Blog: Good Meat in the Flesh
The release of local magazine Edible Manhattan’s meat issue spawned a small and tasteful food tasting party, celebrated by a dozen or so restaurant vendors and a few hundred guests late last week. The spacious Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry Street was an ideal hosting ground for the event, with three oversized rooms over two levels, keeping the flow of traffic consistent and any lengthy lines manageable. The entire evening was expertly run, from registration to coat check, and the select participants may have been relatively lesser known, but the different meat samples at each of the stops may have finally put these businesses on the map.
Veggie lovers beware- this evening was about the red meat, featuring many of the restaurants featured in the magazine’s latest issue. But the event was not a complete gorgefest- aside from talking with the vendors about their methods of securing and preparing their different meats, the folks at Edible Manhattan made sure to have deliver alternative forms of entertainment- an excellent and informative sausage making demo from “The Piggery,” a complete meat slideshow from the magazine’s talented photographers, and information sessions from “Animal Welfare Approved,” for the politically correct side of meat-eating. But between the short presentations, LocalBozo.com made sure to weave in and out of vendor lines, savoring the flavor of each restaurant’s offerings, and taking notes on each of the night’s tastes.
The standout dish for us came from Williamsburg favorite “Fatty ‘Cue,” a fantastically fatty taste of “lamb ribs with a lemon garlic emulsion,” served in single rib portions per plate. Each rib (believe me, we had more than a few) had an incredible fall off the bone tenderness, with enough charred fat to compliment the seemingly dry rub flavor. Kudos to the outstanding newer restaurant for choosing an eclectic, dynamic dish to share with the crowd at this event. Another noteworthy inclusion came to us from “The Green Table,” an organic eatery from “The Cleaver Co.” in Chelsea Market. Using only choice grass-fed meats from “Grazin’ Angus Acres,” the restaurant concocted a fabulous “shepherd’s pie,” marrying tender, braised chunks of angus with seasonal vegetables over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. The dish was hearty, and the flavors plentiful in a close runner up to our favorite dish of the night. The second runner up had to go to Jimmy’s No. 43, the historic east village haunt that delivered slabs of “fresh roasted ham legs,” with a spot of tangy mustard atop a crispy crostini.
If it sounds like all of these salty meats would leave you parched, liquor purveyors were similarly on hand to provide tastes of a different kind. “Kelso” of Brooklyn may have underestimated the crowd on this night, as they quickly ran out of their delicious “Nut Brown Lager,” after generously pouring some bigger gulps for friendly patrons. But they rectified the situation by the end of the evening, with more than a spare amount of beer choices before packing it in. Long Island’s “Bedell Cellars” were on hand with the wine, with their red blended 2008 Taste and 2009 First Crush, both smooth compliments to the plates of raw milk cheddar and grilled summer sausage graciously laid out by “Organic Valley,” near the front entrance. Finally, “Hudson Whiskey” stepped up with the hard stuff- with five different whiskeys and two vodkas- as guests lined up to run a flight featuring each bottle.
Edible Manhattan is no stranger to tasting and drinking events featuring local fare. These types of tasting events happen all around the city every month and for a cheap ticket price ($25, in this case) you are literally treated to an all you can eat and drink buffet from different restaurants that you may not have even known existed. It’s a tremendous avenue of exposure for local eateries and an incredible value for New Yorkers. For more information, check out ediblemanhattan.com and make sure to peruse the menu below for all of the participants from the successful event.
- Jane Van Arsdale