A Steak to Remember: Prized Wagyu is Unveiled for the First Time Ever at NYC’s Old Homestead Steakhouse

A bad cut of meat can ruin an evening. It’s blackened, overcharred outside and tough chewy inside can cut a date short, take that celebratory taste right out of your mouth, and generally depress you. It’s not being melodramatic—a bad steak really does do all that damage and then some.

On the other hand, a great piece of steak, a decadent, buttery melt in your mouth perfection, ready to die because your life is complete, that kind of steak can change your life. But you haven’t had anything quite like that—that’s because before today it never existed. Okay, it existed, but it was not available anywhere but Japan.

As a carnivorous connoisseur I’m sure you’re familiar with Wagyu and all the lovely tenderness it has to offer. Wagyu is a Japanese Beef Cattle breed that has become an obsession in the last decade or so—the unique taste and tenderness can be found on almost every steakhouse menu across the country.

This is a collaboration by Old Homestead Steakhouse Executive Chef Oscar Martinez and Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Wagyu Farmer Katsuya Kato -- Prized Wagyu Sirloin Carpaccio, Bouquet of Greens, Herb Vinaigrette Fusion.
Wagyu Sirloin Carpaccio, Greens, Herb Vinaigrette Fusion.

But not until now has Prized Wagyu imported directly from Japan been allowed into the United States. It was imported and served for the very time ever on September 29, 2014 at the iconic Old Homestead Steakhouse. A night to remember.

Prized Wagyu has the most concentrated marbling than any other beef in the world. The intensity of these white threads of fat gives it a melt-in-your-mouth texture and incredible waves of flavor that burst on your palate—it’s seriously like Fourth of July in your mouth.

The marbling and flavor are so off the charts that there is no grading system for it in Japan. It’s the highest graded Wagyu times one hundred…and it’s also the new star of the show at the Old Homestead.

Prized Wagyu is limited in availability because it is sold only at special auctions in Japan, where only Japanese buyers can participate (until now). Old Homestead Steakhouse co-owner Greg Sherry, aka the “Ambassador of Beef”, received permission to attend and participate at an auction in the Gunma Prefecture in Japan. He placed the winning bid and was permitted to import the Prized Wagyu cow to the U.S. Another first–Sherry, while in Japan, made arrangement with the Gunma Prefecture Wagyu farming association to exclusively produce Prized Wagyu for Old Homestead.

This is the Prized Wagyu BQT: Wagyu Chuck Burger, Quail Egg, Truffles.
Prized Wagyu BQT: Wagyu Chuck Burger, Quail Egg, Truffles.

It’s the first time a U.S. restaurant, or any restaurant from anywhere in the world, has established a direct relationship with Wagyu farmers in Japan. This ensures that Old Homestead Steakhouse exclusively will have this off the charts Prized Wagyu on its regular menu, so this is actually within your reach. It’s the unobtainable, obtained.

We were among the lucky diners who were hand-picked to attend the culinary experience of a lifetime, the unveiling of the Prized Wagyu Beef’s inaugural arrival in the U.S. with a dedicated seven course meal. Each course’s star was, obviously, the beef. Even dessert. Especially dessert.

The menu consisted of courses like decadent Wagyu Surf and Turf with tenderloin atop a toasted crostini and California red sea urchin; a (soon to be) legendary ‘BLT’ revamped as a ‘BQT’ with Wagyu chuck burger, quail egg and hint of truffle; and a delightful Prized Wagyu sirloin carpaccio. The evening ended with the pièce de résistance, ‘Death by Wagyu’. Homemade Vanilla Bean Wagyu Ice Cream, Wagyu Renderings, Essence of Saki. Need we say any more?