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BBQ with an Asian Flair at Fatty Cue

November 9, 2011

Brooklyn is far.  I know it’s not really in absolute distance but mentally, there’s a strange block that seem to inhabit the minds of my friends.  This inability to get ourselves on a train for two stops across the river has put quite a few restaurants thtat we want to try on hold.  This is why it was fantastic news when one of them, Fatty Cue, popped up in West Village and it was at the top of a short list of places for a catch-up dinner when LZ came to visit last weekend.

The restaurant sat in a space that had housed Cabrito just a year ago and I almost didn’t recognize it after the quick makeover in both the decor and the cuisine.  Instead of one open restaurant, the large room is now separated by wooden shutter dividers, making the restaurant seem more intimate and an Asian influenced BBQ replaced the past Mexican cuisine.  Since I had been secretly reviewing the menu for the past week (and yes, I overly prepare for my meals), I was ready to dive right in.  Even though our waiter advised us to order 8 to 9 plates among the four of us, we exercised restraint by picking out 6 dishes that jumped out at us.

The chilies and cheese plate consisted of four soft sweet rolls with a bowl of housemade buffalo milk cheese and salted chilies.  The cheese was quite fresh, almost like a farmer’s cheese and melted just a little upon contact with the warm rolls.  We were looking for a bolder flavor so the ensemble felt slightly underwhelming.

The rest of the meal was more along the lines of what we were looking for.  The buttermilk pappardelle was simply delicious, how ever you look at it.  The smoked goat ragu was tender and spicy with the soft wide noodles which was a little unwieldy.  The amazingly smokey sauce at the bottom of the bowl did not go to waste at all as we took turns soaking it up with the sweet dinner rolls.

A little bowl of nasi ulam followed the noodles.  This strayed a little from the traditional dish that it is named after but was nonetheless delicious. Even though it wasn’t nearly as popular with the others, I personally enjoyed the fragrant bowl of rice studded with dried anchovies.

The Heritage pork ribs led the way to our meat course.  While it wasn’t quite falling off the bones, the meat was tender and carried a trademark smoke pink ring.  The sweet glaze complimented the salty smoked ribs nicely.

The next meat dish, a smoked lamb shoulder with spiced goat yogurt and homemade pita, was a clear winner.  We all happily munched on golden toasted triangles with a smear of the pungent smooth yogurt and tender lamb.

Our last dish of the night was smoked brisket served with aged cheddar cheese with a side of shiso and chilies salad.  While each component was delicious, the dish as a whole seemed disjointed.  This didn’t stop us from devouring the entire plate though.

Even though we all felt that the portions were small, the 6 dishes were actually quite filling and more than enough for the four of us.  Regardless of the size, the flavors were big and bold.  So big that I am eager to come back and try the other dishes.  And yes, I know already know which ones I want to order.

Fatty Cue | 50 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014 | http://www.fattycue.com/

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