Luigi & Sons is a butcher shop in Yaletown born of its neighbour and sister restaurant Elisa Steak. Luigi & Sons offers a space for the cultivation and display of dry aging beef but it is also a one-stop butcher shop offering everything from their steaks to salads and meat thermometers.
Meat as Focal Feature
Located right beside Elisa Steak in Yaletown on Hamilton St, Luigi & Sons seems to be at once a logical and generous step. If running a dry aging beef program for Elisa, why not also make those cuts available to the public? And why not put those cuts on full display in fridges that double as display windows which rival a jewelry store?
Out in front is a small patio. At the time I visited, it was all festooned in festive holiday greenery but in the summer you can grab a table under one of the umbrellas and enjoy a roast beef or chicken salad sandwich from the shop.
Inside, Luigi & Sons is a gorgeous little space. You will immediately notice the light, nutty, beefy smell; it is clean and almost buttery.
The Perks of Dry Aging
Luigi & Sons understand that patience is a virtue. The cuts of beef make take a trip through three different fridges with carefully monitored humidity. Some will spend up to ninety days aging to perfection before being trimmed and sliced. It is fascinating to be able to see the different cuts at their different stages of aging, to see how they change in colour and shrink slightly in size. The beef is sourced from local farms like 63 Acres, as well as international farms. The Wagyu, for example, comes from Kagoshima in Japan.
Dry aged beef develops a subtle blue cheese, savoury flavour. It is more tender. These steaks, which are cut to order, can be cooked simply with salt and pepper and taste delicious. However, Luigi & Sons also sell compound butter which adds a fine dining touch to your homemade steaks.
While the beef is certainly the focal point, Luigi & Sons also carry chicken, specifically the Elisa truffle roast chicken, lamb, house made sausage, and marrow bones. They also carry Snake Rivers Farms Kurobuta pork. Kurobuta was described to me as “the wagyu of pork” by head butcher Brett Vilcu. You can try the bacon, a pork chop, or a slowly smoked ham.
One Stop Shop
Luigi & Sons makes takeaway side dishes as well. For example, they have a truffle mac and cheese. My biggest pet peeve with mac and cheese is when it comes out of the oven dry. It can be tricky to make the cheese sauce wet enough that it still stays ooey gooey and silky after it has finished baking. The Luigi & Sons mac is still melty and cheesy. The breadcrumb and cheese topping gives some crisp but overall it’s silky and creamy, and rich because of the truffle as well as the generous amount of Comte cheese.
The options for sides are plentiful and all look tempting in the almost floor to ceiling fridges. You can choose from salads and soups, to champagne and beer.
Chicken pot pie is another takeaway option. The crust is excellent and inside is truffle roast chicken, leeks, and English peas in a moist creamy sauce. There’s a beef pie as well.
Luigi & Sons also has a selection of dessert. On the day I visited, there was a banana cream pie as well as a pumpkin cheesecake, both made by Elisa’s pastry chef Rosalynn Vu.
Most of the dishes at Luigi & Sons are portioned for two to four people. They’ve developed a clever labelling system where the containers are stamped with a QR code. When scanned it takes you to the cooking instructions for each dish. If you’re looking for some bigger portions of sides to bring to holiday parties and potlucks, those will be available through December.
As of December 7th, Luigi & Sons will launch their limited-edition holiday prime rib dinner kits. They feature a prime rib roast, classic sides like roasted brussel sprouts, and an egg nog cheesecake for dessert. Orders are open until December 21st.
Stop by Luigi & Sons if you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate. Their dishes are great for a hostess gift or a needed potluck dish. Or, grab what you’ll need for a somewhat, mostly, kind of homemade dinner that you can even take full credit for if you want.
Luigi & Sons: 1119 Hamilton St. Wed – Sun, 11 am – 7 pm.