May 6, 2009
Table Hopping with Rosie
DEBRAGGA AND SPITLER MEATS
DeBragga and Spitler, a top-quality meat purveyor specializing in certified Angus beef, recently came to our attention when we tried their steak at Docs of Sparta and proclaimed it to be one of the most flavorful and tender pieces of meat we have experienced in a long time. Some other NJ restaurants that serve DeBragga and Spitler prime USDA dry-aged beef are: the Bernards Inn, Bernardsville; Highlawn Pavilion, West Orange; the Manor, West Orange; Theater Square Grill, Newark; Nisi, Englewood; the Park Steakhouse, Park Ridge; and the Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster.
DeBragga and Spitler is located on Washington Street in New York City, in the meatpacking district (or Gansevoort Market, as the area is officially known). A recent tour of the facilities found us walking down cobblestone streets past meat warehouses and men in butcher’s coats loading animal carcasses onto trucks. But we also saw high-end stores, art galleries, and upscale restaurants in the neighborhood.
At the plant, George Faison, one of the owners, had us don white coats and hairnets and brought us into refrigerated rooms where we saw meat on hooks or drying on metal racks. Large fans created airflow to allow the meat to dry properly. We were shown how the meat is tagged with the date that it goes on the shelf in the drying room. That’s where the custom cuts for top NJ and NYC restaurants (Aureole, Craft, Craftsteak, Restaurant Daniel, Café Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Market, and Le Bernardin, just to mention a few) were drying. There was quite a difference in touch and smell of a piece of beef that had dried for one week compared with one that had been on the shelf for four weeks. Butchers wielding sharp knives were meticulously carving out chops and steaks from animals raised on an all-vegetarian diet, without hormones or antibiotics. A win-win for the consumer and the planet.
With grilling season approaching and Father’s Day on June 21, if you can’t get to any of the NJ restaurants that feature DeBragga and Spitler beef, you can always order the company’s products, including veal, pork, poultry, sausages, and Wagyu-Kobe beef, online at www.debragga.com.
Steaks dry aging at DeBragga and Spitler.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein.