The Changing, er, Face of Dining

For a while I joked that Asad should do a review of the best strip club buffets in the city (prompted by all the buffet ads, especially in mid-town, not as a connoisseur of strip clubs) for 3QD. (The idea of that combination seems bizarre to me.) But The New York Times’ Frank Bruni has taken the first step.

IT may be laughable when someone says he gets Penthouse magazine for the articles. It’s no joke when I say I went to the Penthouse Executive Club for the steaks.

Over the years I’d read reports that this pleasure palace, on a stretch of West 45th Street closer to the edge of Manhattan than most diners venture, peddled more than one kind of seductive flesh. And I felt obliged — honestly, I did — to check it out, knowing that great food often pops up where you least expect it.

You can find bliss in the soulless cradle of a strip mall. Why not the topless clutch of a strip club? And so, early this month, I gathered three friends for an initial trip (dare I call it a maiden voyage?) to the Penthouse club — or, more specifically, to the restaurant, Robert’s Steakhouse, nestled inside it.

We were strangers to such pulchritudinous territory, less susceptible to the scenery than other men might be, more aroused by the side dishes than the sideshow: underdressed, overexposed young women in the vestibule, by the coat check, at the top of the red-carpeted stairs up to the restaurant, on the stage that many of the restaurant’s tables overlook.