Steve Cuozzo takes Kobe Club and Quality Meats to task in today’s Post, complaining that they should serve more 28-day dry-aged Prime steaks, “the gold standard.” There’s a reason those restaurants’ steaks aren’t stellar, but their grade and how long they’ve been aged has nothing to do with it.
A mediocre piece of beef is mediocre even with aging, and “prime” steaks are so designated by the USDA after a mere visual inspection. Back when Peter Luger was making its reputation, each cut was carefully inspected and brought back from the market. The big steakhouses that are so popular today more or less buy beef by the truckload and hope for the best. You might luck into a great steak anywhere on any given night — we recently did, at Nick and Stef’s at Madison Square Garden; it was a rib eye — but it’s akin to finding true love in New York City. And just as it is with romantic interests, you have to put aside age and other people’s labels. There’s a steak out there waiting for you, but you won’t necessarily find it in the most obvious places.