Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Best Meal of the Year

Let's take a break from the California recap and talk about something that just happened.  Carol organized a little outing for Tuesday night where we had the new Large Format Duck Dinner at the Momofuku Ssam Bar.  I've had a couple duck lunches that I loved there, I was excited to see what the full on duck dinner was about.

Our duck arrived hidden beneath foliage and greenery, just as his ancestors once hid from hunters in the wild.  With all these leaves covering the guy up, it was hard to know exactly what we were dealing with.

This is more like it . . . slices and slices of wonderful, wonderfully roasted sausage-stuffed duck breast, two confited duck legs, rice that was just there to get in the way, and scallion pancakes.  If, at first glance, this doesn't look like a lot of duck to you, trust me, this is a lot of duck.

Additional Dinner Items: Lettuce for wrapping, crispy shallots, hoisin sauce, special ginger scallion sauce with duck fat instead of oil, and Korean barbecue sauce.  And I don't drink sparkling water, but when my friends do, they make it Pellegrino Bulgari.

For sides?  Broccoli with bluefish dressing topped with what I believe to be crumbled duck skin.

And fingerling potatoes, cooked in duck fat drippings, with spicy black bean sauce.

Like the Bo Ssam and Fried Chicken Dinner, this duck is meant to be eaten wrapped up in leaves and pancakes with all the additional sauces and toppings you desire.  And like the Bo Ssam and fried chicken, this duck does not mess around.  This is a meal of hyper-accelerated levels of decadence and deliciousness.  Eating it you get a feeling like you might be getting in trouble for something, but no, in fact you are only rewarded for your actions.

Evan burrito'd his first round.

Poor guy, he didn't stand a chance.  (Don't worry.  That last slice was eaten.  By me.  I don't let my dinner have orphans.)

And now, Roll Call del Amigos:

Evan and Alpha, confusing the internet.

Alpha and Carol

Carol, Trish, Dave.

Dave, me, Claire

The waiter told us they had a "large format" dessert that night, a 'Smore . . . that's all we needed to hear to decide we wanted it.  Maaaybe we should have listened to the whole description a little more closely.  I imagined a platter overflowing with hot and gooey treats, not something as conceptually advanced as this.  I think everyone did.  I still ate a lot of it.

Outside, the Milk Bar had clever signage.

In sum, awesome meal.  Extraordinary company.  If you're going to book one of Momofuku's big dinners, make it this one.  (but make sure to have the Bo Ssam and fried chicken some day, too).

On the way home from dinner I tried to keep a fume-huffing teen from falling onto the subway tracks.  That's a story for another day.  A day like tomorrow, maybe?

But I should at least say that by "tried" I mean "succeeded in."

1 comment:

Pearl said...

You are funny Brigham. I want to eat all of this! I need to make another trip out. Perhaps by then you will be in the mood for duck again! What did that dessert consist of?