Last Saturday, we paid an early visit to The Fatty Crab in the Village. We were attending a concert at the Highline Ballroom, and wanted a fun, tasty place to eat before walking to the venue. Along with pickled veggies (spicy), we ordered three Steamed Pork Buns, mostly to compare with Momofuku Noodle Bar. Well, they were good but did not come close to Momofuku's. The sauce was a simple Asian brown sauce, compared to the lovely sweetness at Chang's restaurant. And the bun also lacked the crisp counterbalance of the cucumber. Surprisingly, it may have been the least impressive offering of the meal, as the rest was incredibly tasty and interesting (Fatty Duck, Chicken Clay Pot, Wonton Soup, Coconut Rice). I will definitely return to The Fatty Crab.
And while the Pork Buns from last week did not live up to my expectations, I was blown away last evening with Daniel Boulud's Pork Belly charcuterie at Bar Boulud. We were walking around the Upper West Side after a listening party at Jazz at Lincoln Center, without much focus on where to eat. And across the way I spotted Bar Boulud. We weren't planning on visiting a restaurant of that "caliber," but since we were there, and the menu looked tasty, we said "Why not." And I am so glad we did. The whole meal was quite wonderful, served at a wine-focused communal table in the back of the restaurant. One of the highlights most certainly was the Rillons Croustillants au Poivre: Hot, crispy and tender pork belly with cracked pepper. Served with a bit of mustard sauce and some refreshing leafy greens, a rather large portion of pork belly was presented in two long strips. Alternating between crispy meat and tasty fat, the thick strips were almost too much. I said almost. The taste was just incredible -- I probably could have made a meal out of that dish alone. I must admit that nearing the end it did tend to come across as just slightly dry -- I kept looking for some of the remaining mustard to help with that. But overall, one of the best dishes I have had in quite some time, pork or not. Looking forward to when I find myself across from Lincoln Center, looking for a restaurant.