Best of large-format meals?
I've done the Beef 7 Ways (Ma Peche), Pork Ssam (Ssam Bar), and Fried Chicken (Momofuku Noodle Bar). All delicious.
What I haven't tried:
Resto (any of their large formats)
Back Forty (any of their large formats)
...anything else I've missed.
Asking anyone who's tried the other ones in comparison to the Momofuku ones....which ones are worth trying and are even better?
We demolished the Breslin's pig dinner last week and it was fantastic. As kathryn pointed out, they remove the head and take it back to the kitchen, and when it returns the snout, tongue, cheeks and ears are all carved up for you (well, we had started to go after the ears before they took the head away) and the brains were accesible through the skull.
the pig was fantastic, and the sides that came with were really great as well. the pork fat cooked potatoes were unreal - halved lengthwise and fried to shatteringly crisp outsides they nearly stole the show. we also had a very good ceasar salad and roasted carrots. im not a sweets person, and was incredibly stuffed from all the pig, but the salted caramel tarts w creme fraiche were a big hit (and i enjoyed the couple bites of mine that i took).
its really fun sitting in the middle of the dining room with the great view of the pass - as we were winding down the mean we saw them put up a stuffed, pan fried pork leg (we asked our serve and she said they braise the whole foot-on shank, hollow it out of meat and bones, mix the meat with sausage, re-stuff it and bread and fry the whole thing). as full as we were we asked how long it would take to get one and without missing a beat she told us about 20 minutes. having our bluff called we decided we were just too full, but more than a few of us are strongly considering going back to try it (and the gorgeous steaks and lamb burgers we watched go out all night). the big table is really quite nice, and you know youre in for a good time when you are seated at an empty table with a theater style spotlight on the center, where the pig would eventually be.
Did the John Dory chef's table back in April and oh my God, it was amazing. Raw seafood up to my eyeballs, basically, in addition to two gorgeous whole turbots. Highly recommended and very underrated.
Also loved the Breslin and the fried chicken at Momo.
What is DBGB's large format?
BTW, Ma Peche has changed its large format dinner. It's now:
there are three choices for the group meal: two whole fried chickens (4 to 8 guests), smoked lamb shoulder (6 to 10 guests), or a combination of both (10 to 12 guests).
whole fried chicken // smoked lamb shoulder
eggplant – egg, sour cream, olive oil
chickpea – tahini, lemon, falafel
iceberg – ranch, chicken skin, scallion
wheat berry – cucumber, red onion, parsley
Finally was able to try this meal! Had a small reservations mix up and my group of 12 ended up with a chicken/chicken meal (4 chickens) instead of the lamb/chicken meal (lamb plus 2 chickens), but it was fine since they did comp our drinks and the chicken was fantastic!
Is it blasphemy to say I liked it more than the fried chicken at Noodle Bar? It is cooked whole, sous vide, then deep fried. They present it to the table and then bring it back, carved, and tossed with fresh parsley, cumin, and coriander. Very, very juicy and flavorful.
The eggplant and chickpea sides were the most popular--we polished those off first. The iceberg lettuce was amusing, as it had a lot of large crispy pieces of chicken skim on top. Yum! Unlimited pita refills, too, and we got some extra chutney and pickles as well. Ate and drank ourselves into oblivion. And had leftovers. Very reasonably priced for a big group meal, especially in Midtown.
We were seated at a long table against a wall. And Ma Peche is quite a bit quieter than Breslin/Ssam Bar/Noodle Bar so it was MUCH easier to have a conversation with the rest of your group. And this particular meal has a lot more variety than the Bo Ssam at Ssam Bar or Fried Chicken Meal at Noodle Bar.
I was checking Ma Peche's website today and noticed this new large group format dinner, featuring short ribs. Then I googled it and saw a recent Eater post about it - I must have somehow missed it.
$88 a head is in line with the Beef 7 Ways dinner a few years ago, when it was initially priced at $85/person. I believe I did it when they lowered it to a fixed overall price of $450.
If anyone has done it (it's only been around less than a month), I'd love to hear reports.