My wife and I came here with a big group of foodie friends for a pre-Thanksgiving blowout. We ate a shitload of dishes, but the stars of the show were these two:
That’s right: a crispy skin suckling pig, and a 9lb king crab. Here’s some video of that pig being carved up for us, table side:
Those buns were amazing but the pork meat itself was the best I’ve ever had in terms of suckling pig. The flavors penetrated deep into the flesh of the meat. And if one pork dish wasn’t enough, we also fried this one as well:
The crab was prepared three ways: steamed, fried and in a steamed egg porridge:
We ate two kinds of clams:
We even ordered a steak. This was no good though. I tried one slice of this breaded t-bone and it was too tough for me to even finish half. 2/10. I left two points on the table because the sauce was interesting at least, and the broccoli was good with it.
All the other dishes were excellent though, including this chicken:
And this fluke:
Yes, we did eat some greenery:
And of course wontons, as per the name of the restaurant, in soup form:
There was even dessert that we somehow managed to eat: mango flan/jelly and a warm pumpkin soup that was reminiscent of Indian desserts:
I definitely recommend this joint. This was the best large format pig I’ve had to date. It runs $168 and you need to order a day or two in advance. It would probably feed five or six people if you ate just that and some veggies on the side. As for the crab? Skip it. It was delicious as fuck, but that shit runs $50 a pound.
WU’S WONTON KING
165 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002
Dining at Bistro Pierre Lapin was probably one of the best French culinary experiences I’ve ever had. Everything I ate was either good or bordering incredible. The meal began with a “slice” of pate, a plate of butter, olives and herb truffle goat cheese, and a basket of small French baguettes that were really hard to stay away from, even though I knew I was about to indulge in a massive and decadent French feast. This may be the best table bread in the city.
Next up was a foie gras mousse, which was silky smooth and one of my favorite bites of the night.
These little guys are pig’s ear pinwheels stuffed with spicy sausage. Really nice.
This head cheese incorporated a boiled egg in the middle. The flavor and texture on this was incredible. This is a must try.
The deviled eggs were great, getting a great pop of texture and flavor from the bacon and pickle additions.
This is a bunch of pig head meat that was deep fried into a delicious patty. Awesome.
This was probably the most unique preparation of escargots I’ve ever seen. They were served with a sunny side up egg, peas, fava beans and a garlic-butter sauce.
The frog’s legs here are the best I’ve ever had, and was one of my favorite dishes of the night. If you have never eaten frog’s legs before, get them here so that you are forever spoiled.
They offer two styles of burger here. The first is a simply grilled burger with foie gras on top, sandwiched between two slices of Texas toast.
They also have an American style burger here as well, with the traditional fixings.
I preferred the American burger over the Texas toast burger, but both were very tasty.
Speaking of toast, this preparation of cognac flambe mushrooms on brioche toast was delicious. I could see this going over really well with the NYC brunch crowd.
These tortelloni are stuffed with rabbit and served with sweet peas in a carbonara sauce (you can see the yolk).
One of the best dishes I tried here was this “Shake N Bake” style breaded pork chop, served with an au poivre sauce. There’s a great story associated with this dish that goes back to when Chef Harold Moore’s mother used to cook pork chops at home. Apparently she used to overcook regular pork chops, but when she followed the instructions on the box for “Shake N Bake,” they came out perfectly every time. So Harold came up with his own breadcrumb mixture here, and the dish is a tribute to his mother’s Shake N Bake dinners at home.
The chicken for two is a great way to go if you’re looking to share:
But I would recommend the leg of lamb if you are going with a group:
This beauty is deboned, stuffed with herbs and spices, rolled back onto the bone, covered with sauce and roasted for hours.
The result is a prime-rib like texture and some dangerously tender and delicious meat. You have to request this a day in advance, and it will feed four to six people with ease.
As for sides. I tried both the clarified butter fries and the truffle fries. Both were excellent, but I think I preferred the truffle fries.
Both the potato gratin and the potato puree were delicious. Between those, I prefer the gratin.
The broccoli was pretty good too. That brown plate at the bottom is actually foie gras stuffing for the roast chicken dish. That stuff is crack.
