Prime Patty

The Bad Apple's new wagyu hamburger

Since it opened last summer, hamburger cognoscenti have flocked to The Bad Appleā€“the only place in town to serve beef from New York's famed butcher Pat LaFrieda.

LaFrieda's meat is prized in high-end New York restaurants; it's been called, among other things, the gold standard of hamburger. The basic Bad Apple burger is crafted from a custom blend of the butcher's top-notch grass-fed beef (no chuck allowed).

And the newest addition to the menu will take a burger hound's breath away: a 90-day dry-aged American wagyu prime rib patty ($26) that owner Craig Fass calls "the Maserati of hamburgers."

In February, Fass went to New York to visit LaFrieda and create the ideal blend. The resulting burger, which debuted two weeks ago, is stunningly rich and juicy, with a bold aged-beef flavor and a silky texture. It's offered only on Wednesdays, and comes accompanied by a mound of thick-cut fries and toppings chosen to highlight the beef's buttery character.

Last week's burger was graced with Wisconsin five-year-aged cheddar and fat caramelized onions. The week before, it was finished with Danish blue cheese.

This isn't a burger for lettuce, tomato and a squirt of Heinz. If you must dress it up, try a drizzle of The Bad Apple's house-made ketchup, whose hint of garlic and vinegary tang complement the beef's deep flavor.

The Bad Apple, 4300 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-360-8406 or badapplebar.com