November 02, 2010

Má Pêche

It took us long enough, but That Sara & I finally met up for our joint birthday dinner (our birthdays are two days apart). We hemmed and hawed (we! the food bloggers!) over where to go, and Sara finally came in at the last moment to suggest Má Pêche ("My Peach" in French--momofuku also means lucky peach in Japanese, one of the David Chang outposts I'd yet to try. (Sara's take on things is at the end of this post!)

We got an early reservation and were happy to snag a corner table in a barely-occupied dining room. It was a low-lit, quiet area where we could actually converse. Our server approached immediately and was very responsive when she learned Sara is allergic to peppers. She went above and beyond in making sure Sara ordered pepper-free dishes, even though it meant multiple trips to the kitchen.

We started off with drinks. The options were overwhelming and I had no idea where to start, but I settled on a Moscow Mule and Sara got the Ampersand. I think we both thought these were just okay, but David Chang isn't really famous for his drinks now, is he?

We started with the raw scallops, which were buttery, delicious, and just ...remarkable. Not a hint of fishiness. Each ingredient was heavenly, and when you put them all together, transcendent tastes! Every bite was perfect.

We really wanted the crispy pig's head, but our server warned us it contains peppers. Sara insisted I get it even thought it meant she couldn't have any, and I admit it, I caved. Crispy. Pig's. Head.

I was both terrified and delighted by the prospect. Sara took a tiny piece JUST as our server walked up, and I thought the server's heartr might stop. She blurted "You know that has peppers, right?!" Sara laughed and said she wanted to try a bit just in case--it was a small enough bite that she wasn't in intense pain. This was beyond cracktastically delicious.

We also split the NY strip, which came with rice fries and a dipping sauce.

The rice 'fries' (or 'frice,' as I call them) were filled with,well, rice, but the texture was super starchy and not my thing. Visually cool, but taste wise, I didn't care for these. It tasted a lot like slightly burnt popcorn, a taste and smell that doesn't sit well with me. I definitely appreciated the art of it, though. The steak was delicious, but it didn't 'wow' me like the pig's head and the scallops.

Our server also recommended the rice noodles, a very popular (and pepper-free) dish. I don't even know how to describe this dish to you except to say we couldn't stop eating it and marveling between (and during) mouthfuls. These were similar to the "Fries" in texture, but so much lighter and inexplicably more delicious. Chewy, savory, amazing.

Overall, this meal was quite good. I still prefer the food I had at Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam, but this was a meal worthy of a birthday celebration. See what Sara thought of it here!

Má Pêche
15 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-5878

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