‘Esquire’ Gives Carnivores an Issue for the Ages


steak aging room

Another entry in the Library of Steak.Photo: Corbis

The Esquire Almanac of Steak is in the September issue, but so massive a piece of ordnance is it that the magazine is staggering its online release so as not to overwhelm the Internet. The feature might be the mightiest devoted to steak that any magazine has ever published. Some elements are a little weak: John Marianis 20 Best Steaks in America is arbitrary and long-winded, and more a platform for snappy descriptors (You name your restaurant Steak Frites, you better get this one right. They do.) than accurate or insightful "carniseurship." But the main articles are downright brilliant. Hasten immediately to Tom Chiarellas Butcher feature, which starts with the immortal sentence The sink is full of tongues; Eliot Kaplans pitch-perfect profile of the overhyped but lovable Berns Steakhouse in Tampa; a tribute to the pre-steak martini by Dave Wondrich; and, best of all, Tom Junods meditation on Wagyu beef, which should go on the short list of the best steak essays of all time, right along with Jeffrey Steingartens High Steaks and Joseph Mitchells All You Can Hold for Five Bucks. It compresses meaty physicality, cooking, consumption, and a twinned pair of moral epiphanies into less space than it takes to review a movie. More essays and recipes from the issue will come online at Esquire.com throughout the week. But what's there now will sate you for days to come.

Butcher [Esquire]
The Perfect Pre-Steak Drink: The Martini [Esquire]
The Steakhouse As Museum [Esquire]
Unnatural Thoughts on Wagyu Beef [Esquire]