Until recently, ordering a good cut of beef, pork or lamb in the Dominican Republic involved visiting an overrated establishment offering imported meat. Over the past decade, the minds behind Carne & Co. have demystified that notion by creating a brand of meat native to the country. Meat worthy of both export and consumption at the most luxurious restaurants in Paris and the world. Their choice product can be purchased to be prepared in your grill at home, but we encourage you to go enjoy it in the refreshing atmosphere of their restaurant locations.
A Family Business with Country Roots
The Carne & Co. brand comes from Annabella and Enrique Carlos de Castro, descendants of a livestock farming family originally from the Dominican province of El Seibo. For the siblings, farm life is a family tradition handed down through the generations. “Riding horseback, taking a dip in the river, raising cattle and eating meat was a regular thing for us,” says Annabella. A lawyer by profession with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), Annabella lived in France for a while, where she discovered Parisian bistro butcher shops.
Enrique, meanwhile, studied in the United States for years in order to make livestock his vocation, then returned to apply his newfound knowledge in the family farms. There he dedicated himself to raising free-range grass-fed cows, without adding chemicals to their diet. By the time his work began to bear fruit, Enrique noted that his cattle and the resulting product exceeded what the local market had to offer.
With that insight, the destiny of the De Castro clan was sealed. Enrique suggested that they create their own brand of meat. Annabella added that they should distribute it in French-style butcher shops, where the meat is not frozen, the customer chooses the cuts he wants and received beef with less fat content than North American-produced product. In 2008, Carne & Co. was born, the first Paris-style Dominican bistro butcher shop, with its own supplier governed by international quality standards.
Every experienced broil and grill cook knows that the secret to preparing good meat is in the quality of the raw cut. Be it meat chop, hamburger, skirt steak or kebab, quality meat prepared by the fire must taste great with minimal seasoning. Everything that Carne & Co. distributes passes this simple test. The customer can confirm this freshness with his own eyes when the in-house butcher obtains the juicy cut of their choice.
This establishment also has pre-packaged cuts for those in a hurry, as well as sausages, seasonings, breads, altipastos, preserves and other take-out accompaniments. If you want to cook meat at home and don’t know where to start, Carne & Co. has many delicious recipes you can try on their website.
How good is the meat? For their quality, Carne & Co. received three awards at the Second Dominican Meat Court Contest during the 2019 National Agricultural Fair, organized by the Dominican Association of Farmers (ADHA). They obtained first and second place as a Lamb Processing plant, as well as second place in the Lamb Producer category.
The Carne & Co. Experience
It would be enough for Carne & Co. just to sell prestige meat, but almost from the start, their loyal consumers asked for more. “The idea was to have a place to distribute cattle beef,” says Anabella. “Little by little, the butcher shop customers started asking us to cook the meat we sold.” Thus Carne & Co. went from distributor to restaurant, with breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and catering menus.
It all starts with the drinks. The restaurant has a fully-stocked bar that offers a wide variety of liquors and cocktails, along with a good selection of wines and beers for every taste. Those who do not consume alcohol can enjoy a refreshing line of coffees, teas, frappés, fruit juices and virgin cocktails with names like Norah, Delish and Blueberry Mojito.
Then comes the house specialty. If you like your beef grilled without complications, Carne & Co. has all the classic cuts like flank, fillet, ribs, roast beef, sirloin and T-bone steaks. You can also accompany them with delicious sauces based on mushrooms, onions, green pepper, mustard or blue cheese, along with your favorite garnish. On the other hand, their burgers are varied, full of flavor and suitable for the hungriest among us.
The Hunger for Innovation
Carne & Co. frequently experiments with its menu, their desire to innovate constantly in mind. Many of their most acclaimed dishes have emerged from this, such as the Charcuterie Dish, the Beef Dumplings, the Grilled Ribs with Asparagus Risotto and the Fried Carnita Santa Cruz. Frequent visitors to Carne & Co. always have something new to try out.
The restaurant also offers pastas, salads, risottos, poultry, fish and seafood for the non meat eaters. Diet or gluten-free options are available for those watching their figure, and decadent desserts are there for all to wrap up their experience in style.
Call it boucher, bistro, steakhouse, charcutier, traiteur, restaurant or what have you. Carne & Co. is all that and much more. A family establishment with impeccable cuisine of local origin. The dream of two siblings who had unknowingly prepared all their lives to bring a must-see Franco-Dominican culinary experience to the world.
Now, Some Tips
Best Day of the Week
Tuesday is the best day to buy at the butcher shop, since you have a 20 percent discount on all cuts.
Table for Four
If you want to make a barbecue for up to four people at home, your best bet is their Grill Kit. This package includes several cuts and lets everyone enjoy the best grilled meat.
Celebrate in Good Co.(mpany)
All Carne & Co. locations are great for hosting any kinds of activity, from business meetings to celebrations in general.
There is a private room on the second level of their Bella Vista location, suitable for birthday parties and other events.
Two Drink Minimum
Don’t leave without ordering the Coqueto and St. Germain cocktails.
Our Suggested Menu
We recommend the Fried Carnita Santa Cruz in a casabe base, as an entree; either the Lambchops or the Punta de Puyaso as the main course; and for dessert, the Baked Coconut and Guava with Ice Cream for dessert.
Where to Find It
Calle Agustín Lara No. 16, Piantini, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Ave. Sarasota No. 101, Plaza The Corner, Bella Vista, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
+1 (809) 412-5757