Barely four months after its debut on a commercial strip in the heart of Jersey City, the traditional Argentine butcher Pampita has seemingly done the impossible: Convinced moguls, billionaires and other assorted 1-percenters to cross the Hudson River in search of good steaks.
Lured by quiet marketing and almost cultlike word-of-mouth, these cash-rich carnivores — or their delivery men and drivers — are serving Pampita’s grass-fed beef to their equally starry friends and family at posh tables from Montauk to Madison Avenue.
Douglas Elliman real estate megamillionaire (and Trump bud) Howard Lorber sliced up Pampita steaks at a dinner party last weekend in Southampton. Socialite and Broadway producer Francine LeFrak swoons over Pampita’s “impeccable service and highest-quality” products, she tells The Post. The Argentine Consul General ordered Pampita meats for an upcoming tourism event. And Garden State notables ranging from former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop have all popped in or placed orders.
Pampita takes its name from the pampas — vast swaths of open plains that stretch along Argentina’s heartland. Lorded over by the mythical gauchos, or South American cowboys, and covered in sweet, pure grasses, the terrain is ideal for growing ultra-lean, ultra-flavorful beef.
“Because the pampas are so flat, cows run freely, which translates into the tenderest meat you can buy,” says Buenos Aires-born Claudia Walters, who opened Pampita with her son, Pablo Kaufmann. “And since they only eat grass — and are never given antibiotics or hormones — their taste is incredibly unique.”
An international lawyer by trade, Walters conceived Pampita as a tribute to both her homeland’s meats and its rich meat culture. Along with Kaufmann, who works in finance, she spent six months transforming a former travel agency into a sleek, white-tiled butcher shop with apothecary-style display cases upfront and cutting tables and prep kitchens in the back.
At their side is master butcher and Pampita partner Martin Miguez, an Argentine native who’s been handling choice carne for decades. Walter and Kaufmann source the meat from select suppliers in both South America (specifically Uruguay, which borders Argentina) and Nebraska, which boasts fabled plains that evoke the pampas in temperature and terrain.
For the moment, it’s illegal to import raw meat from Argentina to the United…