While chef Michael White is best know for his rococo interpretations of Italian cuisine, he is at heart a corn-fed Midwestern kid with a love of corn-fed American beef. This is evident at three of his Manhattan restaurants: Marea, Ai Fiori, and Osteria Morini. At each he serves one of the crown jewels of the butchers meat locker—the dry aged strip loin. And just as the respective restaurants offer different glimpses of the thematic elements that inspire them, so to is the handling of the same cut, leading to three very different, yet equally compelling results.
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Unlike its Brooklyn smokehouse neighbors Fette Sau and Fatty 'Cue, which also tout responsibly sourced, high quality meat, Butcher Bar is designed to be a butcher shop first and a restaurant second. As it happens, barbecue was added to encourage thrifty Astorian locals to pay a little more for non-industrial meat. It's a hell of a carrot to complement an already carrot-like stick.
Editor's note: This is going to be the first in a series of posts that I hope will help those holiday gift givers who want to give the gift of deliciousness. I crave red meat regularly, and though I don't...