Steakcraft: The Orange Squirrel's New York-Quality Steak in Bloomfield, NJ
Steak Fact SheetCut: Rib Steak
Grade: USDA Prime
Breed: Black Angus
Dry Aged? 28 Days
Pre-Cooked Weight:24 to 30 oz.
Average Price per Ounce: $1.70
Chef Francesco Palmieri has strong connections to several other chefs that we have featured here on Steakcraft, making The Orange Squirrel a natural for a feature despite being a little off a New York's beaten path in Bloomfield, NJ.
Palmieri got his start with Michael Lomonaco at the ill-fated Windows on the World after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. He considers Lomonaco his mentor and he certainly has a similar appreciation and respect for steak. (We featured Lomonaco's Porterhouse New York on Steakcraft here and here). Palmieri went on to work for Geoffrey Zakarian at Town before opening The Orange Squirrel in 2008. Also, his friend and neighbor in Bloomfield is Ed Schoenfeld of RedFarm and RedFarm Steak, a pop-up restaurant that runs through the end of September 2013.
Palmieri applies the classic technique of a trained chef to his steak but adds his own twists. He gets his meat from Wayne Meats in nearby Wayne, NJ. "I have a great relationship with them" he says of his purveyors. They dry age USDA Prime rib primals for him, which he then cuts into steaks. "I think you are missing out on a big part of the experience if you don't fabricate steaks yourself."
The rib steak he serves is first seared on the grill and finished in a large stone oven to which the chef adds stone fruit woods from his garden to add a smokiness to the steak. The steak is sliced for the table and served in a skillet with garlic confit, a chipotle compound butter, and shredded scallions.
Take a look through the slideshow to see how the chef fabricates and cooks the steak.
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 400 restaurant reviews and feature articles for Serious Eats since 2008 and is a special features writer for the AM New York newspaper. You can follow him on Instagram (@nicksolares) and Twitter (@beefaficionado).