Before any of you start in on us, let it be known that ELV took “Mr. Cutlets” to Carnevino solely as an intellectual piece of palatable performance art. A preemptive form of protein oneupsmanship if you please, done solely to resurrect this meat program to its proper place of porterhouse prominence in his perception.
In other words, Mr. Ozersky had told us he was less than impressed with the steaks and dry-aging he had encountered two years ago here, and we wanted to prove a point. That point being, the steaks here are as fine as you’ll find west of the Hudson River, and the aging program a piece of nonpareil perfection.
He wasn’t even hungry when we got there at 10:00 last night. He had already had dinner, and told Chef di Cucina Nicole Brisson: “I can only take a few bites of something.”
But then she produced two beauties: a 66-day dry aged wonder from their meat vault alongside one that started breaking down its proteins on 3.11.11 (about 280 days if you’re counting), and the swooning (and forking) began. The sweet, gamy intensity of the oldest steak was like meat candy, but it was the younger one that he couldn’t stop raving about.
“This steak has spent more time dead than alive,” he said as we devoured a mahogany-colored chunk of rib eye deckle. “This is like perfect meat,” he continued, as we all feasted on the mineral-rich, brown-roasted earthiness before us.
Then it was off to a tour of the on-premises meat locker, where the marbling of some of the meat took all of our breath away.
By the time we left, Mr. Meatopia was already picking out cuts for his next trip, and we considered our work done for the evening. “I can’t say I love the super-aged steak as much as the two month one,” he said, adding, “it’s very intense, and maybe over-the-top (with its gaminess), but I see what you’re shouting about, and the meat here is of a prime quality that’s hard to find these days.”
High praise indeed coming from a man who lives in the steakhouse capital of the world.