Is a Meat Boutique What We Really Need?


Maybe we were just feeling especially curmudgeonly this morning, but for some reason Japanese Premium Beef, the new wagyu specialty butcher shop on Great Jones, kinda put our teeth on edge. It’s the meat equivalent of those giant white-walled boutiques that have one rack of clothes in the middle of an otherwise fashionably empty store. In Japanese Premium Beef’s display case are just a few, carefully arranged cuts of “washugu,” the American-raised, kobe-like beef that’s produced in Oregon with Wagyu-Black Angus hybrid cows and using the Japanese feeding program.

We like well-marbled meat as much as the next guy, but we’re not sure that we could really tell the difference between an aged, prime ribeye from a good butcher shop, and the $50 a pound washugyu version from Japan Premium Beef. The cuts range from $59.18 (!) a pound for fillet to $16 a pound for top sirloin. Even skirt steak, usually a wallet-friendly cut, is $30 a pound here.

To be fair, the ground beef is only $5 a pound, so someday we’ll do a side-by-side taste of hamburgers made with plain old fatty ground chuck and the washugyu version.

57 Great Jones Street