Thursday, July 28, 2011

Resto

As the social planner of my main group of friends, birthday dinners are my thing. I plan everyone's birthday. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes not so much. But in the end, I'm happy to give a dear friend something special on their day. For this friend, he's a meat happy dude. I've planned a whole hog dinner at Daisy May's before and he enjoyed it. This time, I suggest Resto's large format meal. They do take a whole animal but serve it in composed dishes. He still gets his pork on but with different flavors and textures.

When we arrived, we started with some drinks first. The food was taking awhile to arrive so we imbibed first. Their drink menu sits inside books. Interesting. I ordered the East Side Rouge ($14) with gin and cucumber flavors. It was clean, crisp, and yet slighter bitter. The perfect drink for me.

The chef came out to greet us and explained a bit of the menu. Awesome! To start, the amuse bouche (though too large for a one biter) was roasted pork loin with peas puree, and pickled cucumbers, carrots, and radishes. A really nice start to the meal. The pork was flavorful and juicy while the garnished kept it light. It was a great way to whet our appetites.
The second course started with large platefuls of endives and arugula. The chef explained that this would be necessary for the upcoming fatty dishes. And he was spot on.
First and foremost, the roasted pig leg. The skin was incredibly crispy and delicious. The meat underneath was very tender and delicious. We took the knife and carved every morsel from the bones. Delicious!
Along with the roast pork leg, they served a variety of sausages. There was chorizo, boudin blanc, blood sausage (in the ramekin) head cheese, and truffled sauce for the boudin blanc. The chorizo was spicy but not overly so. The spices were very enjoyable and had the right amount of fat. The boudin blanc was much milder and yet still very delicious. The truffled sauce added a nice depth of rich flavor. The blood sausage was surprisingly enjoyable. I've had it before at a different establishment and didn't enjoy it. This version was much better. It didn't have the off putting metallic taste. Instead, it was very rich and just tasty. I can't eat a lot of it but it was nice spread across a piece of toast. The head cheese was fatty, porky, and really rich. A little bit is all we needed. With all this rich food, we started eating a lot of the salad too in order to balance everything out.
The next round of dishes were even more filling. Here's a plate of fried potatoes with a fried pig's head on top. This was served with a light tomato sauce. The fried head was super crispy. I took a piece of the ear and it was like a pork potato chip.
People wanted to try to cheeks and meat on the head but didn't want to strip it. So I took the honors. I really like striping down/butchering meat. It helps me understand the animal and how it's built. Anyway, I think I did a pretty good job with tearing all the meat off without using my bare hands. I left the eyes and tongue though.
In another pot was a stewed pigs leg. The skin wasn't crispy but it was still delicious. But what really mattered was the sauce and the vegetables underneath. They completely absorbed all the juices, fat, and flavor from the pork. Paired with the super tender meat, this was absolutely delicious.
Here we have a roulade of pork cooked Mexican style over a bed of haricot verts, cauliflower, and asparagus. This pork had so much flavor. It was spicy in the middle but another layer was much more mild. The outside was super crispy and delightful.
The last pork dish of the night were Thai pork chops over microgreens. These chops were fried then dressed in a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce. This was really nice and was a great change in flavor from the rest of the dishes.
We ended the meal with a liege waffle with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Unfortunately this was terrible. The waffle was very sandy and grainy in texture. Fortunately for us, we were too full to even care at this point.
The large format meal at Resto was amazing. They offer a variety of dishes to please pretty much any pallet. No one left hungry. In fact, everyone left super stuffed. The suckling pig option ($65 per person) was great! Definitely a friendly pork injection. If you're not a fan of pork, they offer other animals as well. You can choose from lamb, goat, Berkshire pig, suckling pig, fish, and even some special requests like alligator.

I would also like to say that the service was really good. Although we waited quite a bit for the first course to come out, they made sure we were well accommodated with drinks. They also apologized for the wait which is all I really need. Also, the chef personally came out to describe each dish which I find really great. He's the one that would know most about the food and I respect that.

Bravo, Resto!

Resto
111 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-5585
restonyc.com

6 comments:

  1. Greetings from Miami International.

    Wow. Looks great. So much better than simply a whole animal being served.

    Crispy pork skin, sausages, drool.

    Nice writeup Stalker! :P

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  2. WHOA! This looks INCREDIBLE...seriously. SO jealous!!

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  3. Mmm pork everywhere. Me want to check Resto out sometime. Maybe lunch.

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  4. This sounds great. I was recently complaining about large format meals, but this sounds exactly the opposite of all of my complaints. Yum! I would do this.

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  5. and serious pork envy... this is what i want for my bday!!! =P

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