I will definitely be back here to try more dishes from the entrée menu, and most certainly the artichoke salad. And don’t forget to try one of their tasty and beautiful cocktails. This is their French margarita:
BISTRO PIERRE LAPIN
99 Bank Street
New York, NY 10014
I came here with a group of friends to tackle their dry-aged six-bone standing prime rib roast. Watch this:
If their regular steak selections are anything like that monster, I think this could end up being one of the best steak joints in town. Read on.
These guys dry age everything on site, and this roast was aged for two months (61 days). The edges had a great earthy, nutty and mushroomy flavor to them from that aging process.
And as you can see below, the center was cooked perfectly.
Unfortunately, on a second visit, the prime rib wasn’t as good. Still had great flavor, but the texture was a bit off for some reason. 8/10.
I did try their porterhouse as well. This baby was tender all over, and had a nice crust. It was cooked just right at medium rare too. 9/10.
I even tried something very special and unique as well. A 500-day dry aged strip steak.
This was wild. It’s not on the menu, and it was something the chef was doing experimentally. It had a super aged flavor that was almost like meat fuel or butane. I liked trying it, but I’m not sure I would go all in on something like this often. Too aggressive for me.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
In addition to the four major steakhouse cuts, they also offer that prime rib as a regular menu item, king or queen cut. Everything is graded at prime and dry-aged on site. I also like the fact that they proudly state that the animals are raised on corn, which helps develop all that tasty marbling.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions are all pretty good here from what I can tell. The sides are big enough to share with two people, for sure.
This place is on par with the steak joints in midtown, but the rack of ribs comes in at $80pp and includes sides. That’s a good deal.
This place has a great long marble bar with elegant surroundings. I would definitely hang here. They mix up a nice martini too, and have an interesting signature cocktail list.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There weren’t any specials read to us (we had pre-ordered this monster in advance), but the prime rib rack is pretty damn special itself. As far as other meats go, you basically only have lamb or chicken. I can respect that though: focus on the beef!
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
We tried a number of items during this feast. I’ll list them all and discuss.
Bone Marrow: 7/10
This had good flavor but there just wasn’t enough of it. The grilled lemons were a nice touch though, and the bread was delicious.
This is top notch shit from Nueskes. Easily on par with Angus Club or Tuscany Steakhouse, and very close to a top five bacon app.
Mashed Potatoes: 8/10
I’m rarely impressed with mashed potatoes after growing up eating my mom’s, which were butter- and mozzarella- laden trays of pure heaven. But they were smooth and buttery. Very nice.
Mushrooms & Spinach: 9/10
Both simple and delicious. I would get these again for sure.
Chocolate Cake: 9/10
This thing is enormous and can easily feed a table of four for the $25 price tag. In fact, this fed seven people (though we also shared another dessert as well).
Butterscotch Creme Brûlée: 8/10
Wow. Super rich, very sweet, but really fucking tasty. Share this otherwise you might overload on decadence. Below is a shot of the dessert platter that came out on my second visit, to share among 10 people.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s salmon, three-pound lobsters and big eye tuna on the seafood entree menu. I like how this and the chops menu are streamlined and slim, but that means fewer options for you picky assholes out there.
Impeccable. Everyone is attentive, really friendly and knowledgable. The bread basket here is quite interesting, and contains cheese baked flatbreads, chocolate and strawberry muffins, olive bread and other stuff. Very nice.
This place is gorgeous inside. The floor space isn’t gigantic, but the ceiling height is. That really gives the joint a grand and spectacular feel.
There’s also a private dining room, which is where we ate:
I will definitely be back to try some seafood and their porterhouse.
New York, NY 10001
Greenwich Steakhouse is a newly opened French-inspired steak joint in the West Village. Chef Victor Chavez helped open Smith & Wollensky, and is a 30yr veteran chef from there. He tried retirement, but decided that he wanted to be back in the game. As such, he opened Greenwich Steakhouse.
I recently set up an “influencer event” here to help get some photos and reviews out there. Take a look at all the crazy shit we tried, and enjoy the review below.
