Dallas Chop House is serving a 459-day dry-aged ribeye that will rock your world. But hurry: when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Call it the thrill of the grill, but nothing tastes better to my beef-crazed taste buds than a dry aged prime beef steak that’s been left to rest in a cold, dark place for months on end. Most dry aged steaks are aged around 40-60 days. That’s about how long Pappas Bros. Steakhouse ages theirs. Ditto the Capital Grille restaurants in Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth, plus most places that serve dry-aged steaks from Chicago’s Allen Brothers.
Dee Lincoln uses excellent grass-fed beef at her new Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bars, where Local Yokel provides grass-fed steaks that have been dry-aged three to four weeks before Lincoln serves them as strips or rib-eyes or grinds them for her burgers.
Halperns’, the premier meat purveyor in Atlanta who supplies prime beef across the eastern seaboard, ages some of their beef beyond 100 days. You’ll find Halperns’ and Allen Brothers at Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse in Dallas, where they also occasionally serve crazy-good Ohmi beef, plus steaks aged even longer than 100 days as special features. Halperns’ CEO told me during a recent tour of their Atlanta facility that he can influence the prominence of certain aged beef flavors — truffles, bleu cheese, brown butter — by slightly altering the humidity and temperature of the aging room.
When I’m in Sydney, Australia, I always pop by Rockpool Bar & Grill for chef Neil Perry’s 160-day grass-fed dry-aged steaks, which I think are some of the best in the world.
My favorite steak to date is the 240-day dry-aged “Reserva” prime rib-eye served by request at Carnevino, Mario Batali’s steakhouse in Las Vegas. John Tesar’s steaks at Knife are headed to 240 days, which I think is the sweet spot.
But until Tesar’s steaks hit that sweet spot, there’s only one place in town where you can sample those complex, earthy flavors that make a dry-aged steak sing. But you’re gonna have to move fast.
I found this crazy good steak — a 459-day dry-aged prime rib-eye — quietly lounging in an aging room at Dallas Chop House in downtown Dallas last week,
Chefs A.J. Joglekar and Chad Starling had sequestered the 10-pound loin for more than 15 months in their dry aging locker, a refrigerated space lined with blocks of Himalayan pink salt and good air flow. The tag on the beef showed its original date and weight. Its current weight: 4.2 pounds, the result of moisture evaporation over a very long time.
“How much longer are you going to age it,” I asked?
“Hmmm,” Joglekar, the exec chef answered, then paused, looked at Starling, then said, “Let’s cut it now.” So we did.
Starling trimmed off the crusty exterior, revealing a super dense, beet-red interior which slowly brightened as oxygen bathed its cut surface. Running my finger over the exposed beef, the meat felt smooth like glass, a dense, slightly slick block that wouldn’t yield to light pressure. Starling sliced a one-inch thick steak from the end of the loin, shaving a few millimeters off to serve as carpaccio.
A quick pop under the broiler produced a steak with those same notes of truffles, bleu cheese, popcorn and brown butter that always attract me to long, slow, carefully dry-aged beef. We added a few sprinkles of good sea salt, then tucked into the most extraordinary meat experience you can have in town this week.
Why just this week? Because less than four pounds of that aged beauty remain. Starling says he’ll sell it by the ounce as either steak or sliced impossibly thin as carpaccio at Dallas Chop House. But when it’s all gone, it’s all gone.
Dallas Chop House, 1717 Main St #100, Dallas, (214) 736-7300.