Tag Archives: niman

Sauvage

This French and American joint just opened up about three weeks ago in the Williamsburg / Greenpoint area. A preview write-up that I saw recently showed some very promising menu items (I’ll get to those soon), and it just so happened that a friend of ours secured a reservation for us to give it a try.

The first thing my wife and I did was try cocktails at the bar. Both of these were pretty damn good.

DSC04867_2

Since these are the same folks behind Maison Premiere, the starter menu is here raw bar -forward, with offerings like uni, oysters and crab. We went with the uni and “queen crab” items.

The uni was very nice, but one of our four pieces was a bit lame in size and lacked flavor – it even had a funky smell to it. In the photo below, that one is on the upper right, slightly out of focus. When we asked about it, the waitress pretty much said that this is how it came out of the shell, and not much they could do about it. Bummer.

DSC04870

The bigger disappointment was the “queen crab,” which was essentially just a few very overpriced, chilled snow crab legs. Bummer II: The Return of Bummer. Skip this item, as you’re probably better off getting snow crab legs as some kind of cheap-ass, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.

DSC04875

We were excited to see sunchokes on the menu, as these are some of my favorite root veggies around. They weren’t as great as I’d hoped, but I was happy to chow down on some anyway. Son of Bummer: The Vendetta Begins.

DSC04882

Okay so now that the negative bummers are out of the way, let’s get to the outstanding and overwhelming positives. First, this squid ink garganelli pasta dish:

DSC04891

This shit was expertly crafted and cooked perfectly. It was dressed deftly with a light, slightly chunky tomato and squid sauce and garnished with celery leaves. Absolutely delicious.

But as a meat fanatic, these next two dishes will have me pining for an inconvenient journey on both the M and G trains back into parts of Brooklyn that I barely knew existed and to which I have no real desire to ever go.

First, this pig’s head confit.

DSC04909

There are only a handful of places doing this here in the city (one of which is Marc Forgione). This version was completely de-boned, so you can just fork and knife the shit out of this and eat everything you see on the plate. Let no part of the face go to waste! It’s super crispy all over, and underneath the crackly pig skin face lies a soft, tender meat that’s abundantly entwined with a savory and succulent fatty pig jelly. Fuck yeah, you should order this when you come here. It comes with grilled peach and sweet beans.

DSC04899

Just when I thought I couldn’t be happier about the meat product offerings here, out comes the tomahawk rib eye for two.

DSC04935

This fucker hails from Niman Ranch and is processed and aged by DeBragga on the east coast. It’s a 52-day dry aged and 32+ ounce hunk of tender, juicy and beefily flavorful steak, the likes of which are nearly unrivaled in all of Brooklyn.

DSC04931

Now, I do think it is a bit small, being listed on the menu “for two” at $135, however the quality here is definitely worth at least some kinf of upcharge (unlike the steak at Pasquale Jones). For that reason, and for the reason that this is grilled rather than seared in a pan for a better crust, I have to take one point away and give it a 9/10.

We almost had a massive disappointment, however. When the steak first came out it was overcooked. I almost never do this, but as a group we decided to send it back, considering how much we were about to drop on this meal. We were happy to be met with a very understanding staff who agreed with our assessment and went above and beyond to make it right. What came back to us was perfect rare plus or medium rare. I very special thanks to the GM, Julian, for taking care of us on this. He was a fantastic host.

DSC04925

I didn’t take pics of the overcooked steak, so all the shit you see here is from the actual steak that we ate. I hope the staff got to eat our overcooked steak, or a homeless bum or something. It would suck if it got thrown out. They offered it to us for free, but we didn’t want to taint the experience with a mistakenly overdone steak.

The shameful part was that the table next to us ordered their tomahawk well done on purpose. WELL DONE! What a colossal waste of good, expertly raised and brilliantly aged beef. Too bad we couldn’t have coordinated with them ahead of time. They could have taken our overcooked steak and ruined it a little more so it was to the other table’s liking.

Anyway, the steak comes with a fire roasted onion and some nice woods mushrooms on the side.

DSC04914

They also gave us a little asparagus salad on the house when the corrected steak came out to the table:

DSC04940

For dessert, we tried this kind of small “floating island” traditional French dessert. It was very flavorful – just small. Luckily we were pretty full at that point. The best were the little crunchy bits of French toast flavored croutons in there. I want a bag of those to go!

DSC04944

All in this meal came to $100 a head. My recommendations for you at this joint is to skip the shellfish, get a pasta, and pick a shared entree like the pig face or steak. I did notice some other nice items on the solo entree menu, like a pork porterhouse and a strip steak. Maybe next time.

SAUVAGE
905 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Momofuku Ssam Bar Large Format Rib Eye

After reading this Eater article, and adding to the comments, I decided I needed to go do this gigantic rib eye at Momofuku Ssam Bar. I went with my wife and two friends from Tabelog. We rocked it. Check out the pics and details below.

We started out with what we thought was a complimentary plate of sardines on toast with fermented chic peas and pickled hearts of palm. Why did we think it was complimentary, you ask? Because (1) we didn’t fucking order it, and (2) the fucking waiter told us that he brought it out to us because he wanted us to try his favorite item. I’m not gonna complain any more than dropping two F-bombs, but needless to say I was a little confused and pissed when I saw the bill and realized we were charged for it (after leaving and already paying, mind you). The app was great. Salty, juicy, earthy, “umami,” and all that good shit. But there was plenty of meat, potatoes and greens to go around with the rib eye special that we didn’t need an app. Now, the waiter was great and all, but a surprise charge like this, couched in “freebie” behavior, is kinda fucked up. Okay that’s three F-bombs now. Readers: make sure you check out the coolness of what Momofuku did in response to this review, which I updated at the very bottom. All is right and well.

Momofuku Ribeye 013 edit

I’ll leave the meat for last… aside from dessert, of course. The art of anticipation…

Next was the bowl of perfectly fried french fries. Delicious. They came with a nice, smokey bacon ketchup too. Crispy outside, mashed potatoes inside. Mmmmm.

Momofuku Ribeye 018

Then a massive Caesar salad with brown butter croutons. Crisp and refreshing.

Momofuku Ribeye 022

Momofuku Ribeye 021

Okay now for the blowout. This is a 107oz hunk of GODmeat. Dry aged for 50 days, originally hailing from the Niman farm in California, this cut of rib contains the outer fat slabs as well as what you normally get with a traditional cut of rib eye + fat cap.

Here are some before shots of a slightly smaller cut (not ours):

Momofuku Ribeye 003

Momofuku Ribeye 006

Momofuku Ribeye 004

It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, allowed to cool, and then sliced and plated on a thick cutting board. Some of the fat was the gristled kind, but much of it was the edible, meat bubblegum kind. Savory beef jelly. Awesome.

Momofuku Ribeye 024

Momofuku Ribeye 032

Momofuku Ribeye 031

It was served with four sauces: the bacon ketchup mentioned earlier, a bernaise sauce, a red wine + shallot marmalade, and rendered steak fat + brown butter and herbs.

Momofuku Ribeye 015

Also, four bundles of roasted garlic cloves, so soft that you could smear the garlic on your steak like creamy mashed potatoes or some shit.

Momofuku Ribeye 030

Was all this enough? Nope. Of course not. I’m a former fat guy. So we followed up with some dessert.

First was a popcorn cake. Instead of sifting flower in the pre-baking process, they sifted popcorn. It was really unique, and served with a little side bowl of strawberry jam to spread across each forkfull. All I can say is that you should get it if you go here.

Momofuku Ribeye 035

And finally we had the Thai tea pie. This cold dessert had the unique characteristic flavor of Thai tea with an added tangy tamarind sauce and some sort of chocolatey, tea-infused puffed rice kinda thing on top. Nice.

Momofuku Ribeye 036

So that’s all. Great fucking meal, aside from the fact that I was charged for something that we didn’t order. On the slightly brighter side of things, however, it looks as though they forgot to charge us for our third beer. So we were still overcharged, but only by $9 instead of $15.

Scan_Pic0001

UPDATE!!! The management over at Ssam Bar saw this review and made good on their mishap. Good people as well as good food! An honest mistake that stemmed from a desire to provide top notch customer service. And 100% classy that they reached out to me. See below:

Ssam bar email

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