Cajun Rib Eye: 10/10 (I have had it several times)
I’m starting with the best steak first. This baby was cooked to a perfect medium rare from end to end with an awesome savory crust on the edges.
But the hint of cumin in the Cajun rub really sets this baby off as the best steak in the joint.
The spicy oil at the bottom of the place is reminiscent of the delicious sauce you get with the cumin lamb noodles at Xian Famous Foods, which I love.
When you come here, this is the steak to get. Chef Victor just absolutely nails it.
48oz Porterhouse: 8/10 (had this a second time and it was 9/10)
This is nice and thick, and really goes great with the marrow butter sauce addition.
There was some grey banding since this is such a thick cut of steak, but nothing was dried out.
48oz Tomahawk Rib Eye: 6/10 (had this a second time and it was 7/10)
Unfortunately this was a bit overcooked for our liking. Some parts were dry as a result, but the flavor was still nice.
Strip for Three: 9/10 – extremely good crust, really nice texture.
Filet Mignon: 9/10
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
All the meat here come from Strassburger, a great supplier. Chef Victor dry ages them for three weeks in-house to develop a bit more flavor for his guests. There are several sizes of the four major cuts available.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are pretty big. The plating is on the nicer side with steel pans being used as serving vessels.
The prices are on par with midtown NYC steakhouses, but since they are slinging some of my favorite food in the city, I have to say this place offers a good deal.
The bar is a short stretch on the first floor with some seats along the window for people watching.
It’s on a nice stretch of Greenwich Ave in the village too, so likely will be a good spot for nightlife.
Cocktails are nice, particularly the Great Kills.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The waiter read us some specials that were not on the menu. We tried one of them, a shredded Brussels sprout salad. I thought it could use some more dressing, but it was tasty.
For alternative meats, they offer a nice variety: veal, chicken and lamb. Perhaps a pork chop would round it out. We tried the lamb and it was incredible. So nicely seasoned and flavorful.
While the lamb may no longer be available, they do offer a veal parmesan that was excellent:
And a veal chop that is absolutely delicious.
A recent addition to the menu is a Saturday prime rib roast.
Check out this video!
At just $59 this is a steal. 7/10.
And if filet mignon is your thing, try the whole roasted tenderloin:
An easy 9/10 for that. Feeds 6-10 people at $295.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
This is the best thick cut bacon I’ve ever had. It was about a half inch thick, and each order comes with three massive slabs. We cut them each in half since we had a table of six.
The fries are pretty good as well:
The marrow is overkill. If you are eating steaks here, each cut will come with some roasted bone marrow, so no need to go for the app. Here are three delicious boats of bone meat though:
Creamed spinach was also nice:
As well as the hash browns:
The crab cake is top notch. This thing rivals Del Frisco’s.
Especially now that the sauce for it has a cajun flavor profile:
Nice hand cut steak tartare:
For dessert, we went with the ice cream tartufo:
And chocolate cake:
All were good, but my favorite was the creme brulee.
Seafood Selection: 10
We tried the seafood tower, which comes with oysters, king crab, shrimp, lobster and lumb crab meat.
The shrimp were massive! For entree items, they offer tuna, halibut, lobster, sole and salmon. Branzino was on special as well. That’s a serious variety!
Crab & Avocado Salad:
The staff here is all top notch. The guys are pure gentlemen and it doesn’t surprise me that Chef Victor would staff his joint with such people. The table breads are served from a basket at the outset.
They’ve done an awesome job with the space here. The main dining room is on the second floor and boasts elegant chairs and a bright space. Very different from other steak joints.
The third floor has a huge table for parties, and holds about 8000 bottles of wine in elegant glass-windowed rooms flanking each side.
This is also one of the only places you can actually eat beside a roaring fireplace, on two different floors. Amazing.
I recently teamed up with @LetsDutch to organize a large format meal and promote the awesome service that they provide for their users. In case you missed it last time, I’ll explain a little bit about what Let’s Dutch is again.
