When the discussion turns to great steaks, sausage and ribs in the Southampton Village area the name Peconic Prime Meats is always mentioned. Many believe it is the Hampton’s premier butcher shop. Its chief butcher Steven Colabella has been written up quite a bit because Mr. Colabella is a third-generation butcher who always wanted to be a butcher!
At the tender age of 14, Mr. Colabella’s father and grandfather schooled Steven on the art of finding the best ways to get the most value out of the highest qualities of beef. “They told me,” He proudly said, “ they were giving me a craft for life.” He is now considered to be the finest master of preparing and presenting meat on the east end.
Mr. Colabella has been with Peconic Prime Meats for 9 years and 10 summers. He and owner Bob Corton choose the name Peconic Prime meat because they felt it incorporated more of the east end rather than just one town or hamlet. One cannot walk into this butcher shop and not look at the meats on display.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in an article in 2014 on Vegetarian Diets and Bone Status reported, “Meatless diets have been shown to contain lower amounts of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have important roles in maintaining bone health.” Other studies have concluded that, “High- quality protein, e.g., meat and poultry have been shown to prevent muscle loss as we age more effectively than any other protein food.
When Mr. Colabella was asked about the aftermath of Covid and how it affected his business he said, “We are immensely grateful for how much the year-round residency has grown through covid .We are much busier outside of summer than ever before which lets us showcase an entirely different set of specialty items we normally wouldn’t get to or think about producing. Inflation is rough though we try and reduce pricing when merited but the market has been very up with no consistency at all other than paying more for product.
He said the biggest misnomer about meat is “…that the meats are all local and grass finished and organic. The Butcher in his him surfaced when he said, “Our goal as a prime shop is flavor and quality. We go farther and make sure everything is all natural, that means no added hormones or antibiotics and humane certified. The difference between grass fed and grass finished never gets old. It’s hard to straighten out propaganda and stigmas about meats and how their produced and procured. (In the end it comes down to do you trust the person selling it to you or are you just getting a sales pitch.”
One of the biggest surprises Mr. Colabella has seen since he got into the business has been the swing from super market meat consumption back to local shops and now even more into the specialties. Explaining he said , “I see shops on Instagram selling just one specific item or showcasing one off creations and their audience is quite shocking.”
Another surprise is that their sausage menu has grown out of control. Mr. Colabella said, “We’re over 125 flavors and counting …this week’s creations is fried dill pickle and ranch chicken and the Bourbon bacon horseradish outsells any sausage ever made here.”
Right now, he believes their best value meat product is either Teres major or our premium pork chops.” Why? “Because anyone at any skill level can cook these and afford them!”
Peconic Prime Meats is located at 235 North Sea Road just south of Montauk Highway (Route 27). Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10 am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am till 5pm. Yes, that is seven days a week! You can also call 631-488-4697. As Mr. Colabella joked as he was preparing some steaks to be sent to a private home. “They send one of their staff, but they call me and tell me what they want.”