I haven't posted anything in a while, but I had to share a recent dining experience with all of my faithful followers.
David Chang officially opened a new restaurant in Midtown this week called Má Pêche. It's only open for lunch at the moment, but G and I went on Thursday, post-call. That's really the best part about taking call - being able to check out awesome restaurants for lunch. And the whole being really, really tired thing.
We have been hearing about this place for about six months and actually were able to sample the menu in the lobby of the adjoining Chambers Hotel. We had some nice sandwiches and a decent cocktail that time, but it was nothing like actually eating at the restaurant. After checking in, you head downstairs into the dining room. The place is very industrial-feeling, with concrete pillars and walls covered with large beige, backlit sheets. The place also has really high ceilings, so it kind of felt like an art gallery or museum. One extremely cool feature is the painting of guys on ATVs wearing masks from the movie The Royal Tenenbaums (it's the actual painting on loan from Wes Anderson). Overall, an interesting feel, but much, much different than the East Village Chang spots. The crowd was also decidedly different. I'm not quite sure if they were cool enough to be dining with me. I'll be interested to see what it's like for dinner...
The drinks. They had a nice cocktail list on hand with a bunch of wines by the glass (including Turley). I had a short island, which is basically like a long island ice tea except in a small glass and made with homemade cola syrup instead of soda. Pretty good.
The food. The food was awesome. We had the rice noodles with spicy pork and herbs and the steak frites. The rice noodles were very Korean and similar to the amazing "pork sausage and rice cakes" dish at Ssam Bar. We added a little Sriracha to it and it was perfect.
The steak frites was very interesting. First of all, the steak was some special, secret cut called the Juliet that comes from the cow's shoulder. Whatever, it was basted with butter so I didn't really care where it came from. The steak was perfectly cooked with a tasty aioli-type condiment on the side. The frites were actually rice-based and looked like polenta fries, but tasted more like popcorn. Very interesting and a nice complement to the noodle dish.
Maybe the best part about the whole experience is the new branch of the Milk Bar in the lobby of the restaurant. On the way out, we grabbed one of their chocolate cookies for the road. They also serve a menu of sandwiches and breads and a whole assortment of other to-go items, which, if I worked in Midtown, I would probably work my way through in about a week.
All in all, awesome food and convenient location, but different than the David Chang dining experience I'm used to. Mixing Asian and French flavors is an interesting concept and I am certainly excited to explore the menu. There were some snail and tripe dishes that looked really interesting that I would like to try on a more adventurous day. Definitely one of the better lunch options out there, but the jury is definitely still out on whether it can live up to the Ssam Bar standard. Stay tuned.