Lobel's Prime Meats
Upper East Side
1096 Madison Ave.
between E. 82nd/83rd Sts.
What many consider to be the premier butcher in all of New York City. Keep their Madison Avenue location in mind when you anticipate the prices. But that aside, the quality of product and skill and expertise from these butchers is remarkable.
There is no better source for beef than Lobel's. It is perfectly chosen, perfectly aged, perfectly cut. If you live in the neighborhood their roasted chickens are a happy choice for dinner; you can warm one up and serve as if you roasted it in your own oven, or pull it apart and make a chicken caesar salad.
What to avoid:
The prices are really high. Really high. I know the quality of the product, the expertise of Lobel's butchers, and the rent they must pay can explain the prices, but still....
What to know:
If you are still learning how to cook meat or you want to advance your skill and confidence especially when working with the more expensive cuts, it is worthwhile to shop here a few times, if only to learn from Lobel's butchers and learn what good meat looks like and tastes like. The store also has several meat and poultry cookbooks that are very good so buying a cookbook and then buying a roast or steak and asking the butcher who's helping you lots of questions will take you a long way to becoming a very successful home cook of meat and poultry. But be warned: shopping here could start a very expensive habit, making any other butcher a disappointment.