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Behind the scenes of New York's premium dry-aged steaks. An in-depth look at the aging, cooking, and presentation of New York's premium dry-aged steaks from beef expert Nick Solares.

Steakcraft: Costata Part 3, Dry-Aged Boneless Ribeye and New York Strip

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Steakcraft: Costata Part 3, Dry-Aged Boneless Ribeye and New York Strip

The dry-aged New York strip for one at Costata. [Photographs: Nick Solares]

Steak Fact Sheet

Cuts: Boneless New York Strip and Ribeye
Grade: USDA Prime
Breed: Black Angus
Dry Aged? Yes, 40 Days (minimum)
Pre-Cooked Weight: New York Strip 12 oz., Ribeye 18 oz.
Price: New York Strip $47, Ribeye $55
Price per Ounce: New York Strip $3.90, Ribeye $3.05

"PJ Calapa is badass! He is from Texas, loves meat, barbecue, roasting, braising, grilling. He has a fantastic palate and as a chef he is the complete package," says Michael White of his executive chef of Costata. "He was the natural choice for the position," he continues. Calapa is the chef at Ai Fiori too, but he has also worked at Nobu 57 and Eleven Madison Park prior to joining the Altamarea restaurant group. In White's estimation, it gave him the perfect background to run the restaurant. White sees Costata as combining the best elements of the Altamarea groups other restaurants—the pasta and crudo from Marea and Ai Fiori, the communal dining aspects of Morini, and the wine lists that the group is known for.

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Chef/Owner Michael White and executive chef PJ Calapa.

"I always wanted to do a steakhouse, and we already had steakhouse-quality meat at our restaurants thanks to our relationship with Pat LaFrieda" says White—which you can confirm from previous visits. As far as White is concerned, Calapa was the natural choice for a menu combining Italian technique with American dry-aged beef.

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The Costata kitchen during service.

Previously we looked at the large format, bone-in steaks for two (or more). This week we feature two of the boneless steaks for one: the New York strip and the ribeye. Both are dry-aged for 40+ days by Pat LaFrieda and are fabricated in-house from aged primals. The boneless strip comes from smaller, younger animals; a 12-ounce portion from a larger steer would mean a wider but much thinner steak. By using smaller strip loins, Calapa can cook the thicker steaks to temperature more easily with less risk of overcooking.

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While the large steaks and the ribeye, with its prodigious marbling, are cooked on the flat top and then finished in the 1900° broiler, such a technique was judged "too ferocious" too cook the boneless strip. Instead, the steak is lovingly seared in a cast iron skillet and basted with rosemary, garlic and butter. While the large steaks are seasoned with rosemary salt and pepper the boneless pan cooked steak uses kosher salt - the rosemary flavor is added during the basting used to finish the steaks. Same flavor profile, different technique.

Take a look through the slideshow and check out how the steaks are cooked.

About the author: Nick Solares is a NYC-based food writer and photographer. He has published Beef Aficionado since 2007, with the stated purpose of exploring American exceptionalism through the consumption of hamburgers and steak. He has written over 350 restaurant reviews for Serious Eats since 2008 and served as the creative director for the award-winning iPad app Pat LaFrieda's Big App for Meat. You can follow him on Instagram (@nicksolares) and Twitter (@beefaficionado).

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