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MA PECHE Summer Dinner

erica Aug 22, 2011 03:36 AM

Had a terrific early Sunday dinner last night and thought I would report back since there have been a few queries about the summer menu.

There were two of us at a corner table; I ordered a la carte while my friend opted for the 3-course $55 prix fixe. We shared most dishes and each and every one made me happy. Two made me want to lick the plate.

This is what we ate; stars are my own:

Prix Fixe:

Tomato salad *** strewn with crispy wonton sticks and pickeled raspberry.. Why can't I make a salad like this at home? A far cry from your usual tomato "salad."

Fried chicken Salad **** Like no other fried chicken you've ever eaten. Small chunks. No grease. Plated on a smashing sauce with watermelon, mustard and beer that was lick-the-plate good.

Striped Montauk Bass ****. Nice filet with complex sauce. Served with roasted cauliflower that has that Ma Peche vegetable magic. Outstanding. Every fish dish I've eaten here has been superb.

But the best was yet to come: If you go in summer, do not miss the Petite Assiette, or small plate, dish called COQUILLAGE. ***** Described as "shellfish, corn lemon balm," it was a whole lot more than that, and probably the best dish I've eaten in the US this year. Served in a bowl, strewn with chili threads.

And we could not pass up a chance to sample two of their summer vegetable dishes--

Corn with nori and togarashi spice **** I am not a corn-on-the-cob fan. This is a far cry from corn-on-the cob! A must try.

Cavolo Nero *** Tuscan kale shredded fine and served with a broth spiked with shards of duck ham.

We passed on desserts, unfortunately.

The bill totalled $107. before tip and w/o drinks. An exceptional and exciting meal at a fair price. Living in the food desert of midtown, we are very, very happy to have this place within an easy walk.

Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

  1. Cheeryvisage Aug 23, 2011 07:23 PM

    Was just there for dinner. I got the Coquillage, Crispy Pig's Head, Corn, and Chocolate. The Coquillage was my favorite! The other dishes were also very delicious! Though, the Pig's Head did contain a lot of fat.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Cheeryvisage
      ellenost Aug 23, 2011 07:33 PM

      Your photos are wonderful! You had some of my favorites (coquillage, corn and chocolate). Have never been able to get the courage to try the Crispy Pig's Head.

      1. re: ellenost
        MVNYC Aug 23, 2011 07:39 PM

        The crispy pigs head was the highlight of my meal here a couple of weeks ago. This was fried very well and I did not find it too fatty

        1. re: ellenost
          Cheeryvisage Aug 23, 2011 07:45 PM

          The Pig's Head was very good. It was basically tender morsels of meat from the pig's head (probably pork cheek meat) with a generous chunk of fat fried in a millet(?)-coated batter. It tasted delicious. But there was a lot of fat. You can easily separate the fat from the meat though.

          The neighboring table ordered the Pork Chop for two. I think my eyes nearly popped out of my head. Man, the portion was gigantic. I think it was probably enough for 3 people. So crazy. :)

        2. re: Cheeryvisage
          erica Aug 24, 2011 04:01 AM

          Good pics! I brought most of the corn home with me, as we were too stuffed from the other dishes. Last night I combined it with fregola (Sardinian round pasta shape) for a superb dinner! Me Peche is one restaurant where the food can accurately be called "exciting!"

          1. re: erica
            Cheeryvisage Aug 24, 2011 05:04 AM

            It was a lot of corn, wasn't it? I took most of it home with me too.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage
              ellenost Sep 2, 2011 06:49 AM

              Had another great dinner at Ma Peche last night (actually my choice was going to the gym or Ma Peche--easy choice). Had the scallops with coffee and brown butter, coquillage, the fried chicken salad, the trio of veggies, and the chocolate. Yes, it was a "ton" of food, and I took home most of the veggies, but everything is so delicious!

              The coffee and brown butter worked so perfectly with the scallops. The coquillage had a lot of shellfish and yummy corn. The cold fried chicken salad with watermelon and beer foam is a "must". The veggies (corn/potatoes/cavalo nero) are all delicious which is why I order the trio (smaller portions than the standard size). The chocolate ganache with coffee, coconut and thai basil is easily my favorite dessert at any of the Momofuku restaurants.

              Service was very friendly and efficient. I simply love Ma Peche, and am so happy that it's only 2 blocks from my office. (Don't worry, I still love Momofuku Ko too, and am returning for the 3 hour lunch tomorrow). Diet starts on Monday!

              Momofuku Ko
              163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Ma Peche
              15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: ellenost
                Cheeryvisage Sep 2, 2011 06:54 AM

                "Diet starts on Monday!"

                Haha, I like your attitude!

                I plan on eating lunch there tomorrow. Other than the pork belly buns (it's now on Ma Peche's lunch menu!), do you recommend anything else? Thanks!

