I wanted to leave my mark on the steakhouse" is chef Michael Vignola's unequivocal answer to the question of how he started serving a 60 ounce bone-in filet for two at Strip House. It is a bold statement about a genre of dining whose menu has been seemingly defined for decades. There are, after all, only so many steaks that you can fabricate from the rib and short loin Primals, where the rib steaks, porterhouses, NY strips, and filets come from. But with the help of butcher Marc Sarrazin of DeBragga the chef devised a cut that is truly unique.
It all comes down to the somewhat arbitrary nature by which cattle are broken down into the aforementioned Primal cuts. The result of cleaving the short loin from the larger loin cuts the psoas major muscle, popularly called the tenderloin or filet mignon, into two pieces. The front section is located in the short loin and is often found as a barrel cut chops or as part of a porterhouse steak. But the rear section is never found on top steakhouse menus. By fabricating the rear portion of the muscle into a steak and then dry aging it, Sarrazin crafted something entirely new for Vignola.
The chef takes the cut, whittles away the excess age and seasons it with copious amounts of salty and fresh cracked pepper. The dry aged trimming are rendered down and used to baste the chop during cooking. The seasoned cut is then seared at 1800° before being roasted in the oven until it reaches the desired temperature.
After the beef rests, Vignola removes the bone from the cut, flashes the steak under the broiler, and then presents the meat table side to be sliced and served. Because of the uniqueness of the cut, only around 35 are offered weekly, although Vignola reports that DeBragga is trying to up production. It is not listed on the restaurant's menu but is instead offered as a verbal special at both NYC locations. Despite costing the princely sum of $180 a la carte, the steak sells out whenever it is offered, which is why the chef recommends reserving it ahead of time. When asked how it has been received the Vignola couldn't be happier. "It's great to see guys that normally order cote de boeuf trying this out and being wowed by it," he says.