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Dry Aged Côte de Boeuf at Minetta Tavern

rottyguy Jul 6, 2013 11:44 PM

Finally got to Minetta Tavern tonight and had the infamous Dry Aged Côte de Boeuf. At $140 (serves two), I can't really understand the hype here. I thought luger's was better (and I'm not a lugers fan, mostly b/c of the service) and by no means is this steak comparable to the boned in rib-eye at Quality Meats. Thought the meat would be more tender and I had a hard time cutting through some of the fat strips. Not a bad steak but not deserving of the reputation. That they added a sauce to the steak is bit of a warning-- great steak stands on it's own! That said, the Aligot potatoes were pretty good and the (special) scallop in risotto appetizer was superb. Spent $300 (with tip) between the two of us for cocktails, wine (2 by the glass), main, souffle, and coffee.

A few of our party had the black label burger. Again, not a bad burger but undeserving of the reputation. Comments rang of Burger Joint (Park Meridian) being better-- I've not been so can't really comment. I may go back to try it (I had a small sample but not enough to make a determination) but less eager to do so now.

Service was very good.

  1. f
    fooder Jul 7, 2013 11:47 AM

    During a recent visit, I also found that the streaks/strips of fat were troublesome to cut through and chew. I did not encounter such a problem during my previous visits. The flavor was still great, but my jaw was aching by the end of the meal.

    I haven't had the black label burger in a long time, but I find that it's in a class of its own, meaning it's hard to directly compare it (use of dry aged beef trimmings) to regular burgers. That being said, my favorite "regular" burger is the one at JG Melon and I personally feel Burger Joint is one of the most overhyped places in the city.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fooder
      rottyguy Jul 7, 2013 01:58 PM

      Indeed,I felt it to be a bit of a chore with each bite. As noted, I only had a small bite of the meat so went with the tables comment (3 had ordered the black label). I disagree that you can compare a burger given the taste (you are able to judge your preference to it). One tries to be objective but given the $26 price tag, you're likely holding it to a higher standard. Burger Joint is on my short list (so far Corner Bistro is my most overhyped burger place in the city).

    2. j
      jpdoctor Jul 7, 2013 12:39 PM

      Maybe the lesson there is you don't like very long aged beef? The burger joint is I believe unaged or most wet aged whereas the black label is constructed from bits and pieces that are sort of hors de catagorie in the dry aging department and the CdB is aged 60 days, significantly longer than the 28 days the ribsteak at Quality Meats is aged. I believe both the ribsteak and the CdB are LaFrieda/Creekstone products.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jpdoctor
        rottyguy Jul 7, 2013 02:00 PM

        Yeah perhaps. At that price, I definitely expected more. It sounds like you've tried both? What is your take?

        1. re: rottyguy
          jpdoctor Jul 7, 2013 02:12 PM

          I've eaten at quality meats and S&W, but never had the dry aged rib steak - but I have had the Minetta CdB more than once and consider it the best steak in town. Given they are sourced from the same place with the only difference being age and cut...

          But my view on super old steaks like that is that some variability in quality is inevitable, so on that basis alone I don't think your thoughts carry information vis-a-vis your taste in beef. It really could have been just not a great version
          Really its the comparison of the Black Label Burger to Burger Joint that led me to say that though. I like the Burger Joint - but I love super old beef and the idea that the Burger Joint can compare to the Black Label burger is sort of weird to me. But it totally makes sense if you don't love that sort of funkiness.

          BTW - The absolute best piece of meat I've had in this town was the super aged strip Roberta's used to include in the pre-Blanca tasting when it was just a table in the dining room. it was so strong it was more like charcuterie than steak.

          Corner Bistro's old rep is basically garbage - a prime time burger there is likely to be terrible, but if you go at an off time when they aren't slammed it can be a very good Qualty/Price Ratio Burger. But it doesn't compare well to the last ten years worth of burger joints. I'm just glad McHale's has closed so I can remember it as still the greatest.

