Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Apply blubber here..."

The Breslin
16 W 29th St

To celebrate Ryan's engagement, Kim & I decided to take him out to dinner. Located amidst a strip of cheap jewelry and perfume stores in a non-neighborhood between the Flatiron and Koreatown is The Breslin, housed in the Ace Hotel. Having just opened in October of 09 by April Bloomfield & Ken Friedman (The Spotted Pig), there was a 20-30 minute wait when we got there at 6pm on a Wednesday night. Not bad at all, considering.

We were seated at the chef's table, in full view of the open kitchen. We were warned that they'd be seating other parties with us but for the length of our stay, we remained alone at the head of the table.

Deciding to forego any wine or one of the $12 cocktails interestingly named with album titles, we decided to delve right into the food.
The Breslin - cocktail list

We started with a nice surprise that wasn't on the online menu (yes, we perused thoroughly before arriving, coming up with different combinations of appetizers and entrees, always ending with the pig's feet). These are Hog Island Sweetwater oysters from San Francisco, my favorite oyster. Served simply with dill sauce, I could have eaten a full dozen of these sweet & briny treats by myself.
Hog Island Sweetwater Oysters w/ dill sauce at The Breslin

We then had the Scotch Egg, which is a soft-boiled egg wrapped in pork sausage then breaded and fried. This is one of those foods you want to just pick up and grab to stuff in your mouth.
Scotch egg at The Breslin
About the size of a baseball, this appetizer is deceivingly filling. The onion soup with bone marrow parmesan toast sounded delicious, but I was glad we opted out.

Stuffed pig's foot at The Breslin
The exalted stuffed pig's foot, as big as my forearm. Stuffed with more pork sausage then slowcooked and FRIED! Served with braising liquids, soft roasted shallots and brussel sprout leaves.

I hacked off about a quarter of the foot and took a careful bite - salty pork and sticky, crunchy skin!
Inside the pig's foot at The Breslin
We bravely soldiered on but were only able to eat barely half of the dish. Kim and I split the leftovers and then decided to save our stomachs for dessert.

Ryan ordered the lamb burger which came on a plancha, served with huge, thick cut fries and cumin mayo. Having a few bites of the meat, you could taste the juicy fatness.... which seemed like light eating after consuming the rich pork. Wish I'd gotten a better photo of the actual burger!
Lamb burger, cumin mayo & fries at The Breslin

For dessert we decided on the sticky toffee date pudding with vanilla ice cream, poached pear and Turkish coffee. So delicious with the crunchy surprise bits.
Sticky date toffee pudding at The Breslin

We needed a moment to rest after all the food...
The check....

In general a great dining experience, especially since we were lucky enough to sit right by the kitchen. The service was a little spotty, with an overly enthusiastic waitress who called us "Darling" and had Madonna arms... But if that's the price I have to pay to be put to death by pork, bring it on.

Because you know what, they serve a full English breakfast at brunch (and at breakfast during the week). Rashers and mushrooms and fried eggs oh my!

The Breslin - NOT FOR THE FAINT OF STOMACH. Or vegetarians.

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