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Sep 19, 2011 07:07 PM

Fatty Cue (West Village)

Husband and I had a promising meal here on Sunday night. Walked in around 7pm, easily got a two-top. There looked like a short wait when we left around 8:30-8:45pm. But this location does take reservations, which is nice. The food menu is completely different from the Williamsburg location, BTW.

Service was excellent and they did a great job of getting cocktail refills, quietly taking away empty plates, checking up on us, quietly taking away garnish picks & chopstick wrappers. I swear as soon as I put the menu down, someone was asking if we had any questions. Same when we put our credit card down to pay at the end of the night. They are definitely on top of things there right now, and made a good impression on me.

Plus there's excellent cocktails! The Chupacabra with tequila, chili-infused domaine de canton, fresh watermelon, lime was delicious and supremely spicy despite its bright pink color. Reminiscent of something you'd find on Mayahuel or Death & Co's menu. The Smokin' Bone with bourbon, smoked pineapple, lime, chocolate bitters, tabasco was even better. Also lovely, complex, and spicy, and boozy. Also excellent was This Little Piggy Had Whiskey, with Whistlepig, St. Germain, Lillet blanc, Campari, orange bitters, which had a bit of a Sazerac quality thanks to the orange bitters.

One holdover from the Fatty Johnson's pop up was ham service, renamed as Ham, Jam, Butter & Bread. Only one ham on the menu (Edwards) but I thought the warm pretzel bread was a very nice tough. A generous serving of room temperature butter with some spices on top, and some cincalok (IIRC) jam. Sweet, salty, buttery. The perfect bite when you got the butter and jam and ham all together on the pretzel bread. Ordered on the recommendation of our server.

I also really enjoyed Steamed & Crushed New Potatoes with smoky-sweet corn, green chili curry. The potatoes themselves were OK -- well cooked but possibly needed a bit of seasoning. But the sweet corn, bright and fresh off the cob, and the creamy but also lingeringly spicy curry sauce with lots of fresh oregano? Divine.

Even better was the Late Summer Tomato with cubeb pepper, fresh coriander, charcoal, olive oil. Slices of high quality heirloom tomato in gorgeous colors (red, green, orange, green striped red, yellow, etc), bursting with flavor, crunchy bread crumbs on top, and a generous helping of fresh basil and Asian spices? Also delicious! Also highly recommended by our server.

We also tried the buttermilk fried half rabbit. Seven decent sized pieces served on a wooden board. Great crust, and nice, tender meat. I loved picking off the bits better the rabbit ribs! So tender. And served with a bottle of their housemade vinegar based sauce. Almost perfect, all I needed was a little bit more heat, and maybe some maple syrup and butter? Really glad I tried it but I'm not sure I'd get it again since there are so many other choices.

The only thing I didn't really "get" was their oddball dessert menu. We ordered the Spiced Chocolate & Buckwheat: buckwheat ice cream, buckwheat cookie, chocolate ganache, preserved plums, with a foam on top (pandan or green tea I think?). I thought the preserved plums really clashed with the chocolate and the buckwheat cookie just didn't taste that great -- I don't think buckwheat makes a very good dessert. Especially when it's with preserved plumbs! The plating and flavors seemed kind of WD-50-ish, actually. The dessert never really melded for me. I think I'll try another dessert next time, one of the more traditional ones, or skip dessert here altogether.

Overall, I really liked their redo of the Cabrito/Fatty Johnson's space. Nice modern light fixtures, cute wallpaper, some mini liquor cabinets in the walls, a nice long banquette. Bright orange chairs. The booths looked cozy, the banquette and big 6-top table in back, a little less so. The room is cleverly divided into different sections to help with noise and giving it a little bit more of an intimate feel. There's a few tables in front of the host station, then a divider, then some booths and two more tables, then another divider, etc.

I only wish the bar had more seats, as I'll definitely be back! Not cheap, but interesting, bold, and tasty. And who's to say you shouldn't stop in for some liquid refreshments and 1/2 lb. of that deep-fried bacon on your way elsewhere?

Death & Co.
433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Fatty 'Cue
50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

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  1. Nice report, how much did this meal cost?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chuck Lawrence

      I think $90 before cocktails, tax, and tip.

    2. Thanks very much, Kathryn! Enjoyed the read. Even though I didn't love the food at Cabrito and don't love it at Fatty Crab, Pelaccio's restaurants generally have a good cocktail program.

