“Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oooooh yeah.”
Wait. We’re already getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll get back to the oh yeahs in a few minutes.
Let’s first flash back nearly 100 years to New York City, where Delmonico’s Restaurant famously introduced the world to the Delmonico’s steak, a tender and tasty cut that established itself as a classic. To this day, the steak that became known as the New York Strip is a staple of summer grilling among those who always seek to take their culinary game to the next level. Indeed, there are few things better than the sight, smell and sound of a few sizzling New York Strips—especially when those New York Strips arrive from Roslyn-based butcher and purveyor Center Cuts.
“The Prime New York Strip is an excellent cut, with beautiful marbling.” says Center Cuts owner Justin Aronoff. “It is one of my favorites, as it is not too lean but at the same time has the right amount of fat. It is also one of the more tender cuts there is, following the filet.”
Center Cuts has developed a following among the summertime population on the East End since opening their doors in Roslyn in 2014, and this year they have started twice-a-week delivery not only to serve their established fans, but to establish new ones. Along with those New York Strips—just one of many cuts on offer, including Prime Dry Aged Porterhouse and an American Wagyu Tomahawk—specialties such as the smoky-sweet Maple Bourbon marinated steak tips will surely build a loyal meat-loving following.
Of course, in addition to the steak, every backyard barbecue needs a plate of burgers and hot dogs. The brisket-and-short-rib burgers take patty perfection to new heights, a savory balance of robust flavor and richness from a perfect ratio of fat that makes them almost buttery. Try one on a toasted onion roll, topped with a slice of oozing cheddar and a horseradish pickle. As for the hot dogs, Center Cuts showcases Pearl’s all-beef franks. Make no mistake, this is a premium dog, mildly spiced and delivering that satisfying snap when you take a bite. Grill them until a touch of char appears, then forego the standard bun and elevate your game by nestling that quarter-pounder into a cut of fresh baguette. Toppings can be a classic sauerkraut or a few forkfuls of Asian Cabbage Salad, one of Center Cuts’ sensational sides.
Now, don’t be fooled by the term “side orders,” since this part of the menu most decidedly earns a place center stage…as it should be, since every one of them (including the dressings) is scratch-made, Some, like the perfectly seasoned and lightly breaded Popcorn Chicken and the zesty tomato-sauce-topped Turkey Meatballs, are great as starters, but could easily become meals in their own right. Then there is the applause-worthy inspired creation that is the Philly Egg Roll.
“When we cut ribeye steaks for our display case, we usually have the first cut and last cut of the ribeye leftover, as it is uneven width with the rest of the steaks,” Aronoff says. “We wanted to make a sandwich with the leftover ribeyes, and our chef decided to shave it and sauté it, making a Philly cheesesteak. From there we figured we might as well wrap it up with some cheese in an egg roll wrapper and deep fry it—making a Philly Egg Roll.”
Raves continue for the perfect warm-weather concoction that is the aforementioned Asian Cabbage Salad, light and crunchy with carrots, almonds, grilled chicken and cool hints of sesame. Quinoa Salad is earthy and bright at once, the bright touch of basil and parsley a pleasant surprise. A medley of zucchini, onions, fire-roasted peppers and asparagus, lightly dressed in olive oil, elevates the Orzo Salad from a common pasta dish into a vegetable-forward crowd pleaser.
Then there are the traditional sides, which pair perfectly with that grilled New York Strip. Creamed spinach, a time-honored staple of high-end steakhouses, gets the classic treatment, hearty while still highlighting the fresh flavor of the greens. The mashed potatoes taste just like grandma used to make them, buttery and fluffy and earning the honor of being the first bowl to get emptied at the table. An audible “mmmmm” was uttered a few times after the first forkful, followed by a chorus that was inspired by the spuds but surely applies to the entire spread, sizzling steaks to salads. “Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oooooh yeah.”
Center Cuts Roslyn, 382 Willis Avenue, Roslyn Heights. You can also visit Center Cuts at CenterCutsRoslyn.com or call 516-625-0809