Of the many steak joints in the Nebraska city, Monarch is the first to dry-age steaks in-house.
Dry-aging “makes the fat taste like it’s liquid gold,” Mr. Micheels said. “Think of a sauce reducing on a stove — you’re losing water and condensing flavor, taking the meat to another level. It’s like prime rib squared.” As with almost all of what he serves in the restaurant, the steak is local — butchered 27 miles away in Blair on Tuesday, delivered on Wednesday. “You have to start with the freshest product possible,” he said.
Set in the circa 1930 Hotel Deco, Monarch’s shadowy 70-seat space felt like an otherworldly backdrop from a Bogart movie, with channel-tufted velvet banquettes and taxidermy butterflies, beetles and cicadas affixed to black floral wallpaper.