Tag Archives: carcass club

Feast

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:

First Courses

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.

Second Courses

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.

Indochine ratatouille.

I’m generally not a huge fan of ratatouille, but this had some nice robust and savory flavors.

Dessert Course

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.

FEAST
102 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Momofuku Ssam Bar Brisket & Let’s Dutch

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.

MOMOFUKU SSAM BAR
207 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

DBGB Whole Beast Feast: Pig

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED

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!

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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.

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At $575, this is a pretty good value, and you can throw in unlimited select beers and wine for just $30 more per person.

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The pig is plated really beautifully when it comes out to the table.

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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.

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I even managed to convince some of the dinner guests to pose with the pig’s head. Here’s Doug:

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Jesse (@scrumphsus):

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Jeremy (@NYCFoodFOMO):

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Jay (@TheDishelinGuide):

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And Yuka (@TabelogUS):

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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:

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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:

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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.

DBGB
299 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

Decoy

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:

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In fact, ducks are everywhere in here as decor in paintings, or even just hanging over the tables:

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You can kinda see them over the bar here as well:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Alright. Now onto the starters. First was this Kumamoto oyster topped with caviar and dressed with Yuzu. Refreshing and crisp.

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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.

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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.

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This next item is a fois gras and strawberry tart, designed and plated to look like a goose or swan.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

DECOY
529-1/2 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014