Jean-Francois Clavier, the owner of a company Archibald Gourmet, which imports Wagyu beef to France, and Jean-Francois Celbert, owner of the upscale Josephine Restaurant and Boulangerie have teamed up to serve a Wagyu tasting menu. Wagyu is a breed of Japanese cow that yields a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat, producing a high quality beef with increased marbling. The most well known Wagyu beef is Kobe, which sells for about $400 a pound.
The five-course menu starts off with a platter of two appetizer meats, a thinly sliced dried version of Wagyu beef, aged six months, with Jamaican pimento and a sliced rum steak with a mélange of pimentos, dried and aged for one month with sprigs of rosemary, both created by Archibald Gourmet. They were served with thick slices country bread with honey and smoked salt, a specialty of Josephine created in collaboration with Benoit Castel and my favorite French butter, Bordier, hand-churned from Brittany.
Next up was a decadent platter of Cote de Boeuf (similar to filet mignon), the signature beef of Archibald Gourmet. The meat was served rare but not bloody, so I chose the ends, which were cooked almost medium (and better suited my taste bud). In general I find most French beef is tough and hard to chew but the beef that day was succulent, easy to chew and digest. I usually like some kind of sauce with my beef such as Béarnaise or just strong mustard but the beef was so flavorful it didn’t need it. Side dishes included frites, divine potatoes au gratin and a mix of green vegetables served in copper pots.