          1. re: jpdoctor
            rottyguy Jul 7, 2013 02:22 PM

            I had the S&W 10+yrs ago and haven't been back since. I have another thread going about being pretty "low rent" when it comes to burgers... actually when I think about this, I'm probably low rent on food all around. That is to say, I'm not particular keen on sauces for meats and "fusion" flavors. Case in point, we were at The General this morning and I ended up with the grilled chicken sandwich. To my chagrin, it was made very reminescent to a banh mi that could be picked up for roughly 1/3 the price with very comparable flavors...

            As far as comparing burgers (or steak), I have a good feel for what I like. I realize that's not a profound statement but, to me, quality beef should stand on its on. Salted/Peppered/Grilled and that's it.

            btw- I do have fond memories of McHales. In that area, I currently like the Hurley's burger. And do try the boned in rib-eye at QM the next chance you get. I'd like to get your take on it...

      2. a
        AlexRast Jul 7, 2013 05:11 PM

        I'd say the Black Label burger is a good step up from Burger Joint. The burgers at Burger Joint *are* good but the meat doesn't compare in depth of flavour and the patty is a lot thinner too. As I've commented, though, the bun at the Minetta is a bit underwhelming - but between BJ and Minetta on the bun front it's swings and roundabouts.

        rottyguy's comment: "One tries to be objective but given the $26 price tag, you're likely holding it to a higher standard." I think misses the point. That's not evaluating the *quality*, it's evaluating the *value for money* - two very different concepts - it would be a distortion of the truth, considering specifically quality, to uprate any burger simply on the basis that it were cheaper. I suspect the OP, given how much he's spent at Minetta and Luger's though, isn't particularly worried about price as such...

        Not surprising, on the other hand, that you thought the steak worse than Luger - Peter Luger steaks really *are* in a class of their own and it would be hard for any restaurant, anywhere, to do significantly better.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AlexRast
          rottyguy Jul 7, 2013 05:28 PM

          You make a fair point. I'll commit to going back to minetta for the black label as well as trying out BJ. On a side note, I was somewhat disappointed with Rattle & Hum's burger having read it was grounded Ottomanelli's beef. It tasted a little frozen and not fresh the night I was there...

          I've commented elsewhere that Luger's Porterhouse is a good steak but b/c of their surley waiters, I'm not a patron. I think there are comparable steaks in the city that would better be able to part me with my money.

        2. ipsedixit Jul 7, 2013 06:26 PM

          My problem with the burger is the butter. Just wrong on so many levels.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            rottyguy Jul 8, 2013 01:34 AM

            Didn't realize this.. Friends didn't like the sweet caramelized onions. All their sides were fried in butter/garlic (carrots, spinach, etc.). Invariably went with the aligot potatoes (which had cheese and butter in it)..

            1. re: rottyguy
              ipsedixit Jul 8, 2013 07:35 AM

              They basically dip the patty in clarified butter and then drizzle clarified butter while it cooks on the griddle.

              Total waste of good dry-aged, prime cuts of beef.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                rottyguy Jul 8, 2013 08:46 AM

                I recall Ruth Christ doing something like this with their steaks I think. And thought I saw Homestead doing this to their burgers per a show I was watching once. Totally agree that it's a ridiculous/unnecessary treatment for quality meat.

          2. Miss Needle Jul 8, 2013 07:39 AM

            I once ordered the black label burger and regular cheeseburger to do a side-by-side tasting. I preferred the black label but the waitress told me that people tend to be 50/50 about the burgers.

            I also didn't have the best experience with the steak. The funkiness of the meat was terrific but it was hard to chew. I was wishing for a porterhouse at Luger as I was eating their cote de boeuf.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle
              rottyguy Jul 8, 2013 08:49 AM

              I must sound like a broken record by now, but I consider the aged boned in rib-eye at Quality Meats the best steak in the city (and, no, I do not have any affiliation with them).

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