My mysterious food blogger friend The Pretender planned this large-format nose-to-tail dinner for us at Resto after much debate about whether we should do:
1) this version, which involves several courses made from parts of the animal, or
2) the similar dinner at the sister restaurant next door, Cannibal, where they serve charcuterie made from the animal and then the whole roasted animal itself.
Having already done the whole suckling pig at The Breslin, I was more interested in a host of interesting dishes, and so we opted for Resto with my friends Jack and Anthony and his friends Sanjay, Jesse, Angela, CB, and Mutsumi. The Resto feasts can be made from beef, pork, goat, lamb, or fish, and we went for the lamb to have something slightly funky. Of course this meant that some of our less-adventurous food blogger friends opted out, which we made fun of mercilessly, but the truth is that I didn’t have the highest expectations for that many lamb dishes in one meal.
The drink menus at Resto are pasted into old catalogs and text books
and are divided into categories with saucy descriptions:
pastrami lamb belly
Buttery and tender with knockout seasoning. This is the thing I think about most from the meal, and it’s propelled me to eat a lot more pastrami in the day-to-day. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your view of an entirely meat-based diet.
lamb liver with beer sauce
Oniony and salty.
Buttery, crispy bread. The flavor of scallions hit last, but then the lingering flavor seemed almost chocolate-like to me. Strange but delicious.
Smoky, with a crusty exterior. So much like eating a steak.
Spicy, with a crispy skin and arugula salad with pickled onions to counter sweet and spiciness.
So lemony sour, with crispy-chewy thick lamb bacon.
dry rub ribs
Fatty and spicy, with grease that ran down my hands in the best way.
confit shoulder with beets
Ugh, this dish. So memorable. The lemony tzatziki was incredible, the best tzatziki I can ever remember tasting. The pita was so fluffy, the ends of the leg so crispy, the Brussels sprouts so everything. I wish I could have this over and over.
I had worked up the guts to try some brain all day, but by the time the head made it around to me, all of it was sadly gone. Including the EYEBALL.
mango and raspberry sorbets
I loved this feast. I want to do all of the different animal feasts now. There’s something novel about getting to dig into the side of an entire pig, but I really preferred having the chance to eat all of these interesting, complete dishes for $85 per person. I can’t imagine the kind of effort that goes into planning a meal like this, and then each plate was delicious and diverse on top of that. We opted for the later of the two seatings the restaurant offers each night and were the last ones in the restaurant four hours later; the earlier seating only had three hours to eat, so I’d say we got the better end of the deal. And we still had leftovers for the next day to boot.
111 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016 (map)