At Number 5, it’s evident from the first bite you take that the three-course meal you are being served is worth more than Restaurant Week’s $30 price tag. Despite the average bill at Number 5 hovering around the $50 range, there is no skimping on quality despite the reduced cost.
An often-overlooked part of any restaurant experience is the bread and butter. But here, the homemade Italian garlic and herb butter, along with the fresh-baked bread, was excellent and kicked off the meal on a high note.
For the first course, we ordered the baked French onion soup. This dish was a personal favorite for both of us, and we were excited to see Number 5’s take on it. Spiked with Applejack Brandy and covered in delicious provolone cheese, it certainly did not disappoint. The humble origins of the soup don’t go unnoticed either — the simple broth, onions and cheese are at the forefront of our appetizer. The rustically cut onions perhaps could be a point of contention, as some pieces were very large, but the effect is evident: a simple soup done well that tastes great because of the superb ingredients.
The owner of the restaurant, Jim McCoy, sat down with us and explained his philosophy. His clientele consists of returning customers — namely, students, parents and traveling businessmen — and to keep the regulars coming back requires absolute excellence in his restaurant’s food. Number 5’s commitment to great ingredients is a running theme throughout its menu.
Number 5 is, first and foremost, a steakhouse, and though they offered a nice-sounding cedar plank salmon and a tempting grilled vegetable risotto, we stuck with the red meat.
The petite Greek tenderloin, which has been gracing plates at the restaurant for over 30 years, was cooked to a perfect medium-rare. Number 5’s use of only USDA prime meat is evident in the tenderloin, as the fat is distributed beautifully through the cut of meat. The lemon, butter, garlic and oregano sauce was also excellent, though perhaps a tad heavy on the tartness.
The sirloin steak followed a similar trend — excellence in taste starts with excellent ingredients. The crust on the steak was nicely salted, crisp, with sautéed mushrooms and sauce that were simply perfect. No room for complaints.
The mashed potatoes that accompanied both of our main courses continued their high standard. With a buttery touch and garlic infusion, the potatoes were a great companion to the cuts of meat. The skins left in the mashed potato were a nice touch. If you’re not feeling mashed potatoes, they do have a vegetable du jour.
By the time dessert rolled around, we were both already stuffed. Still, we soldiered on — determined to down every bite set in front of us by Binghamton’s most famous steakhouse.
The homemade Chocolate Decadence did not fail to live up to its name. It is a rich, flavorful — and also flourless — chocolate cake. Alone, it would make for an excellent dessert, but when paired with the homemade whipped cream, it became the perfect cap for an excellent meal.
The root beer float didn’t fail to meet the tone of the night. The vanilla ice cream was tasty and creamy and their homemade whipped cream topped it off. Once again, this whipped cream cannot be overstated; it was simply too good.
Number 5’s business, unfortunately, like many other local restaurants, hinges on making regulars out of BU students and their parents. In us, they found two new customers.