Despite telling New York Magazine four years ago that he would “never, never, never” cut meat for Peter Luger, meat titan Pat LaFrieda last night told Grub Street that he now supplies “90 or 95 percent” of their product. The butcher, who’s also got a big book on steaks and such coming out this fall, was in attendance at a party held at Otto Enoteca E Pizzeria, where he and Mario Batali launched EAT (RED), DRINK (RED) & SAVE LIVES, a restaurant-based initiative designed to raise money and awareness in the fight against the spread of AIDS worldwide.
For those who keep track of the various brisket and short rib blends that make up the city’s hamburgers, or sweat the difference between 14- and 28-day aged rib eyes, this is huge news. Previously, LaFrieda had said of the venerable Brooklyn steakhouse, “They have no loyalty. They’re rainy-day customers. They buy from many meat companies. We don’t work that way.” Now, though, it sounds like the arrangement is working out: “They’re very diligent. They’re very stringent as to what their requirements are,” LaFrieda says. “Their business is so repetitive and they can really anticipate what they’re using that we have meat blocked off for them for the next six or eight weeks. We can’t wait for them to order. That’s how much product they use. So we already have that product blocked off for the next almost two months.”