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Four Exceptional Steaks You Need To Try At Least Once In Life - Hadley Tomicki

Lounge Concierge

From Olive-Fed Wagyu to 15-Year Old Côte de Boeuf

You’ve made it your mission to experience the very best of the best in life.


You can distinguish a Ferrari SF90 Stradale from a Lamborghini Aventador at 15 blocks away.

Cohiba, Partagas and La Gloria Cubana line the drawers of your Cohiba biometric humidor.

And when it comes to dining, the Michelin Guide relies on your word and not the other way around.

So, we know that only the rarest, most exceptional steaks will do. Even if it means crossing international borders to taste them, or (egads!), even venturing to Vegas. Fortunately, there may have never been a better time to be a discerning carnivore, as typical t-bones are rapidly being replaced with unusual cuts of beef that define luxury in their taste, texture, and the passion behind their production.

Here we have four stellar cuts of steak worth seeking out, if only to try just once in life, plus where to find them.

The Cut: Vaca Vieja

The Breakdown: Literally translating to “old cow,” vaca vieja is a time-honored tradition in Spain’s Basque Region, where grass-fed, free-range cattle of a minimum age of five years are processed, as opposed to the much younger age of most beef cattle. The resulting cuts are favored by aficionados for their distribution of intramuscular fat, sustainability, and deep saturation of beef flavor. And just for the ability of telling everyone they’ve tried it.

Where To Find It: Spain’s number one culinary diplomat, Jose Andres, was the first chef to trumpet vaca vieja in the U.S. at his Vegas location of Bazaar Meat. You can find an 8-10 year-old cut of California-raised Holstein at his Chicago location and an 8-year-old ribeye sampler in Sin City. Online Spanish foods importer Campo Grande also offers a Tasmanian-raised, wet-aged vaca vieja chuletón, Basque Country’s customary cut of prime rib steak. Buen provecho!

The Cut: 100% Grass-Fed Wagyu

What It Is: It’s rare to find 100% grass-fed Wagyu, even within the rarified world of Japan’s legendary luxury beef. First Light Farms has revolutionized the field, highlighting beef from New Zealand pastures full of free-roaming, completely grass-fed, antibiotic-free Wagyu cattle. Tender, flavorful, and healthier for the heart, its beef has won three gold medals at the World Steak Challenge.

Where To Find It: First Light’s website carries premium cuts of all kinds for home cooks, from short ribs, tomahawks, striploins, and brisket to ground beef, burger patties, and even supplements made from the cattle’s organs. Beverly Hills steakhouse Matū is a real-life shrine to this meat, serving a menu stuffed with wood-fired First Light steaks, picanha skewers, bone broth, and braised beef cheek croquetas.

The Cut: Sanuki Olive Wagyu

The Breakdown: Along with Hokkaido Snow Beef, this is the modern meat seeker’s most desired form of prized Japanese beef, originating on Shodoshima Island in the Kagawa Prefecture, where 99% of the country’s olives are produced. The cows are raised on a diet of caramelized olive feed, resulting in soft, super–marbled beef riven by ribbons of white fat, buttery flavors, and heart-healthy omega-9 fatty acids.

Where To Find It: Limited herds, high costs, and intensively personal production can make this beef hard to come by. Fortunately, it does occasionally end up on the menus of the most well-connected U.S. steakhouses, such as The Rex in Southern California and Seattle’s Metropolitan Grill, which first brought this beef to the West Coast. An online search can reveal various cuts to order, as well, such as strip steaks from Standard Meat Club and filet mignons from Holy Grail Steak.

The Cut: Extremely Dry-Aged Steaks

The Breakdown: While dry-and-wet-aged steaks are all the rage for the richer beef flavors and extra tender textures that come from expelling greater moisture and proliferating enzymes, this is typically done for just 30-60 days. Then there are chefs and steakhouses toying with the extremes of aging, letting steaks age for months, one year, and in one case, much longer.

Where To Find It: An 180-day-aged ribeye famously hit the tables at New York’s venerable Delmonico’s and celebrity pitmaster Adam Perry Lang aged a limited number of bone-in New York strips for over a year at his Hollywood steakhouse, APL, while chef John Tesar continues to serve a 240-day aged ribeye at Knife in Dallas. All of which pales in comparison to French butcher Alexandre Polmard, who is notorious for aging his côte de boeuf for up to 15 years. The plane ticket to his Polmard House restaurant or butcher shop is just one expense to consider when pursuing it, considering the steaks themselves can easily run beyond $3,000.

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