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Where to buy a prime rib on UWS?

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Looking to make my first ever prime rib for the holidays! I'm rubbing my hands in glee...

Here are the details. I'm in the 70s....is there a great butcher nearby? Is there a better meat counter btw Fairway and the other mkts near it.

Should I pre-order? Anything I should look for in the cut?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Oppenheimer on Broadway at 98th is one of the very best butcher shops in the city.

    1. Citarella's meats are better than Fairway's. Also more expensive. Don't know how price compares with Oppenheimer, but I'll bet it's comparable. Usually no need to pre-order. They always have it available. But since it's for the holidays, it wouldn't be a bad idea to put your name on the size you want and have it ready to pick up.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        I agree with JoanN about Citarella vs. Fairway.

        1. re: JoanN

          Re Fairway meat. I'm not suggesting they do it to deceive, but I've noticed over the past few months that you seriously have to read the labels every time you shop - it's gotten to be like a 3 card monte game. One week the chuck roast is "prime", two weeks later it's not, last week the eye roast wasn't "prime," this week it is. I really don't know what that's about but it's annoying. Not to mention that all the pre-pack merguez in the fridge case I saw tonight was between 8 and 15 days * past * its sell-buy date. (Usually I don't say anything about that stuff, tonight I did, who knows what they'll do...) Pretty much all their meat and fish is distinctly "buyer beware."

          1. re: MikeG

            When I'm buying meat for company, or just something special, I buy it at Citarella. When it's just dinner for me, I usually buy it at Fairway and I've gotten to know the butchers. If you ask the right person a straight question, you'll more often than not get a straight answer. Fairway makes no bones about the fact that they're looking for the best value for the consumer. If they think the price of a product has gone beyond it's value, as they did a couple of years ago with Nieman Ranch pork chops, they stop carrying it. If they can't get the quality they want in prime, they'll sell choice at a signigicantly lower price point.

            I'm not in the least excusing meguez that's past it's sell-by date, but you're right. You do have to read the labels or ask the butchers. That's why if I know I want prime, I shop at Citarella. They'll have it no matter the cost.

          2. re: JoanN

            Does the comparison apply to the Fairway in Harlem as well? I was planning to buy my aged prime rib roast up there in a couple of days. However, if people think Citarella's is superior, then maybe I'll give them a try.

            Can you say more about why Citarella's is better? I take it they have aged meats.?

            1. re: banquo

              Yes, exactly. Citarella buys prime meat and does their own aging and butchering. Never been to the Fairway in Harlem, but I'd be surprised if it were any different from the downtown store--at least as far as the meat department is concerned. No question that Citarella is superior. And, as I said, quite a bit more expensive.

              1. re: JoanN

                Thanks for the reply. I just looked at Citarella's website. It says that a 4-bone rib roast is 14-16lbs?! And costs $335! At ~$22/lb, their price is just above Fairway's, which is $19.99/lb (I called them last week). Not much of a difference if you're correct about the quality difference. But how can a 4-bone roast be 14-16lbs? I'll call them tomorrow; I assume this is a mistake.

                1. re: banquo

                  "But how can a 4-bone roast be 14-16lbs?"

                  That does sound off. I would expect a 4-rib roast to weigh more like 8 pounds; maybe 10. I'll be curious to hear what they say.

          3. What about the Ottomanelli's on Amsterdam?

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              You'll get much better meat there than anywhere on the UWS. Why try to buy meat in a part of Manhattan not known for butcher shops when great shops exist in the West Village?

            2. Theres that famous place on Madison and like 80 something, I know that's upper east side, but I pass it and salvate because it smells so good. It starts with an L.

              (This posting is so unspecific).

              3 Replies
                1. re: lookingforpig

                  Yes - those wonderful chickens in the window at Lobel - smell fantastic. I bet prime rib from there is a small fortune.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Citarella's steaks are awesome. I took my brother by to peruse them (he's in the meat business and knows his stuff) and he sanctioned everything he saw.

              1. Citarella's. Definitely.

                1. I was about to start a very similar post on prime Porter house Steak. I plan to make a "steakhouse" dinner for Christmas and I was wondering where to find the best value/quality in the 70s. Oppenheimner was really pricey ($30+ a pound), but the meat did look good. Same for Citarella. I wasn't sure Fairway would be in the running.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Ora

                    I bought a couple of prime porterhouse steaks at Citarella a few months ago--during the beginning of Fall that was more like Spring here in NYC--to toss on a friend's grill. I paid a bit more than $115 for the two of them--and they were worth every nickel. Very definitely in the top "steakhouse" quality.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      WOW...$115!! We went to Delfrisco's Sun nite, we had a 48 oz porterhouse for $99!!!!

                      Just curious, how did you cook all that good meat.

                      1. re: Ora

                        On a friend's outdoor charcoal grill and using a meat thermomter to ensure correct timing. I don't think I'd spend that kind of money if I were going the cast iron pan and oven route, which is all that's available to me in my apartment. But I know people on the board have had tremendous success doing just that with very good pieces of meat. Maybe I'll try it sometime when I'm feeling flush.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I plan to visit Citarella and Ottomanelli in GV today to get a handle on the situation. I'd love to try a great prime steak it at home. I planned to use the low broil setting on a baking sheet. And I planned to marinate the steak in dry seasonings for at least 1 full day.

                  2. Citarella -- definitely!

                    1. I called Florence Meat Market (in the WV) today. They quoted me $160-200 for a 4-rib roast (about 10 lbs they said). They insist you make a preorder for Christmas. Meat is aged 3 weeks, I was told.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: banquo

                        Wow, at those prices, it might be worth a trip to Stew Leonard's in Yonkers. They always have prime rib at this time of year -- all sizes. They even custom cut for you.