Monday, January 18, 2010

Ralph's on the Park: Wagyu Beef

Wagyu = Japanese Cow

There is something interesting going on at your local, park-view, fine dining establishment.  Ralph's on the Park is serving up something you aren't likely to get anywhere else in the city... or the state for that matter.  For the last month Chefs Haley Bittermann and Chip Flanagan have been serving certified Japanese Wagyu Beef to diners in the know.  Why only diners in the know?  Because up until now it hasn't been on the menu.

Kerry and I were lucky enough to be invited partake in this delicious secret last Thursday. 

So whats the big deal about this beef?  Well to start it has a $12 an ounce price tag with a 3 ounce minimum.  So that's pretty pricey but you really do get what you pay for.  What you are paying for is beef from a cow who spent its 2 year life drinking beer and getting body massages.  And you know you aren't getting ripped off because if you ask, Chef Chip will probably let you see the certificate that comes with each nine pound rib-eye that comes into his kitchen.

So by my calculations what you see below is a $1,700 hunk of culinary heaven.  What is important to realize is this isn't the "Kobe" beef you had on that one trip you took to Vegas.  You probably got a steak from a Wagyu/Angus hybrid.  This stuff us the real, straight off the plane from Japan, deal.  According to the chefs, there are only two suppliers of this stuff in the country and their supplier only is supplying 15 other restaurants.  None of them being in Louisiana.  Look at that marbling.  The stuff just melts in your mouth.

So what does it taste like?  Kinda like a rib-eye on crack.  It is served with a little bit of cauliflower puree and a dash of salt and pepper and that's it.  And that's all you want because you really want to taste this stuff.

Above is about two ounces of the Wagyu.  I would suggest sharing a 4 or 5 ounce portion before your meal.  It's always exciting when local restaurants are doing something a little different.  So go give it a try... you know or don't, but either way lets all appreciate that Ralph's on the Park is willing to offer us something that isn't available to the masses.


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