There’s meat. And then there’s Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats. Canada’s first and only butcher shop with an upscale meat locker and custom dry aging room has opened location No. 2 in downtown Vancouver. The discerning carnivore in us all couldn’t be happier. Or hungrier.
Much like the boutique liquor lockers in London, Paris and New York, Sebastian & Co. allows customers to store and age their meat in a carefully controlled environment with precise temperature and humidity levels. When a steak or roast is needed, the butcher cuts whatever the customer chooses and hands over a delightfully old-school, neatly-wrapped-in-butcher-paper parcel of prime rib roast, Porterhouse, T-bone steak, New York or ribeye. The remaining rib or loin will be returned to its reserved position in the dry aging room, where naturally occurring enzymes in the meat continue to break down tougher muscle fibres and connective tissue. The result is tender and flavourful meat with rich beefy tones; no supermarket meat counter can come close to this.
Owner Sebastian Cortez immigrated from Chile in 1999, worked for Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy, then moved out to Vancouver as a trained professional chef-turned-butcher. Cortez opened his first butcher shop in West Vancouver’s Dundarave Village in 2007, and now with his second location continues to specialize in dry-aged beef including Wagyu, plus wild game, poultry and more. Be sure and try his charcoal rub, jars of house-made foie gras you want to eat by the spoonful, plus charcuterie and cheeses.
Not just a butcher shop but a culinary experience, visit Sebastian & Co. soon. —Catherine Dunwoody