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Where to buy dry-aged prime ribeyes /steaks (other than Lobel's)?

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Hi chowhounders,

I want to get some dry-aged steaks for a house dinner this long weekend, and am wondering if anyone has recommnendation on where to go other than Lobel's? Ideally I would like to get dry-aged prime ribeyes, but other dry-aged prime steaks should work well. I think there are a few butcher shops that have dry-aged prime steaks, but I am not sure how the quality measures up. Your advice will be greatly appreciated!

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  1. I like Ottomanelli on Bleecker St. betw, 6th & 7th. But if I know that I want something specific, I will call a couple of days ahead and order it. They're a little expensive, but very cooperative, and they can get you anything at all. I think they're beef is great.
    May I ask why you don't want to use Lobel's? People seem to love them. I should mention that I don't recall every buying meat from Lobel's, so I can't compare.

    4 Replies
    1. re: vvvindaloo

      Hi vvvvindaloo,

      Thanks for your note! If Ottomanelli has good dry aged prime steaks, I am for it! Lobel's is far from where I live so I don't want to go there unless I really have to.

      However, my question is really if the butcher shops dry age the steaks properly. I know Whole Foods has dry aged steaks too, but I am a bit skeptical on their quality.

      1. re: kobetobiko

        You would have to ask the individual butcher shop what their particular process is. Ottomanelli is very good. We got our holiday steaks from there. Their cowboy steak was a major standout.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          Well, I am definitely not an expert on aging methods, and could not tell you if they are the best at dry aging or not. I can only tell you that I got best rib eye of my life from them. My neighbor, for whom I cooked that night, is still talking about how that was the best steak he's ever had!

          1. re: kobetobiko

            I would say skip Whole Foods. I bought 2 of their $20/lb dry aged ribeyes recently and wasn't terribly impressed. Actually, the ribeye I get at Costco (for $6.99/lb) is far better. Let us know what you decide and how they turn out, though! We had porterhouses from a butcher shop in our neighborhood last night that were good but I prefer ribeye and would love to know of a great place for them!

        2. Oppenheimer on the UWS has dry-aged prime rib steaks and Porterhouses that are about as good as Lobel's at perhaps 2/3 the cost. There's no need to pre-order.

          1. Chains unfortunately, but Whole Foods and Fairway carries prime dry aged steaks.

            1. Why not Lobel's? Shouldn't one go straight to the top?

              1. Florence Meat Market is very good. I bought a 4-rib roast from them for Christmas and it was incredible. The marbling was out of this world. They age 3 weeks, but might have longer, so you should ask.

                I've had success with Fairway in Harlem. In fact, one of the best steaks I've ever cooked came from there, but it was a porterhouse. Not as marbled as Florence, but really beafy flavor. They age 3 weeks as well.

                Lobel's would be the only place I know which standardly carries beef aged longer than 3 weeks. I think they claim 6 weeks on their porterhouse. FWIW, the only time I've been there I got a giant rib eye and it wasn't that great. But to be honest that might have been more my incompetent cooking than the product itself.

                1. Citarella has them. I cannot vouch for the quality. It is right next to Fairway, you can purchase from both and compare. Quite an expensive test, we look forward to the results on your research dime.

                  http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

                  1. Hi all,

                    Just to report back! I ended up at Ottomanelli on Bleecker to get my steaks. I called ahead to ask if they have dry-aged prime bone-in ribeye, and they said they always had it and there was no need to pre-order. Before heading to Ottomanelli, I happened to pass by Whole Foods at Union Square so I went in to get some Fra Mani's Rosa Salami (awesome, by the way), and took a peak at the butcher counter. They did have dry aged steaks but the steaks looked so red that they didn't seem to have dry-aged for enough time. I didn't ask about it cuz didn't plan to buy there anyway.

                    When I arrived at Ottomanelli, Frank (the nicest person, I love him!) showed me the ribeye steaks before cutting. They had Black Angus Prime, dry-aged for 21 days. The marbling looked awesome, but the color, again, looked quite bright red and not the darker red hue. In the end, I got the bone-in ribeye and also some sweetbreads. I saw a lot of other steaks and game and really wanted to buy them but I knew I had too much arleady. Well, next time.

                    On my way home I also got some burrata from Murray's which became my appetizers with beets and tomatoes.

                    Back to the steaks which we had for yesterday's dinner. It was very tender, great beef taste but to me, not enough dry-aged flavor. I might had been spoiled because lately I have been trying out steakhouses and have had like 28, 35, or 40-day dry aged steaks. So my taste bud might have already been jaded. Nevertheless, this was still an awesome ribeye steak because
                    1) it had enough marbling over the entire steak so you wouldn't have just fat on one side and then dry meat on the other and
                    2) it was tender, probably because it was dry-aged which tenderized the meat and the marbling certainly helped
                    3) it did have great beef taste, albeit lacking the naunced dry-aged flavor

                    I also made some "popcorn" sweetbreads by coating the sweetbreads with panko and deep fried. It was a bit hit! My friend said that we don't have to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar to get those fried veal sweetbreads anymore :D. However, I doubt that I will make this often as the prep work was too much.

