Have you ever seen a butcher at work? And not some absentminded guy in a bloody coat at a grocery store who looks like he’s one sneeze away from losing a finger in a band saw, but a real-life, full-service butcher. The person who knows where each piece of meat comes from. What the farm is like. What the cow ate. Its parentage.
That’s who mesmerized me during my first visit to Sam Marvin’s Echo & Rig Butcher & Steakhouse, the new meat shop at Tivoli Village. To be fair, I was immediately drawn to the glass refrigerators of the meat case, where prepared cuts were waiting to be taken home: lamb shanks tied with herbs already pressed into them; fresh sausages made in house, bright yellow and healthy-looking chickens; and already-cut hunks of onions, celery and carrot mirepoix for your roast.
And then I saw him. Trevor Morones, who, at the ripe old age of 23 has his own butchering lineage from managing New York beef king Pat LaFrieda’s meat lockers for three years. He was deftly dissecting a primal cut of beef with a surgeon’s precision, then shaving the excess off the femur before explaining that was the bone most commonly used by chefs for bone marrow. During this demonstration, Morones explained that in his education from working on farms and with ranchers, he’s concluded that he believes “an animal has to have a good life, a good death, a good butcher and a good cook.” And in a town with a dearth of full-service butchers, it was refreshing to see one who knew what he was doing, with a philosophy to match.
Echo & Rig scoured the country looking for a butcher with Morones’ skills, adept at breaking down the whole animals that come in on each shipment, and using everything from nose-to-tail. In addition to prime cuts of meat, and its own sausages, Echo & Rig cures its own bacon and makes its own pâté and rillettes, ensuring that none of the well-raised creatures go to waste.
Once I saw what the product looked like in its raw stages, I couldn’t wait to taste it once flame was applied to it.
For that, you can either head to the upstairs of the 12,500-square-foot space to Echo & Rig’s dining room, where chef Aaron Oster and his team give the beef the proper treatment it deserves, or you can take your selection home with all the confidence of a 23-year-old.
Echo & Rig, in Tivoli Village, 440 S. Rampart Blvd., 489-3525, EchoAndRig.com.