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Non-Steak House Steak


242 East 81st Street

Maybe it's the market that's made Masters of the Universe a big enough segment of the population to qualify as its own census subgroup; maybe people just got fed up with bird food; but whatever the reason, beef is bursting out all over. True believers still make their way to Peter Luger and the Old Homestead and the Palm, while newcomers Michael Jordan's and Del Frisco's are packing them in. But there's something about discovering a wildly satisfying hunk of meat in an unexpected place, and such is the case at Etats-Unis, a tiny Upper East Side handkerchief of a room, where Tom and Jonathan Rapp dry-age the hand-selected two-and-a-quarter-pound steaks ($64 for two people) for four to six weeks before turning them over to the chef. They're dressed in a paste of salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil and grilled over a combination of wood and charcoal. Rapp offers them only when they're properly aged, which currently means only eight to twelve couples a week are getting them (many reserve in advance just for the steak). Yes, you'll want the Gorgonzola mashed potatoes, and yes, you'll want a Cote-Rotie off the very good wine list to wash it all down. Just hold off on that doctor's visit for a week.

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