Everyone knows that Kobe beef is a rare delicacy, no matter how you slice it.
A little known fact is that only a limited amount of authentic Kobe beef exists in the U.S., and a very small percentage is exported here. In fact, Nikolay Volper’s 212 Steakhouse in New York City is the only restaurant on the East Coast officially approved by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association from Japan to offer authentic Kobe beef. The restaurant has one major goal: make authentic Japanese Kobe beef and other top-notch cuts accessible to the general public. To that end, they’re offering a wide range of the highest quality beef for 60 to 80 percent below market rate.
Kobe beef is from Tajima-gyu calves bred by designated producers in the Hyogo Prefecture. Those cows eat only the very best feed in stress-free and healthy environments; they’re matured to a certain quality and texture and then rigorously graded for selection.
Market rate for this beef, according to the folks at 212, is $45 an ounce, but they’re offering it for just $15 an ounce. We tried all three cuts — ribeye, strip loin, and tenderloin — and found that the three-ounce portions were pretty filling. “Most steak eaters find that they are satisfied with a small portion of the ultra-rich Kobe beef,” said Volper.
If you want a bit more on your plate, try the Australia Wagyu skirt steak, the dry-aged bone-in rib eye and porterhouse, and both American and Japanese Wagyu striploins with meat sourced from the Fremont Beef Company, one of the few authorized wholesalers in the country.
Executive chef Christos Kalamvokis chose appetizers, salads, and side dishes that pay homage to his early career at Uncle George’s in Astoria, where he mastered the art of grilled whole fish and meats and other Greek specialties. He also incorporates Volper’s Bulgarian spinach soup into the menu, thickened with yogurt and served with roasted feta. As you enjoy the music and romantic lighting in the front of the house, be sure you don’t pass up on the little things, like the Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, which are hands-down the best sweet-potato side dish I’ve ever had, anywhere.