      I'm intrigued by the presence of charcoal in the tomato dish. Did I read that right? Was the dish grilled or was charcoal actually incorporated in some way, literally or figuratively?

      Fatty Crab
      643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

      1 Reply
      1. re: michelleats

        I think the breadcrumbs may have been grilled but I didn't really get any super smoky flavors from the dish. It was mostly the freshness and quality of the tomatoes and the herbs that carried it.

      2. Gotta say the sides (tomatoes and potatoes & corn) sound fantastic! Did they still have watermelon drink? (I think that's where I had it recently)

        2 Replies
        1. re: uwsister

          The Chupacabra, spicy with tequila, watermelon, and lime, served up and bright pink in color? If so, yes!

          1. re: kathryn

            Yep, that's the one I was talking about - great, will have to go back for a meal soon. Thanks!

        2. We went back last night with some friends (party of 4). We started off with the ham, jam, butter, and bread, which was delicious, I only wish they gave you more bread by default. We asked for more pretzel bread but there was a $3 extra charge (which our server warned us about ahead of time).

          The kale salad with creamy green peppercorn & cincalok dressing was good in a bitter greens meat creamy dressing sort of way, but not really all that interesting. A little more interesting were the spicy greens (arugula) with yuzu and a creamy dressing on the plate. We were instructed to kind of drag the greens through the dressing. Tasty but not as interesting as the other dishes. But these two salads were mostly ordered to counteract... the meat!

          The heritage pork ribs with indonesian long pepper, fish sauce, palm sugar were good, but not my favorite dish of the night. They were cooked nicely, and very tender. I only wish they had a little more going on in the flavor department; my friends disagreed and thought they were awesome, although my husband pointed out that I typically prefer a bit of sauce on my ribs. These were moist and flavorful enough without any sort sauce, but overall I thought they were only good, not great. Note also that the default portion is 2 ribs, we had to get a double order for 4 people.

          What was great was the lamb shoulder. Served with a warm house made pita and a tangy spiced goat yogurt, it came as a small pile of pulled meat. Some crispy bits in there as well. Excellent smoky flavor and texture, and with the goat yogurt, it came together very nicely. I think this may have been my favorite dish of the night. I would definitely order this again. The meat was so flavorful, even on its own, and irresistibly delicious.

          I also really liked their brisket served with clothbound cheddar (I had thought they were crumbles of parmesan actually), chilies, shiso salad, soft rolls, also served warm. The rolls were served in pairs that you had to bread apart. Soft fluffy insides with a thin crust on top. The brisket itself was sliced already (5 pieces I think), and the edges had a nice crisp texture to them, which is interesting since you don't find that a lot -- not in Jewish brisket or BBQ brisket. I thought the texture was great and played nicely against the other, softer, fattier parts of each slice. And the chili peppers were sliced and tossed with the shiso salad, which added some nice heat and brightness to the dish. Really tasty, but small.

          We also tried their 1/2 lb of deep-fried coriander bacon, served with a sweet & spicy salsa verde. The salsa verde seemed to have quite a bit of cilantro and green curry in it; very good but with a big kick in it from the heat. The bacon itself was sliced into about a dozen pieces. Delicious, as you would expect deep fried bacon to be, with crispy edges and fatty, tender insides. Yum.

          Cocktails were great (we tried a new one called the Sling-n-Grass: zu vodka, lime, bitters, pear, benedictine, ginger beer -- very refreshing), and we were gifted some pomegranate daiquiri shots by our excellent server. We had a cozy booth and everybody we talked to was very helpful. I also noticed that the bread served with all of the dishes came out warm and was much better than you'd get at a lot of restaurants.

          It's not a cheap place (though if you don't have cocktails your bill will be much smaller), but the quality and thought behind the dishes really shows, especially if you like bold cocktails with your dinner.

          Fatty 'Cue
          50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

          3 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Wait - is the coriander bacon not the same as the one at the Williamsburg location?

            I really liked my meal at Fatty Cue & the bacon was one of my faves. Great to hear there's a location closer to where I generally hang when in the city!

            1. re: linguafood

              Judging from photos online, it appears that both the slicing/cooking method and accompaniments are different.

              West Village (note that the portion size we got was way bigger than this, perhaps 3x as much bacon, and all 4 sides were crispy)

              Brooklyn (which looks like it is fried first, and then cut into smaller pieces

              1. re: kathryn

                I'd eat either one. Like, right NOW.