Most of us can't afford a $54 sirloin, or even $27 baby-back ribs, especially when said steaks come virtually unadorned. So thank goodness El Gaucho has a happy hour. This money-saving meal is a great way to try the food without emptying your sparse bank account. Order the steak frites ($14) for a 6-ounce piece of sirloin with just as much dry-aged complexity as the $54 option. Sure, it's topped with béarnaise instead of lobster and comes with fries instead of scalloped potatoes, but who needs all that extraneous decadence when the steak is juicy and the fries are the perfect blend of crisp and tender? The enormous burger, which comes with peppery bacon, pickled onions, cheddar and garlic aioli, looks almost absurdist, covered in red-and-white checked paper, set far left on the plate with a small pile of cornichon pickles stacked on the right. On the "healthier" side of the menu, the wedge salad tastes like crunchy blue-cheese dressing (don't they all?) and could have used more bacon bits, but the beet salad was flavorful and refreshing, if a bit creatively stale. KATE WILLIAMS.
Order this: Steak frites, beet salad, red wine special. Or splurge and sip on the $240 Louis Sidecar cocktail.
Best deal: 319 Burger: juicy, well-seasoned beef topped with almost all necessary food groups ($8).
I'll pass: Why order bruschetta at an American steakhouse?