If there’s ever a time to buy fresh meats from a local butcher, this is it. The holiday season is a time for entertaining, family gatherings and large meals with friends and loved ones. Usually, such events include dinner and, for most, some kind of wonderful meat—be it steak, a Virginia ham, pork chops, London broil, roast turkey, brisket, rack of lamb or some other unique delight from the carving board.
Frozen or prepackaged meat just will not do for such an important main course, so, naturally, one should find the freshest cuts and chops at one of our Dan’s Best of the Best winners in the Butcher category on the South Fork!
With locations in East Hampton (2 Pantigo Road), Southampton (20 Hampton Road) and Bridgehampton (2209 Montauk Highway), Citarella (631-283-6600, citarella.com) is a blissfully convenient Platinum winner. Started in New York City back in 1912 and purchased in 1983 by Joe “Mr. Citarella” Gurrera, Citarella is famous for its fresh seafood and meats. The shop offers beautiful raw cuts of meat and a long list of pre-prepared dishes cooked day and night in the Citarella kitchen, and they’ll deliver it right to your door.
Check the website for this year’s holiday and catering menus with delicious seasonal selections, such as Turducken, Citarella Free Range Turkey, Goose Capons, Long Island Duckling, Cornish Hens, Crown Roast of Lamb, Beef Wellington, Prime Beef Filet Roast, Veal Roast, Smoked Ham and even Whole Suckling Pig, among a vast array of delicious choices. Citarella even offers game meats, including Guinea Hen, Pheasant, Poussin, Rabbit, Quail, Squab, Venison, Whole Baby Goat, Whole Baby Lamb and Wild Boar for an unforgettable Christmas feast.
Our Gold winner, Justin’s Chop Shop in Westhampton Beach (214 Mill Road, 631-288-5532, justinschopshop.com) is a classic butcher shop covering all kinds of meat needs—no bones about it. Along with fresh cuts for holiday cooking, and various sauces and rubs, Justin’s has a hearty list of lovely prepared or pre-marinated and seasoned meats, and they’ll work with customers to design perfect, fully catered (with staff) or take-home (serve yourself) holiday meals. Try cooking the marinated skirt steak, fresh sausage or premade kabobs for a fabulous family dinner.
In Sag Harbor, Dan’s Silver winner, Cromer’s Market (3500 Noyac Road, 631-725-9004, cromersmarket.com) has been serving the local community, now retail and wholesale, since 1990. From their early days in Southampton, the Cromer’s butchers have taken great pride in offering choice meats prepared to customers’ exact specifications. This award-winning butcher shop features only the best cuts of meat—beef, poultry and pork—and hand-cooked food, while the store is filled with fresh produce and groceries from around the world. Try Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, Pork Tenderloins, Prime Porterhouse, NY Strips, Handmade Kielbasa and Andouille, to name just a few available fresh meats and sausages. Everything a host needs is here for holiday entertaining, and the Cromer’s staff will help design an excellent meal.
This year’s Bronze winner, Catena’s in Southampton (143 Main Street, 631-283-3456) is the type of local shop where staff and owners remember customers’ names, likes and dislikes, and always do business with a handshake and a warm smile. Operated by third-generation owner Victor Finalborgo, Catena’s excellent staff and atmosphere is rivaled only by the fantastic food. The butcher shop has been in Southampton Village since the 1920s, and it was in Hampton Bays before that. Pick up beautiful prime meats or catering selections, including items from the Holiday Favorites menu, such as Beef Wellington in Mushroom Duxelle; Filet of Beef in Burgundy Sauce; Boneless Pork Loins stuffed with Apples and Oranges with Cranberry Relish; Baked Ham; and Rotisserie Turkey and Duck.
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