Have you ever wanted to partake in a group experience but had trouble rallying your friends to join? Well, now you don’t have to miss out on that event. Let’s Dutch allows you to host or join in group events, curate a guest list and securely pay for things ahead of time. It can be used on anything from super luxurious vacations to simple discounted group rate experiences around town.
You’re essentially crowdfunding your fun, sharing the experience and splitting the cost.
The cool part is that you get to know people with similar interests. For example, in the two large format dinners I’ve done through Let’s Dutch, I’ve cultivated at least a half a dozen friendships.
So for this “meating” of the Carcass Club, we had a beast feast with some pork shoulder at Momofuku Ssam Bar. This is known as their large format Bo Ssam feast, which feeds 6-10 people. Let’s Dutch President Vincent Paradiso and I stacked the seats with four or five Instagram influencers, and then held a sweepstakes giveaway for the remaining seats.
Here’s how the meal went down.
We started with the famous pork belly buns. These were fantastic. Super tender, highly flavorful.
Then the Bo Ssam items started coming out. First the lettuce wraps and Korean sauces.
Then the oysters, which are meant to be placed into the lettuce wraps along with the pork and sauces.
And finally, the massive hunk of pork shoulder.
Pictures don’t really do this thing justice. To get the scale of it, you should really see it as it is being pulled apart with tongs.
The meat was tender and delicious, especially the fattier parts that held in a lot of juiciness.
We also had some nice mushroom soup with lotus root. This was absolutely delicious, and might have actually been my favorite part of the meal.
And then some dessert: green tea creme brulee with miso and blueberry crust.
And toffee cake with brown sugar ice cream.
The toffee cake was the big winner as far as desserts go. Great meal, great people, great service. I highly recommend both the large format feasts at Momofuku AND the Let’s Dutch service.
As many of you know, I occasionally gather with various friends to devour entire carcasses of animals. We call ourselves The Carcass Club. This latest “meating” went down at a joint aptly called Feast.
A buddy of mine, NYCFoodFomo, organized this as an Instagram influencer meal. It was on the house, given that we were going to glaze Instagram’s face with our “cam-shots” from this “pork-fest.”
I used “quotes” there so that you knew I was actually making a reference to something else besides food photos…
Anyway, here’s what you get at Feast, for just $75/pp:
Flat bread with fried egg, smoked gouda, arugula and horseradish cream.
This was nice and crispy, and the arugula is even lightly dressed, which was very nice. This dish would make for a great breakfast, actually.
Brussels sprouts with lap cheong sausage, creme fraiche, grain mustard, dried cranberry and cider vinaigrette.
The sausage really works perfectly with the sprouts. Instead of the typical bacon, this swap for lap cheong was smart, because it has a similar meaty sweetness.
Suckling pig with gravy.
I was shocked at how well the flavor of their 24-hour brine penetrated the flesh of this 28lb pig. The meat really took on the peppercorn flavors. And one of their secrets is to use the whey byproduct from their homemade cheese making process as a tenderizer in that brine. So awesome.
They break the pig down for you and plate it into sections: head area, shoulder area, rib area, and ass/legs area. Apologies for not getting a shot of that stuff for you. It wasn’t super pretty, but it was pretty cool to see piles of meat and a pig skull.
Chicharrones with lime.
They also give you a bowl of the crispy fried skin, which some would say is the best part of the suckling pig.
Kabocha mac n’ cheese with gruyere and toasted pumpkin seed.
The sweetness of the pumpkin in this dish threw me off a bit. Perhaps I just needed to be in the Thanksgiving holiday zone to fully appreciate this one. Nonetheless, it was tasty.
Taro fries with miso aioli.
It’s always a challenge to get taro fries good and crispy. The sauce was excellent, but the fries themselves were more like mashed potato logs. Not a bad thing: just not crispy like a French fry.
Smoked mushrooms with a soy glaze.
These were fucking incredible. The smoke added such a great woodsy flavor to an already earthy and woodsy mushroom (oyster). This was my favorite item of the night.
I’m generally not a huge fan of ratatouille, but this had some nice robust and savory flavors.
Chef’s seasonal selection, which, during this visit, was a caramelized apple cobbler with cold maple whipped cream and pomegranate seeds. I think there was even some diced up zucchini mixed into this unique dessert.
