Steaks by Mail (or in Person)

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 eat as much of it as I would like (the health police have gotten to me), there are still times when only a steak will do. And I don't think I'm alone in this regard.

Peter Luger

Peter Luger is still my favorite steakhouse in the country, though I must admit I haven't been to Bern's in Tampa, which some folks consider superior. Luger's owners still regularly go to the wholesale meat market at Hunts Point to pick out their meat, and they still dry-age their meat longer than just about anyone. Reservations are hard to come by at Luger, so I'm happy to report that now you can order Peter Luger steaks on the web. It's expensive but worth it.

Lobel's

Even more expensive is the dry-aged American Wagyu (Kobe-like) steaks Lobel's, perhaps the priciest (and best) butcher in the country. As far as I know, they are the only outfit anywhere that takes a Kobe-style steak and dry-ages it. The results are almost scary good. It's simply the best steak I have ever tasted, and hard as this is to believe, worth the hundred-dollar-plus price tag.

<!-- For less expensive Kobe-like beef Snake River Farms sells a very fine hunk of pseudo-Japanese cow. I particularly like the Zabuton cut. It sounds like the name of a cut of meat from outer space, but it's mighty tasty. For the definitive story on Kobe beef, check out Russ Parsons' Los Angeles Times story . -->