Dining

Chop Shop

Bowery Meat Company's got some serious beef (and veal)
Veal Chop at Bowery Meat Company
Veal chop with burned orange | Photos: Dave Katz/Tasting Table 

You over there, sipping the detox tea. And, you, with the overflowing green salad.

We see you. We commend you, but we also know that soon enough, you're going to break from all that well-intentioned clean eating and start to crave a steak. Badly.

When you decide to butcher your resolutions, cut and run to Bowery Meat Company.

It's the latest schmancy restaurant to join other newish Bowery additions from Keith McNally (Cherche Midi) and Andrew Carmellini (Bar Primi). BMCo is the brainchild of the Lure and Burger & Barrel team, John McDonald and chef Josh Capon, as well as executive chef Paul DiBari. It's not exactly a steakhouse in the traditional sense—they prefer to call it a "meat-centric" restaurant. The design and menu have a slightly more modern bent, but trust—you're going to pay steakhouse prices.

McDonald has a knack for stylized restaurants (picture Lure's nautical-chic interior). BMCo's look is midcentury modern meets Richard Burton's smoking lounge: wood paneling; plush, half-moon blue booths; butcher block-topped tables; geometric carpeting; drapes; and mirrored accents.

The food is stylized, too; you won't find creamed spinach and its old-timey ilk here. "We don't want you to be exhausted by the time the steak hits the table," Capon says. You're greeted with meat upon arrival, though, in the form of complimentary salumi and soft slices of bacon-and-rosemary focaccia. From there, order the Rockefeller-reminiscent broiled oysters ($18), doused in bubbling-hot parsley-and-Romano-cheese compound butter.

Sour cream and onion hash brown and squeezing the burned orange over the veal chop

Of course, the real reason you're here is for the meat, which occupies the central portion of the menu. The boys source all of their Diamond Creek Ranch hormone-free meat from Jersey's Pat LaFrieda, including the signature Bowery steak ($47). The super-marbled cut is what's known as deckle meat, or the ribeye cap. Capon rolls, ties it and grills it; when it's untied, it resembles a filet mignon, but the meat itself has more fat and flavor. It's served with a topping of salsa verde for brightness and balance.

But to borrow a line from The Godfather, "Try the veal. It's the best in the city." BMCo's hulking, 16-ounce Amish rib veal chop ($49) just might be: The chop is marinated overnight in orange, garlic, rosemary and olive oil, then rubbed with a blend of toasted Moorish spices (cumin, coriander, fennel seed and paprika) before being grilled. It's served with a burned orange half that's drizzled with a touch of butter and sprinkled with fennel pollen. You should absolutely squeeze the juice over the top (when mixed with the spices, it makes a nice little sauce), but we'd also recommend plunging each juicy bite directly into the orange for maximum citrus-and-fennel flavor.

RELATED   Superb Steak Frites »

You should also order a playful sour cream and onion hash brown ($8), a crisp potato cake topped with caramelized onions, green onion slices and, yes, sour cream. It runs circles around other sides like garlic spinach ($8).

And to drink? Well, even if this isn't a steakhouse, you've gotta go gin martini ($14). Fortunately, the bar stirs an excellent one, classic and beautifully bracing in a cold coupe glass. Much like the rest of the menu, it's a cut above.

Editor's Note: John McDonald is a co-founder of Tasting Table, but he did not participate in or review our editorial article.

Bowery Meat Company 9 E. First St. New York NY 10003 212-460-5255

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere