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Feb 7, 2009 05:40 PM

Best restaurants for game/exotic meat dishes?

Hey all,

I want to know which restaurants are recomended that serve the best game/ exotic type meat dishes. I am tlalking things like Pork Belly, Venison, Duck, Rack of lamb, Elk, Wild Boar, Veal/Lamb/Pork Shanks, Veal/Lamb/Pork Chops, Quail, Poussin, Guinea Hen, Squab basically anything that is a little out of the ordinary and somewhat exotic. I love meat and want to try some new kinds I have never had.

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    1. Picholine and Daniel excel in the wild game category. However, the wild game season is more or less over, so Daniel's current menu does not list any on the main course section, though there is an appetizer of partridge consomme. It's too late for Picholine's annual wild game tasting menu, but acc. to the website, the dinner menu includes venison and wild Scottish game.

      Allegretti, which is now high on our list of favorites, is currently serving pheasant and wild boar loin. We had the pheasant a few weeks ago, and it was sensational! We were back again last week, and my husband ordered the wild boar, which he raved about. It's usually not my thing, but I tasted it, and I have to say it was really good.

      I adore squab! Among the places where I've had excellent versions are Jean Georges (one of his signature dishes) and Veritas.

      As for duck, you can't do any better than Chef Humm's signature whole duck for two at EMP. In a word: Exquisite!

      9 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Wow RGR I def have to have the duck at EMP. Do they give you the duck legs as well or just the breast? I for one looooooooove duck confit and would love to have the duck legs as well as the breast. I am sure they give you the whole duck at a fine establishment like that.

        What else would you recommend there? Would they serve the duck for just one person? Also would they let you incorporate that into the tasting menu as a substitute?

        1. re: steakrules85

          They show you the whole duck at your table and bring it back to the kitchen to carve the meat for your plate. It is the duck breast with a "cube" of duck confit. The leg (as a whole) is not presented on the plate though I think the leg meat is probably incorporated into the confit.

          No, the duck is for two. Cannot do one as it is the whole duck.

          You believe you can incorporate that duck into the tasting menu but both of the diners will have to omit an entree at least. I think you may need to ask to confirm first.

          1. re: steakrules85

            Hey, steakrules,

            They present the entire duck at the table before taking it back to the kitchen to be carved. When the plates arrive, they contain a generous portion of sliced breast meat + a small swath of a pureed vegetable. The jus is napped around the meat tableside. No duck legs per se. However, there is a little duck confit "cake" (prepared previously) served as a separate side dish.

            We once substituted the duck on the 11-course Gourmand menu and once had it as an add-on to the 3-course menu, though in both instances, there were more than just the two of us dining. The surcharge is substantial, but if you are willing to pay the freight, they will be happy to accommodate you, including serving it just for one.

            You need to give me a clue as to what kinds of recommendations you are after.

            1. re: RGR

              Hi RGR,

              I think we cross-posted.

              I never knew you can order it for one person. But I guess it makes sense if you are willing to pay (probably paying for 2).

              1. re: kobetobiko

                Hey, kobe,

                Looking at the time stamps on our respective posts, yes, we did cross-post. :-)

                If a patron is willing to pay the surcharge, I can't imagine EMP would not be willing to serve the duck for one person.

                1. re: RGR

                  Thanks kobe and RGR. You both are very informative as always. I would be willing to pay the "for two" fee even though it would be just for me. I have gone to many restaurants that have dishes priced for two, however as long as you pay that price they will allow you to order it for yourself.

                  The only drawback for me is the fact that they do not give you the legs. I LOVE eating my meat off the bone. That to me is always the best part.

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    Hey, steakrules,

                    If you want your duck meat served on the bone, I recommend you go to La Petite Auberge and have their classic "duck à l'orange" -- one of my favorite things to order there. Half a roasted duck, breast meat not carved, leg meat on the bone, light orange sauce, and two accompaniments: wild rice and a vegetable. $24.


                    1. re: RGR

                      Sounds interesting... thanks as always RGR you do know your stuff. Will put it on my list to try. Other places where I have to try the duck or have been meaning to at least are Balthazar, Blue Ribbon, and of course various Chinatown establishments (Big Wong, Noodletown, Hsin Wong).

                      I am a lover of duck- everything about it. From the crispy skin, juicy breast, and of course the duck confit on the bone.

                      1. re: steakrules85


                        A place to put on your list for an excellent on-the-bone duck confit is Apiary, where Scott Bryan, previously of Veritas, is now in charge of the kitchen. The confit is on the $35 3-course prix-fixe. You can read my review on this thread:

        2. Check out Henry's End in the outer boroughs threads (its in Brooklyn). I have not been, but it is on my list to try.

          Henry's End
          44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          1. Adding to the spot-on recommendations by RGR, Casa Mono often has game meat on their menu - duck, quail, goat, lamb shanks just to name a few. Craft has excellent quails and guinea hens. The soon-to-be-closed Fleur de Sel has excellent poussin, vensions (in different preparation), veals, and last but not least, frog legs.

            If you are interested to have game meat in the chacauterie form, Bar Boulud certainly delivers. The pate and terrine have exotic meat from rabbit, pheasant, crousse, elk, wild boar, and on and on.

            Pork/Lamb chops/bellies are quite ubiquitous these days, and you can find them in a number of restaurants - Momofuku Ssam, Craft, etc.