How New York restaurants are charging $50 for a steak (and that's for the cheapest cut)
21:28 GMT, 12 March 2012
Lovers of the iconic New York Strip Steak and other mouthwatering cuts of beef are probably noticing they have to dig a little deeper into their wallets these days.
That is because prices at New York steakhouses have risen 10 per cent and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a good cut of beef in an eaterie for less than $50.
At Porter House New York, a cowboy rib steak costs $57 and Morton's is so expensive the prices are not even available on their online dinner menu.
Devoted: Patrons at Peter Luger's in Williamsburg can expect to pay more for their steak according to the vice president of their beef wholesaler
Mark Solasz, vice president of the Bronx-based wholesaler that counts Peter Luger as a client, told Gothamist: 'Consumers can expect to pay ten per cent more this year [while dining out], because our prices are going up.'
Lisa Fickensher, senior reporter for Crain’s New York Business explained to 1010 WINS that the increase in cost to the consumer is down to a range of factors.
'The U.S. cattle stock has been dwindling, at the same time the demand by other countries for U.S. beef has been rising and that’s in part because the value of the dollar is making U.S. beef cheaper to buy,' she said.
The unfortunate situation is causing tension at the headquarters of Manhattan's beef-centric eateries as owners are reluctant to both scare customers away and foot the bill themselves.
Beef-ware: Prices at New York steakhouses have risen ten per cent thanks to dwindling cattle stock and high demand for export
Some restaurants have responded, the Crain's reporter said, by adding alternative dishes to the menu whose prices are easier to stomach for patrons.
But Greg Sherry, the proprietor of Old Homestead Steakhouse in the trendy Meatpacking District is optimistic the problem will eventually resolve itself.
'I’ve been in this business for 50 years,' he explained. 'There’s been peaks and valleys in the markets all my life. I think right now we’re probably at the top through the summer. Usually by September the prices start to fall off a bit.'
And though he admitted his steaks fetch around $50 he compensates his customers with indulgent portions of only the highest quality meats.
'We do a lot of things differently than our competitors,' he said proudly. 'Our management team is on top of our butchers 24/7. We watch every day what they’re cutting, we make sure there’s no waste, and we beat up our vendors to make sure we get the best price.'
But according to a CBS report, the Department of Agriculture expects output to decline further this year and prices will only increase as a result.