I love, love, loved that they kept the original bank decor and just refurbished it for modern use. The tables were you can now charge your laptop still have the old lamps and pens attached to chains, formerly used to fill out your deposit slips in the olden days. If you don’t know what that is, Google it.

I love when history and a theme are preserved throughout a space. 

Though there is a sign outside of the hotel, the note on the door says to proceed inside for entry to the restaurant. After a posing for a few photos that is precisely what my crew and I did.

In the lobby there is a clear sign over the elevator that will bring you directly down to the cellar where the bank vault still lies. Once again this signage resembles its prior use.

You enter one way in the elevator and when you arrive down below the other side opens. So cool. I need to get one of these in my future penthouse.

The restaurant had just opened for dinner when we arrived so I had my choice of tables. Naturally I choose to sit within the vault itself. I mean when in Rome………

Once again some photos were needed. 

Then we were seated. 

Since we were at a steakhouse there was never a question about what any of us were ordering. Although the menu does offer pasta and seafood as well. 

As with most steakhouses, side dishes are served a la carte with portions enough for all. 

We opened with “A Tower of Tender Lettuces” salad, you know to get those greens in.

Then there were three orders of filet mignons and one Romanian steak. Each was served with fresh roasted garlic flowers which I am now obsessed with recreating and using on every single meal I make. 

Our sides were mushrooms and onion rings because both pair very well with steak. 

When the food arrived I could have wept at the sight. Once I took a bite I would have screamed but my mouth was full. We all looked at each other and exchanged the same smiley, drooling face. It was love at first bite. And the bite after that, and the bite after that.

Though we were all very full we did manage to share the apple crumb with a side of maple ice cream (they were out of vanilla). 

There was also a piece of lemon meringue pie with a candle in it so that we could sing happy birthday to my mother. For those who do not know my mother celebrates her birthday for a full week which usually lasts more like a month. We had seen “Summer” (see previous post) right before this meal.

I was filled with amazing food but also with pride that I had chosen the right place for this meal. A delicious steak served inside a bank vault? This why I placed this restaurant on my annual to do list in a prominent location (

The restaurant was elegant, the staff was friendly, and the food was unbelievable. On top of that my company was some of the few people I really do enjoy spending time with. There isn’t anything else that I could have wanted in that moment. 

Just an FYI - Butcher & Banker sells gift cards and my birthday is December 17th. 

Do what you will with this information.

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