                Ma Peche
                15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                  ellenost Sep 2, 2011 07:11 AM

                  Yes, I saw the pork buns are now on the lunch menu, but I haven't tried them yet. I loved the prix-fixe last week: summer bean salad (yellow and green beans with sesame, radish and soy vinaigrette; pork loin (very flavorful and soft; huge portion--more like a cutlet; and Milk Bar cookie). The $25 cost for the prix fixe is one of the best bargains in (at least) midtown. Also loved the shrimp curry with coconut and kaffir lime. I'm not a sandwich person, so I haven't tried them. Also liked the tomato salad. Only the corn and potatoes are on the lunch menu--not the cavalo nero (according to the lunch menu on their website). Have a great time, and I look forward to your review.

                  1. re: ellenost
                    fooder Sep 2, 2011 08:33 PM

                    Was there for prix fixe lunch last week.
                    Had the terrine which was a huge meaty portion.
                    Had the pork loin. Everything accompanying it was great, but the piece of meat itself did not work for me. Yes, it was like a cutlet, but also in a sense that it felt like it was weirdly tenderized. The texture was inconsistent and not robust. Some bites were weirdly soft and some bites were too fatty. The previous pork choice, the country rib chop, was significantly superior imo.

                    But yes, especially for the portion sizes, the prix fixe lunch is terrific value for midtown.

                    Ma Peche
                    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: fooder
                      ellenost Sep 3, 2011 06:19 AM

                      I was very surprised how soft the pork loin was. I did love the sliced country rib chop, and hope they put it back on the menu soon!

                    2. re: ellenost
                      Cheeryvisage Sep 3, 2011 12:02 PM

                      It turned out the lunch prix-fixe wasn't available on weekends. I got the Steamed Pork Buns and the Banh Mi Maison.

                      The buns were delicious. The pork belly cuts were excellent, mostly lean meat interspersed with thin layers of fat. The hoisin was a pretty standard sauce that could have come out of a jar from a supermarket. But, the overall combination of thin slices of cucumber, hoisin, pork belly, and chopped scallion sandwiched in a steamed bun was irresistible.

                      The banh mi contained three terrines (though I could only count two) and a generous amount of cilantro (yay!). The sandwich was encased in a beautifully toasted warm French baguette. It was a delicious and hearty fare. I was already half full from downing the two pork buns earlier, so I ended up taking half of the banh mi to go.

                      I browsed around the Milk Bar a bit after paying my bill. While I was very tempted by the lovely cookies, I had to forgo them because I was too stuffed.

                      Ma Peche
                      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                      1. re: Cheeryvisage
                        Cheeryvisage Sep 4, 2011 06:21 AM

                        Just ate the leftover banh mi. Man, this is good stuff. I liked it even better enjoyed alone this time because there were no pork buns to compete for my attention and distract my taste buds. I think I might visit the restaurant more often for lunch now since my work is only a couple of blocks away.

          2. loratliff Aug 22, 2011 07:45 AM

            I still haven't been there for dinner! I eat lunch there regularly and absolutely love it, but thanks to reports from Ellen, and now yours, I have got to make it a point to have dinner there.

            1. ellenost Aug 22, 2011 07:03 AM

              Great report Erica!

              Agree with you about the Fried Chicken and the Coquillage--I had both of them a few weeks ago, and think they're fantastic! I also enjoyed the Tomato Salad, Cavalo Nero, and the Corn. Don't remember if I've tried the Bass yet, but based on your high praise, will try it soon.

              Funny thing is that I was also at Ma Peche last night for their special Goat Dinner. Great food and a great group of people! Never thought I'd enjoy goat so much! In September Ma Peche is having special halibut dinners on every other Sunday. More info is available on the momofuku website under "Momofuku Presents". I think I may try that too.

              Next time you're at Ma Peche for dinner, you must try their chocolate dessert. It is probably my most favorite Momofuku dessert. It has Thai basil, coconut and coffee, and while it looks like it may be too rich, my sister and I wound up fighting over it (yes, it really is that yummy!).

              Ma Peche
              15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

              2 Replies
              1. re: ellenost
                Cheeryvisage Aug 22, 2011 07:38 AM

                Oh thanks for this, erica and ellenost. I'm going to check it out tomorrow!

                1. re: ellenost
                  erica Aug 22, 2011 02:01 PM

                  Ellenost: What a coincidence! I had read about the goat dinner and was watching for the dishes at the tables I could see from my corner seat. But the diners i could see seated at the long tables seemed to be ordering from the regular menus, so I could not catch even a glimpse of what must have been an exceptional dinner.

                  I had my eye on the chocolate dessert; it was all I could do to tear myself away without ordering. The only reason I was able to do that is that my partner was very cold and asked to leave w/o dessert. But we certainly will return soon!

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