Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New York Study 2... the awesomeness continues

The purpose of this and the next post will be to review/inform you about a couple of foodgasmic places that I really think people should be aware of- should they ever venture to the eclectic, energetic, dynamic land of NYC.
I begin with Má Pêche
Má Pêche is one of David Chang's many NY restaurants. He is probably most famous for Momofuku, which I am told means "Little Peach" in some mixture of Vietnamese and French. Chang also owns Ssäm Bar, Ko, and Milk bar (which is attached to Má Pêche).  I have been wanting to try one of his restaurants for a while now, but I had a hard time choosing. We settled on this one after reading a ridiculous number of reviews (private and professional), and maybe particularly in spite of this one, which apparently set off a highly publicized twitter war

So we get there at 5:30 (pre-theater dinner) and the place is mostly deserted. We apparently had fantastic timing, because 30 minutes later, it was a madhouse. Upon perusing the menu, we decided to go with a handful of their small plates because they all looked great and we wanted to try... well, everything.

Our first plate was shrimp summer rolls. I am not sure what they did to this shrimp, but it was basically formed into a small rectangle, cooked, and served warm wrapped in with cool, crisp veggies and a crunchy wonton stick. The amazing thing was that this warm rectangle of shrimpy goodness ran all the way through the roll. I don't know if this is a problem you have, but often with rolls like this, one bite has shrimp, another is all veggie, another is all crunchy wonton... No,no- not so at Má Pêche.

 (PS- sorry the pics aren't great- no flash on my dinosaur of an iPhone 3GS...)

So then we move on to the beef tartare with soy, scallion, and refreshing mint. I can not even begin to explain how supremely edible this plate of food was. They served it with these crunchy puffed rice crackers that gave you a vehicle to get the rich, tangy, meaty goodness to your mouth, but without overpowering the meat. It was served with pickled bean sprouts that had just the right amount of acidity to cut the fattiness of the beef. I feel that I should assure you that the meat was a healthy bright red color, not the dark brown/greyish tint it appears to be in the photo...

 The braised bass collar was next and was also fantastic- the collar and the cheeks of pretty much any fish are my new favorites. They tend to be moist and fatty and full of so much more flavor than you might typically find in a random fillet. Sadly, this course was soooooo overpowered by the next two that there is really not much more to say about it.

NEXT CAME: (dun dun dunnnnnn) Truffles and foie gras. NOT on the same plate. BOTH STARS, I TELL YOU- STARS!!!!!
Ok, I will stop yelling now. I have composed myself. 
First up- the ricotta gnocchi with chicken jus and truffles. I have had gnocchi before. Or at least, I thought I had. These sweet little bundles of heavenly goodness were ethereal. One bite and Matt and I just stopped and looked at each other, in a silent understanding that there would be no talking for the next few minutes. 
Just silence. And slow, slooooooow chewing.

At the same time, we were served this masterpiece:

This was the seared foie gras with chestnut puree, huckleberries, and who knows what else... something that tasted like salty meat breadcrumbs. I made a perfect bite with a little bit of everything, said "mmmm" and then lapsed back into appreciative silence. 

It was a toss up as to which of these would be my last bite of the evening. In the end, it was the salty, meaty foie that had the last word. We skipped dessert, as we had one more post-Phantom stop to make and planned to have a sweet there. 

Overall, I was more pleased with Má Pêche than I thought I would be. I was hoping for an interesting experience and at least 70% good food. In the end, the food was all fantastic and we had a great time.

1 comment:

  1. extremely great descriptions! I already love the food too...and I've never tried it! :)