That about does it. I highly recommend giving this feast a go. You’ll need a minimum of eight carnivores to take it down.
The head honcho over at Let’s Dutch reached out to me to introduce himself and his service. Essentially it’s a place where people can host and organize group activities, and one of the things they facilitate is large format dining. That’s right up my alley, given my creation of Carcass Club, in which I and some friends try to get together to take on the various whole beast feasts that are peppered throughout this fine city.
Naturally, I was interested. The service is great for both city newbies, who are looking to meet new people with similar interests, and old fogies like me and my wife, who are just looking for seats at the feast when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to peg down a date and time among all of our friends that might be interested.
I was especially pumped when Vincent (the aforementioned head honcho) informed me that they’d be doing the new brisket feast for 10 people at Momofuku Ssam Bar. Fuck yeah.
So the meal is pretty simple. You get a massive hunk of delicious, tender, slow cooked brisket, along with lettuce for making wraps, and various sauces and kimchi items for toppings.
I highly recommend this meal to anyone who loves brisket or BBQ, as it is quasi-BBQ in nature. They even created a secret seven-spice blend for this baby. I absolutely loved it.
You may already know that I’ve been to Momofuku for their large format feasts in the past: duck and rib eye. This brisket feast is the best of the three I’ve tried, and I think they’ve also added a fourth, pork shoulder (bo ssam). I’ll have to try that one soon.
The Tang is a great little noodle bar on 1st Avenue at 7th Street. I was invited here for a PR event showcasing some of their current and forthcoming dishes. Everything I tasted was really fucking good, and, in fact, the noodle quality is probably the best I’ve had in town so far. They’re strong, thick, have a really nice texture and snap to them, and they’re really nicely flavored in all the dishes I tried.
The meats in all of these noodle dishes are outstanding, by the way. One had braised pork belly, one had sliced beef, and the other had ground meats.
Some of the soup noodle bowls are excellent too.
But this place is more than just noodles. One standout item was the sliced beef short rib. These babies are packed with a ton of flavor, and cooked so perfectly. You don’t see short rib presented like this too often, like a real cut of steak on a plate, so I am featuring it here for my steak reviews as well. Short rib can be fatty, and that’s why it is usually either grilled hard with tons of sauce, or braised. But here, it was leaner and notably excellent at medium rare temps, because it was cooked sous vide style for 20 hours. 8/10.
This place is really my speed, especially given this large format pork knuckle/shank dish that will be rolling out on the menu soon. It’s super soft and tender.
I also tried a sesame tofu dish, a salad with soft boiled egg, and some sliced, rolled chicken with chili oil.
Many of you know that I’ve talked about Tabelog in the past, a Japanese food review website that recently launched here in the US. They approached me about helping them to attract new users to the website, so I co-planned and co-hosted a whole beast feast with them at DBGB, where we and a crew of hungry food writers and photographers tore into a delicious suckling pig like a bunch of ravenous carnivores!
This pig, which is sort of like a giant pinwheel or sausage full of various pork cuts, feeds up to 12 guests and comes with salad, grilled flatbread, veggies, pork rinds and Baked Alaska for dessert.
At $575, this is a pretty good value, and you can throw in unlimited select beers and wine for just $30 more per person.
The pig is plated really beautifully when it comes out to the table.
From those shots you can really see the “pinwheel” or sausage thing that I was talking about. It isn’t just a roast pig like you might see at a Flip joint. The meat was really tasty, and consists of all parts of the animal, just packaged and presented in a different way from a standard pig roast. The only downside, for me, was that the skin was not crispy. That’s the best part about roasting pigs!
In any case, I got a bunch of incredible shots of this handsome bastard’s face.
I even managed to convince some of the dinner guests to pose with the pig’s head. Here’s Doug:
My boy Ben (@StuffBenEats) was a bit shy and didn’t pose with the pig. Oh well. Next time. I certainly posed with it! This shot was taken by Jay from The Dishelin Guide:
And here’s a shot of me getting ready to dig into the nasty bits like the brain, the face meat and the nose, taken by Jesse of Scrumphsus:
If you’ve got a big group and you’re into this kind of “Carcass Club” dining like I am, then I think you should add this to your list of potentials. It isn’t the best roast pig that I’ve had, but it certainly was pretty tasty and made for a fun night.
