Archive | 11:00 am

More Birthday Catch-up: Ma Peche

22 Nov

Lori and I come within 2 days of sharing a birthday.  We have made a tradition out of going out to celebrate each other each year since our fateful meeting.  (In fact, it was one of those birthday celebrations where I met Mike… and the rest was history).  This year we decided to try the new David Chang‘s new midtown restaurant: Ma Peche (on 56th Street between 5th and 6th Aves).

The restaurant is in the Chambers Hotel (and you have to kind of walk through the lobby to get to it).  The room has very high ceilings with an huge space and what appears to be a very small kitchen.  You can see the kitchen area below, lit up towards the right of the picture.

The drink menu didn’t leap out at me, but I eventually chose the Ampersand and Lori chose the Moscow Mule.

Both were quite good, but nothing to write home about.

I was VERY excited about the men, however.  The Prix Fixe wasn’t that enticing…

But I couldn’t wait to try the pork & duck terrine or the crispy pig’s head or the pork ribs or the striped bass or the steak frites or the cavalo nero…

I honestly didn’t know how I was going to decide.  And then… the bomb hit.  The waitress informed me that 99% of the menu had peppers in it that couldn’t be changed.  Now… I didn’t have this problem even at Ko where they make the menu for you and serve whatever they have that day… but here at Ma Peche, I was SOL.  We kept asking for certain dishes and basically were told over and over again that it would kill me.  DAMN.

I couldn’t stand the idea of Lori missing out because of me, however, so I encouraged her to get the crispy pig’s head.  I actually risked it and took a little bite. It was delicious, but definitely something I couldn’t eat without pain.  It was worth it though.

We split the scallops with papaya, soy beans, and poppy seeds.  It was a beautiful plate and we thoroughly enjoyed.  The parts apart were good, but once you combined it all together into one mouthful, it was fantastic. There was also a hint of salt that brought it to a new level.  I do have to say, however, that I definitely prefer my scallops seared.

To give me an entree option, they actually had to go off the menu and gave us a crispy rice noodle with vegetables.

The noodles were cool spirals and weren’t so much crispy as they were chewy.  But in an AWESOME way.  The sweet potato was pretty bland (which was sad since I LOVE sweet potatoes), however, the corn in this was SO. FREAKING. GOOD.  I actually would go back here JUST for this.  I find myself craving them now.

The steak with rice fries was a fantastic dish.  The fries were more like flash fried rice balls and I LOVED them.  I thought they tasted like popcorn and I couldn’t get enough.  The beef was also fantastic and had the perfect flavor.

For dessert, we went to the offshoot of Momofuku Milk Bar.  It’s a carry out dessert place and we decided we would grab a bite and eat it in the hotel lobby.  They had a large assortment of delicious look cakes and we couldn’t wait to try a piece.  Lori blogged about our visit as well.

I was especially excited to try the Apple Pie Cake… I was just curious how you could make a pie into a cake.

What we didn’t know, however, is that they don’t sell these cakes by the slice.  Only complete.  Le sigh.

Luckily, all was not lost.  They also sold cake balls!  They basically enrobed those cakes in chocolate shell.  Nom Nom Nom.

I also couldn’t resist trying the soft serve.  It was salty pistacchio caramel and that sounded just too good.  I expected more, but I liked the kinda of sweet, kinda salty flavor.  Lori wasn’t a huge fan.  It was definitely polarizing.

The cake balls were good, but not as good as I had hoped.

The apple pie was certainly my favorite though!

Overall, the food was innovative and fun to eat.  I wish I could have tried more, however, what I did get to try was fantastic.  I was not impressed with Milk Bar, but it was satisfying.

Ma Peche Overall Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Milk Bar Overall Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10