                    Anyway, I was overall satisfied with the steaks I got at Ottomanelli. I may try Florenerce Meat Market next time, and if I have the time to go uptown I will try Lobel's, Fairway, etc. What I really liked about Ottomanelli was that they cut everything right in front of you based on your request so you could specify the thickness, the side you want, etc. The people there (Frank!) was so nice and courteous. I actually gave Frank a call and thank him for his help. I saw some great porterhouse and skirt steaks at Ottomanelli and may try them next time.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      In re: Fairway vs. Citarella. I live a few blocks away and do nearly all my shopping in one store or the other. When it comes to meat, Citarella is far superior. I'll buy for myself at Fairway because it's less expensive. But if I'm cooking for others it's Citarella hands down.

                      I've never tried Citarella's rib eye; I'm a porterhouse girl. But early last fall I bought two aged porterhouse steaks at Citarella to cook on a friend's outdoor grill and we all agreed that the meat was comparable if not superior to what's available at many of NYC's top steakhouses.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        Hi JoanN,

                        Wow, that's good to hear! I thought it will be hard to top steakhouse experience. May be I really need to have Citarella a try! Do you know if they carry it at the Greenwich village location? (Lasy me want to avoid going uptown...)

                        1. re: kobetobiko

                          Since I live so close to the UWS store, I've never even stopped into the other locations. I've heard anecdotally that sometimes the fish isn't quite as fresh at the UES side store as it is at the UWS one so perhaps there are differences among them depending on traffic. When they're not overly busy, I find the UWS butchers friendly, easy to talk to, and very forthcoming about various cuts and what might be best on the day I'm buying. Perhaps the GV butchers are the same and you could just talk to them and see what they have to say.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            I buy fish all the time at the UES location, and occasionally at the UWS location - FWIW, I've not noticed any difference in quality. I do think the GV location is not *quite* as good. I agree with your post above that the meat at Citarella is better than that at Fairway.

                          2. re: kobetobiko

                            My post above forgot to say that I am sure Citarella dry aged ribeye is superior to Fairway's. Was hoping someone would compare and give an indication of the gap.
                            Just call and ask them at the Citarella Greenwich location. Is a phone call that big a deal? Easier and more reliable to obtain the info directly from the source, no? If they do not have a large stock(I assume they do), it would take them a day or less to get it from another location. This is a worst case scenario.
                            Price at Cit is not cheap but not expensive compared to other butchers of good reputation.
                            If you have enough heat, you can replicate top steakhouses with top beef. If you go crazy in your beef choice, you can replicate the best steakhouse.
                            Any butcher will cut a piece to your specification, that is nothing to be excited about, especially at these levels.
                            Was your complaint about redness on the inside of the cut rib roast?
                            Granted it should not look the same as fresh beef but the inside will not look that same as the very ugly dry-aged outside.

                            Good luck in your steaking quest.

                            http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

                            1. re: foodonlygood

                              Just so you know, there is no direct number to call the Greenwich location. You call a 1-800 number to Citarella customer service and the person tells you the info. I have got wrong info all the time on product availability at specific Citarella locations and hence I no longer used the 1800 number.

                              As for the color, the meat itself may be red inside even if dry aged, but the bone area is really where you can tell. That's what I am referring too.

                              As for the specification, I am sure all the butchers can do it based on my specification (as long as I am willing to pay). But there is a difference of being served by courteous, knowledgeable staff vs apathetic robotic staff (dean and deluca). The staff at Ottomanelli are the former.

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                Sorry to hear about Citarella's poor organization. That lack of easy info is definitely frustrating. If I walk by soon, I will ask.
                                Dean and Deluca? I would never even consider that place. An overpriced supermarket at best.
                                As for cutting, I understand if you liked the staff at Otto's.It was just that you stated they took out the piece of meat, showed it and cut it to your specs. That did not seem very special, that is all.
                                Maybe you can give an objective comparison of Citarella v Ottomanelli, in terms of beef quality, at some point.
                                In the instance of the color, was just clarifying that you did not expect the dead center of a rib roast to have the real, nasty look of dry-aging as other parts might.

                                http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

                            2. re: kobetobiko

                              Kobe,

                              Your GV Citarella has boneless prime dry aged ribeye, $27/lb.
                              Told you I would get the info if I passed by and there you go.
                              If you do a comparison, I would like to know the results.
                              Thanks.

                              http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

                          3. re: kobetobiko

                            Burrata, sweetbreads and ribeye, that sounds amazing. I would have flown up from florida for that one :).

                            1. re: tpigeon

                              Hi tpigeon,

                              Next time I will give you a call! :D

                            2. re: kobetobiko

                              Do you have a recipe for those sweetbreads? My husband's birthday is coming up and he'd love them, if you're up for posting on the HC board. Another v. good butcher, I think, is the one on 9th Avenue & 20th, East side of the Avenue. Not sure about the dry aged meat though.

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                I am glad that Ottomanelli worked out for you, kobe. I have never been disappointed with their meat, and was sure that you would appreciate their quality. It's too bad about them not being as aged as you would have liked- come to think of it, I can't recall seeing 35 and 40-day aged in butcher shops, myself. Since you were happy with their meat, why not ask Frank if he can age it especially for you? As you now know, they definitely aim to please. Thanks for reporting back.

                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                  I really should go in there more often when we do our Bleecker St. "run" ....