It’s crazy, I’ve been wanting to go to NY Bite Club for 6 years already! It seemed like just as this started getting it’s footing, the whole underground industry was blowing up. This particular supper club was always appealing to me though. Maybe it was because I followed the chef’s reviews on yelp, or maybe it was the imagery on the old site which reminded me of things death. I was always waiting for that special moment or that special someone to be the reason for going though, and I never actually went. On Saturday night, it happened thanks to the generosity of BBC America and their new show No Kitchen Required (premieres Tuesday at 10pm).
I think it was the first time I’ve been a guest at a supper club like this, but I know it was the first time I’ve been to one with such esteem. As soon as I walked in to the host house, a member of the staff took our coats, and as we peeked at the kitchen, about 5 more members were busy beeing around creating good food with an aesthetic eye.
The theme of the night was Mexican, which they thought was appropriate for me because of my experience with food along Roosevelt Avenue. I would never call myself an expert on Mexican food, but I have a good enough foundation to be open to their flavor wheel. There are so many styles of Mexican, so whenever someone says Mexican food (or Indian food in the same fashion), I throw away all assumptions of what it is and just open up for what’s coming next.
But as the plates started arriving, I couldn’t help but compare to what I was used to.
Pozole con Puerco
white hominy, roasted pork, chicharron
This was just as good as my favorite, La Cabana in Woodside. Didn’t taste like a twist or fusion, just tasted good in a funny bowl/plate contraption.
Corn smut, queso Oaxaca, epazote, masa pocket
I liked this choice for the menu. Huitlacoche is an ingredient I’m always showing people on my tours, and this version of the filler was as good as any I’ve had, although smuttier than most. The huit was in a a fried masa pocket and not a big layer of tortilla folded over. As I always tell people, it’s hard to dictate what exactly IS some of these foods. I have no idea if they took inspiration from a certain area of Mexico, but I’ve learned to laugh at people who can ascertain whether something is or is not properly prepared with something so broadly defined as so many of the Mexican street foods. For example, probably the only essential element of a quesadilla is cheese.
Pipian de Pollo
Bobo chicken, pumkin seed puree, herba santa
This rice was one of my favorite rices of the year because it just felt right. Warm and soft, it was like a spicy cloud of grain.
Chivo Enchilada & Chanfaena
Roasted baby goat, 4 chili gravy, masa boat, avocado
Goat innards soup
Interesting how they used the term “Masa boat” instead of tortilla. This was my favorite dish of the night. With one bite, I blurted out: This is better than Roosevelt Avenue. Damn. The quality of the meat shone through, and the spices let me sweat only slightly while letting the goat do it’s thing post-mortem.
The goat innards soup was way potent, and the shot sized cup was surprisingly a nice size for this taste. I mean, how much goat innards can one take??
Flan & Horchata (horchata not pictured)
Rice milk, canela
Creamy, hard to finish after how many dishes we’ve been fed already. Pretty good night I’d say.
Drinks from Death & Co were provided too (menu). I barely drink, but these were easy for me… except the last drink which seemed like pure jet fuel over a huge piece of ice. I didn’t take pictures of the drinks because I really can only compare them to the well drinks I’ve had in the past – but I can say they were tasty, potent, and maturely pretty. If those drinks are reading this, don’t be offended that you haven’t been featured here, you were picture worthy, but my heart belongs to warm chewable stuff.
It was a great experience, and I was happy to finally get to something I’ve been meaning to go to for so long. As I looked more at the website, and thought more about the night, I realized that being here was more about the experience and talking to people than just the food. The food was great, you can’t argue that, but as far as connecting is concerned, it was such a good way to meet like-minded people. Good luck to the team at NY Bite Club, and check out their sponsors for the night, BBC America who’s premiere episode of No Kitchen Required is this Tuesday night, April 3rd, at 10pm.