Where’s The Beef In BGC? Head To Wolfgang’s Just-Opened Branch For Its Dry-Aged USDA Prime Black Angus Steak
For us carnivores, there’s always that search for the dependable and consistent, high quality steakhouse. If our travels to the likes of New York, Chicago, and Florence have yielded favorites such as Peter Luger, Bavette’s, and l’Tuscani respectively; it’s always good to know when a comparable brand has made it to our own fair city of Manila.
So we were overjoyed a number of years ago when New York’s Wolfgang’s Steakhouse opened at Resorts World, and then proceeded to establish a second outlet at The Podium in Ortigas. Even better, given Manila’s dire traffic situation, is that there’s now a third Wolfgang branch that just opened at One Bonifacio in Bonifacio Global City.
Wolfgang’s new BGC location
The story behind Wolfgang’s founder Wolfgang Zwiener is a well-travelled one: head waiter at Brooklyn’s legendary Peter Luger Steakhouse for decades, and when about to retire, was convinced by his family to establish his own restaurant along with trusted friends from the industry, to create an experience that took the best of his restaurant knowledge, improving on it where possible.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse would become well known for its fabled USDA Prime Black Angus Beef Porterhouse, served at locations within Manhattan (with 6 branches in NYC by the first quarter of 2019), making it that more convenient for its patrons. Wolfgang expanded on the traditional steakhouse menu, and took pride in its friendly, accommodating service. Over the last couple of years, beyond expanding to other key cities in the United States, Wolfgang’s has gone global, with steakhouses now located in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and of course, the Philippines.
The man behind the global expansion of Wolfgang’s is no other than Peter Zwiener, younger son of Wolfgang and Elena. Along with his parents and some of the partners, Peter recently came to Manila for the BGC branch opening, and shared, “It’s all about quality and value. It’s 100% USDA prime beef, and no matter where in the world or in the USA, we ship it ourselves to ensure the quality of the beef you eat is the same in all Wolfgang’s. Every Wolfgang will also have its own aging room.”
Peter Zwiener, President and Managing Partner of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Globally
In the case of the new BGC branch, due to the limitation on space, the aging room may not necessarily be on the restaurant’s premises, but off-site a floor down. And admittedly, The Podium and BGC Wolfgang’s are smaller than their usual large footprint. The smaller sizes of these two branches are responsive to the reality of the market. With the traffic in Metro Manila at times unbearable, more economically-sized cuts allow Wolfgang’s to be conveniently located around the metropolis.
Wolfgang’s plush dining area
The bar at Wolfgang’s
As for the man behind the name, Wolfgang may now be in his late 70’s, but it’s a spry late 70’s—he’s still a charmer, always ready to flash a happy grin and welcome you to the establishments bearing his name. He even DJ’ed the night of the restaurant’s formal opening for media and special guests. Wife Elena confides that when at home—they spend a number of months every year in Hawaii to get away from the New York winter—Wolfgang loves to spend time in the kitchen, whipping up his own version of particular dishes, like his current signature dish, goulash.
USDA Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak
Asked about whether he was surprised about establishing a third Wolfgang in Metro Manila alone, Peter has this to say, “The Filipino has a high-caliber, sophisticated palate, so I’m not completely surprised that this third restaurant has become a reality. Within Tokyo, we’ll also be opening a third restaurant very soon.” We can infer that what happens is different cities calls for different strategies, and it has always been a trademark of how Wolfgang does business that they’re responsive to market variations.
This extends even to the menu. While obviously, the steaks are the prime feature at all their establishments, Peter proudly recounts that each market can also develop its own dishes that are initially earmarked for that specific market. For example, the Beverly Hills branch created the Beverly Hills Chopped Salad, but it became such a hit, it’s now a regular in all Wolfgang’s branches. And this goes on all over the world. The Manila branches offer Salpicao and Steak Rice, using prime beef, of course. And Singapore harks to its Asian heritage with a stir-fried beef specialty and Pomelo Salad as well.
Beverly Hills Chopped Salad
I mentioned to Wolfgang Zwiener that the very first time I ate at Peter Luger was with my parents back in the late 1980’s. He gleamed saying that he was most likely the one who showed us to our table. It’s so great to see him after some thirty years, with every table at his restaurant now proudly carrying his name and legacy.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, L/G One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, (02) 586-4892, (02) 618-3975, (0917) 710-1682
Closest drop-off is at the building’s 3rd Avenue entrance, building parking entrance at 28th Street corner 5th Avenue