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Jan 28, 2008 06:38 PM

Steak for cooking at home

Where can I pick up the lowest-priced, high-quality steaks for home cooking? I know I can find good steaks at Citarella for a certain price. Can I improve on the quality to price ratio? How is Lobel's?

I'm a bit of a neophyte when it comes to buying steaks, so any tips on what to look for would be great, too (well marbled is probably good, right?). Is grass fed significantly tastier than non-grass fed?

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  1. Lobel's is more expensive than Citarella and probably about the same quality to price ratio. Fairway is cheaper (but you pay extra with your humanity) and once again about the same quality to price ratio. You get what you pay for I guess. If you're on the UWS I'd stick with Citearlla, and to improve on the quality to price ratio I'd stay away from the NY Strips and Rib Eyes and instead get something to braise.

    10 Replies
    1. re: fgf

      Thanks, fgf -- that's really helpful.

      Maybe I should revise my question, then, since I am willing to dish out for the really good stuff: Where can I purchase the best steak in Manhattan?

      Any thoughts on Ottomanelli's?

      1. re: cimui

        I think the best butcher shop in NYC is Florence Meat Market on Jones in the Village. Yes, well-marbled is good. The prices at Florence are lower than both Lobel's and Citarella. I do think Citarella has great meat though. Lamb at Florence is also great.

        Happy cooking!

        1. re: JeremyEG

          I bought some nice Australian ribeye steaks at Citarella on the UWS before Christmas that were wonderful. Lobel is amazing, but as others have mentioned, prices are stratospheric. Florence Meat Market has a lovely cut call the Newport, by the way.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I like Citarella, but it'd be nice to branch out a little since i know so little about steak. Also, I don't think I've seen grass fed at Citarella and I'd like to try that at home. (I've only had it once, on vacation, and I don't really remember what it tasted like.)

            MMRuth, when you say Lobel is amazing, is it noticeably better than Citarella and other high end butchers?

            And could you tell me more about this Newport cut, please? What is it and what makes it wonderful?

            Thanks, JeremyEG and MMRuth -- I will look into Florence. Sounds like my kind of place. (And plus, I'll have an excuse to pop into Murray's Cheese Shop and Blue Ribbon Bakery, too!)

            1. re: cimui

     - about Newport steaks.

              If I were you though, I would at least check out Lobel's website if you haven't yet.

              Edit - And I do think that Lobel's is noticeably better, but I'm not an expert on beef, and have only gotten meat from them a couple of times. Great hotdogs too.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Thanks so much, MMRuth. Good info!

          2. re: JeremyEG

            I agree about Florence. Florence is cheaper but excellent quality. I would take them over Lobel, Citarella, etc. I don't think that Lobel is all it's cracked up to be.

          3. re: cimui

            Ottomanelli's is solid, but watchout they close relatively early.

            1. re: winemonkey

              Eek -- they close at 6 p.m. That's a bit prohibitively early, actually. Thanks for the heads up.

              1. re: cimui

                Lobel's closes at 6pm too - but they do deliver, which of course would just make it that much more expensive! I think most butchers (not Citarella etc.) close pretty early. By the way, I think the meat at Jefferson Market is very good as well.

        2. Find a local butcher, I use smchtick (sp) on !st btwn 55th and 54th. I have found that steak unless they come from a butxher are starting to lose flavor

          3 Replies
          1. re: marye

            Agree on both counts.

            I found butcher-bought steaks to be more flavorful; and I also buy quite often from Simchik.

            BTW, there's a terrific butcher in the Bay Area, California who will personally take your phone orders and ship them. Brian Flannery has very good steaks, all cuts and aged for different amount of time. I have found it worth the splurge to order from Brian, but be forewarned that the shipping costs add up.

            1. re: RCC

              Newport steaks from Pino's on Sullivan St.

            2. re: marye

              Ah, is this the one?

              Simchick Meats Inc
              (212) 888-2299
              944 1st Ave
              New York, NY 10022

              It's actually somewhat convenient to my work place, so I'll have to check it out. Any particular cuts you'd recommend? (That's my cop-out way of saying: I have no idea what cuts are delicious to people who really enjoy steak, so tell me what your favorite is, please!)

            3. cimui - Lobels is good but more expensive than anyone else. Any good local butcher in your area should be able to get you Prime beef as marye says. Schatzie's Prime Meats at 1200 Madison (87th-88th) will have the same cuts and be cheaper than Lobel's. Supermarkets like Food Emporium and such do not carry Prime beef - only lower grades like Choice, Select or Cannery (I think it's called.)

              1. Thanks for all the good information, folks. You've provided some much-needed help!

                1. While certainly not cheap, I prefer buying my meat at Ottomanelli's in the West Village. They have dry aged, prime beef that's excellent and they'll also dry age beef for you for longer than their standard period if you wish.

                  Additionally, their black pig pork is to die for. It's not the standard, low-fat pork you find in stores that has no flavor and the consistency of cardboard. It's marbled, has a wonderful flavor and texture and is what pork is supposed to be.