DROUGHT in the US Midwest is putting a chill on the grill of New York City restaurants.
Meat prices are "through the roof", said William Degel, owner of Uncle Jack's Steakhouses in Midtown and Queens.
"It's at an all-time high."
He says he's been forced to serve smaller portions and raise prices - the porterhouse for two increased by $US4.80 to $US90 and the filet mignon by $US1.92 to $US34 for the 280g and $US43 for the 450g.
The drought, the worst in at least 25 years, is affecting 80 per cent of agricultural land, the US Department of Agriculture said.
Midwestern farmers were hit hard by shrivelled corn and soybean crops over the northern summer.
At the famed Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, the New York strip is already up 11 per cent, to $US45, said owner Amy Rubenstein.
But nearly all restaurants were bracing for the worst.
Peter Glazier, owner of Michael Jordan's Steak House, said meat purveyors were warning of increases of up to 20 per cent next year.
US Department of Agriculture economist Richard Volpe said there was "a fundamental disconnect between supply and demand" due to drought.
"Prices are really high, and they're only going higher," Mr Volpe said.
NEW YORK POST