The Cake Dealer and I took on the Peking Duck feast here at Decoy with Chubby Chinese Girl and her husband. This is one of the best deals in town. For $65/pp you get four starters, two main courses, one side or rice dish, and one Peking Duck with ten pancakes, three sauces, pickled leeks, cucumber and green onion. While this isn’t a huge single carcass, it is definitely a beast feast worthy of the Carcass Club.
So let me get right down to business. The cocktails here are really nicely crafted. I tried two, the Timelessness (Hibiki, pomegranate molasses, sherry, yellow chartreuse and Laphroaig mist) and the Sitting Down For Dinner (duck fat-washed George Dickel, lemon, egg white and red wine). That second one is pictured here, along with my wife’s Smoke N Spice (Thai chili-infused Fidencio mezcal, pineapple, Aperol, Sriracha bitters and lime, served in a pineapple mug). Notice the shape of the duck created in the foam in mine:
In fact, ducks are everywhere in here as decor in paintings, or even just hanging over the tables:
You can kinda see them over the bar here as well:
Notice that guy on the right? That’s “Quinn” from the hit show Homeland. I didn’t want to intrude and get a photo (he was with a woman), but I did manage to snap this pic of the back of his head.
Alright. So here’s a nice set of snacks that came out to the table before our appetizers. Roasted Shishito peppers, roasted cauliflower, curried carrots, Chinese broccoli stems, marinated mango and pickled cucumber.
The star of the night, though, was probably this plate of “Decoy Chips,” which are fried branzino skin. These were so freaking good. They were nice and crispy, well seasoned and lightly dressed with pickled green and red onion.
Alright. Now onto the starters. First was this Kumamoto oyster topped with caviar and dressed with Yuzu. Refreshing and crisp.
Next up was oxtail dumplings. These were lightly breaded and fried to a golden crisp, and jam-packed with a generous amount of tasty stewed oxtail meat.
These grilled wagyu chunks were pretty nice. I was unable to readily identify what cut of beef they were, and I forgot to ask, but they were tender and flavorful. They came with a little mound of kimchi.
This next item is a fois gras and strawberry tart, designed and plated to look like a goose or swan.
Absolutely stunning, and really decadent to eat. Velvety smooth.
After the starters, a little shot of duck consomme came out to prepare out gullets for the Peking Duck. This was both savory and sweet. Really nice. I would drink a cup after running every morning, if I could.
We devoured the Peking Duck pretty quickly. It wasn’t all that big, but we had a lot more food coming so we didn’t mind so much. The skin was crisp, the meat was tender and flavorful, and the sauces and toppings were all really good. This may not be the best Peking Duck I’ve ever eaten, but it is certainly up there considering the value.
Our main courses were a grilled rib eye ($10 extra) and a pork “toro” dish with Korean rice cakes and Chinese sausage.
The rib eye was nicely cooked to medium rare and pre-sliced for us on a beautiful plate:
I’m not sure if that was all bleed-out underneath, or a purposeful sauce. The flavor score would be about an 8/10 on my ranking scale, mostly due to the proper cooking temperature and the wonderful char that stood up to the liquids on the plate. That’s asparagus served with it there, as well. Those were a bit under-cooked for my liking, but the tips were good.
The pork dish was actually a bit light on the actual pork, but we all enjoyed the rice cakes and Chinese sausage that were mixed in.
Our side dish was unique and delicious. This is a bowl of lightly sauteed snow pea leaves, simply executed with garlic and oil. It reminded me of some Italian greens that I cook in a similar way, like escarole or spinach, but with a more watercress-like texture.
To sum up, this place is definitely worth visiting for the duck feast. You get a ton of really good quality food for a reasonable price. In addition, the drinks and bar snacks (like the Decoy Chips) are exceptional if you just want a quick drink or a bar bite.