Monday, March 2, 2009

Share Plates

The chef said he had a Four Story Hill Farm cote de boeuf for two that was a little "too funky" to serve to guests.  The cote is $120, a little over 30 ounces of rib steak sliced and served with the bone.  Cooked in butter.  Oh boy.  

The funkiness came from a dry age, which had turned the steak, pre-cook, a coppery brown.  It arrived medium-rare, arranged in slices around that large rib bone, usually the part generating the tastiest--and messiest--meat.  

It may have been too funky for guests, but the cote was fine for me and my cohort.  In fact, the dry aging gave it a rich, earthy flavor, like no other steak I've sampled.  Rich red slices came flanked by crisped slices of fat, always my favorite bits of the rib steak.  Thirty-odd ounces were gone before we knew it; I let my friend have the bone.  

Would it have been worth $120, had the bill been on me?  Definitely.  Steakhouses charge $40 for adequate-to-good dry aged steaks for one that don't even come close to the flavor and depth of this baby.  Eating a steak like this almost makes me wonder why I'd even bothered to eat other, less pedigreed steaks in the past.  And it truly makes me wonder why anyone would ever order a filet mignon, ever, when the mighty rib steak kicks its butt all over New York.

Not that I needed much convincing, but I'm a bona fide convert.  I ate no French fries with my steak, no veggies.  I drank only the tiniest sip of wine.  The steak needed nothing: not seasoning, not bearnaise, not A1 (an insult, really, to the integrity of great meat).  It came as close to perfect as a steak ever can, and that's elevated praise coming from this lifelong carnivore.  

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