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Super-premium Clarence beef lands on Hamburg menu

In a development at the luxe end of the local food movement, super-premium Wagyu beef from a steer raised in Clarence will be appearing at a Hamburg fine dining restaurant next month.

The first Clarence Wagyu actually appeared on the menu at Daniels Restaurant, 174 Buffalo St., Hamburg, in February.

Daniels chef-owner Scott Donhauser said the beef from Clarence is the best he’s ever offered. He has long offered beef from Wagyu-cross cattle in his restaurant, he said, bone-in strip steaks that sell for $52. This was better, and could top $60 for a steak. “The price I pay for the meat is much more,” Donhauser said, “but the quality is so much better, just beyond.”

One dish offered was Wagyu beef tartare, served with tomato-cipollini jam, truffled mustard, and sourdough crouton, for $18.

Scott Donhauser is the head chef at Daniels Restaurant. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Scott Donhauser is the head chef and owner at Daniels Restaurant. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

[Read The News' review of Daniels]

The downside is that supplies are limited, and sometimes he’ll only offer Angus-cross Wagyu, Donhauser said. Armstrong’s small herd means the meat must be an occasional guest star on his menu. But what a star it is, he said. “The stuff from Clarence was far and above, the most insane marbling I’ve ever seen,” Donhauser said.

Pamela Armstrong said that her Wagyu cattle are full-breed Wagyu, not cross-bred with Black Angus or other beef breeds to help them gain weight faster. A full-bred Wagyu steer takes up to 28 months to reach its butchering size, about twice as long as breeds more commonly raised in the United States.

“My label says 100 percent Wagyu because I have everything documented and DNA-tested,” she said. It’s a tiny herd of 15 animals, which means she’ll only turn two or three animals a year into steaks. The steer appearing at Daniels in coming weeks will be only the second she’s sent to market.

Armstrong, daughter of Clarence horse farmer Hans Mobius, started raising beef cattle about three years ago because “I was looking for better tasting beef,” she said. The beef is also retailed through newyorkwagyu.com, including chuck steaks and ground beef, offered at $9.99 per pound.

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