FrontRunners: Top Chop

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This era of the butcher-as-artist has produced a new masterpiece: the tomahawk cut. This monumental hunk of rib eye—about 2 inches thick, with a 12-inch section of bone attached to create the namesake shape—is turning up on menus from coast to coast, from Restaurant Marc Forgione and Michael White’s Costata (dish shown) in New York City to Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. Pat LaFrieda III (www.lafrieda.com), a renowned meat distributor in New York, has gone from selling the cut “sporadically” to supplying 4,000 tomahawk rib-eye chops a week to restaurants and customers on his website, where two chops are $150. “Steakhouses,” he says, “are looking for the wow.”

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