New York’s most expensive steaks are, for the most part, rib steaks. That’s why we’re continuing our State of Steak Prices with these fatty, flavorful cuts, which chefs incorrectly pair bone marrow. Really, there’s enough fat. Check out the prices, with commentary that follows:
The bone-in rib steak (i.e. the cote de boeuf) has virtually replaced the porterhouse at ambitious New York restaurants as the steak for two of choice. Some might attribute this sea change to Minetta Tavern, one of NYC’s two Michelin-starred steakhouses (Peter Luger is the other). Frank Bruni, in his three star review of Minetta for the New York Times, praised Minetta’s cote de boeuf as a “glorious hunk of beef that you dream about hours later, pine for the next day and extol in a manner so rapturous and nonstop that friends begin to worry less about your cholesterol than about your sanity.”
Minetta was already using a doorman for crowd control before Bruni’s review. Imagine what happened afterwards. That was in the spring of 2009, when the cote de boeuf was $90. It’s now $140, a 56 percent price hike, as we’ve reported here and for Bloomberg News.
Others might attribute the rib-for-two rage to David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam bar, an East Village restaurant that’s been serving the cut long before McNally took over Minetta. I recall paying $140 for Ssam Bar’s steak back in 2009 and it remains, by and large, New York’s most expensive rib steak; Sara Jimenez, the restaurant’s general manager, tells me the entree, which can range from $95-$225, averages at $162.50 most nights (priced per order at $2.50 an ounce, less than the $3.10 per ounce at Prime Meats, to be fair).
Monkey Bar was charging $145 for its Cote de Boeuf in March, but Graydon Carter’s Midtown restaurant has since removed that item from the menu. Adour Alain Ducasse, as well, removed its $140 rib steak from the menu earlier this year. We’ll investigate further. Not all cotes de boeufs make it past infancy.
Of the thirty rib-steaks for two that we “monitored,” over 15 were $105 or more, a price point that’s more expensive than most of New York’s porterhouses, a cut that typically hovers under $95 at Peter Luger, Wolfgang’s and elsewhere.
The most common cote de boeuf price (or statistical mode, for those who roll like that) was $125, as that’s what at least seven NYC restaurants are charging.
Think of it this way: Even if you’re splitting the bill (and really, you’re probably not), almost half of these rib steaks for two will end up costing you more, per person, than the $58 strip at Minetta, which happens to be one of NYC’s most expensive strip steaks.
Better break out that corporate Amex
(last update: 8/28. Added Delmonico’s,Tertulia, Standard Grill)