In 2004, after working as head waiter at Peter Luger's for over 40 years, Wolfgang Zweiner opened the first Wolfgang's Steakhouse at 4 Park Avenue in Manhattan, NY. Since that time, Zweiner and his business partners -- his son and two other ex-Luger waiters -- haver beefed up their restaurant empire, adding three more locations in NYC, as well as locations in Miami, Beverly Hills, Waikiki, Tokyo, and Osaka, Japan. This January, Zweiner opened his first NJ location in Somerville.
But onto the meat of the matter! Zweiner's time at Luger's gave him access to the secrets of great beef. Knowing meat selection is key, Zweiner does not use anything less than Grad A Prime.
The premium, 30-pound cuts of beef sit on ventilated racks where they are dry aged, in-house for 28 days. The restaurant's on-site meat locker is kept between 37° and 39° F, with humidity control at 78 to 82 percent. An air circulation system, with additional fans, help to remove moisture from the meat while it's dry-aging.
Around the 21st day, the meat starts develop that special flavor dry aging is known for -- the edges get darker, and the outside gets dryer. According to Executive Chef Amiro Cruz, "[t]he fat surrounds the whole meat, so when you place it into the dry-aging room, the meat inside stays nice and juicy, and the outside gets that dried factor."
At the beginning of each day, steak portions are cut. There's no seasoning involved in the dry-aging process, and only some course salt or freshly ground pepper is used when the steaks are being prepared. When steaks are ordered, the meat is removed from the cooler and placed in a high-intensity broiler at 1600° F. The result: luxurious, meltingly tender and juicy steak, served sizzling hot with a perfectly caramelized crust!
119 West Main Street