These Shops Are All About the Cuts

A new neighborhood meat spot and a high-end fishmonger bank on eating at home

The neighborhood butcher has seen an uptick in business since the pandemic started, with places like The Meat Hook in Brooklyn noting they had been busier than ever. That's in part because small-scale meat production isn't making people sick and, big picture, the meat is often better for us and the environment. 

So it's good timing for the opening of Prospect Butcher Co. (665 Vanderbilt Ave. Brooklyn) in Prospect Heights. Their weekend pop-ups at Faun morphed into a brick-and-mortar location in the new year, where customers can buy pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, and other meats from regional producers. Over on the Upper East Side, a butcher of a different sort debuted a month earlier, with Manhattan restaurant Sushi Noz rolling out Noz Market (1374 Third Ave., Manhattan), offering Edomae-style sushi and fish butcher options.

Back in Brooklyn, Gregory Brockman (who'd been a butcher at Foragers Market in Dumbo) and Corey Hammond (a former e-commerce guy) are carrying crowd-pleasers like pasture-raised chicken for $5.99/lb or filet for $34.99/lb, along with sundries like Rancho Gordo beans, Topo Chico fizzy water, organic eggs, and more. 

Aside from their practice of whole-animal butchery, what sets the place apart is that it's employee-owned. 

"At a time when food workers are getting absolutely screwed, left, right, and center, this is something that's important to us," Brockman said. 

Brockman noted that, a few weeks after opening, they're still a work in progress; they're waiting for another walk-in refrigerator so they can fully outfit their place for the kind of ambitious butchering they're itching to do. 

In the meantime, you can pick up housemade bacon and sausage, leg of lamb or pork chops, and beef shank or beef cheeks, the latter of which "people are busting the door down for," Brockman said. But be flexible when you get there because, like every business, they're having to work around pandemic-related supply issues, too.

At Noz Market, the glorious fish you'd have from chef Nozomu Abe's $395 omakase is available for takeout. Sure, they're "fairly steep prices," as Florence Fabricant noted in a roundup of new restaurant openings, but it's far more affordable than dining at the restaurant. And to be fair, there are super reasonably priced options, from an array of handrolls for around $16 and a small sashimi box for $30. While toro futomaki will set you back $85, an omakase will tally about $145 a person: Fair prices for exceptional fish. 

Past the sushi options and homemade sauces, there's the fish butcher, with coveted crustaceans like sea urchin (MP), scallops ($22/lb), or Botan shrimp ($6/each) from Japan, as well as Arctic char, different kinds of tuna (MP), and King salmon ($18 -$23/lb). And in general, the quality of the fish you can get now is bonkers because fewer people are dining out. 

Noz's owners, the Foulquier brothers, expanded its footprint by picking up a Japanese bakery next door, allowing the restaurant to open when indoor dining was allowed, as well as expand to an Instagram-friendly market. It joins Prospect Butcher Co. as a silver lining for customers during a difficult stretch for everyone.