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My Meat-filled Affair with the Breslin

November 1, 2012

It is probably one of the most commonplace culinary facts – the British Isles are not known for refined cuisine.  While shepherd pies, fish and chips, and haggis even, are homey comfort food, they don’t get the food world into a frenzy of excitement.  Even so, April Bloomfield has managed to established quite a name for herself with her original creation in the West Village, the Spotted Pig, and a few  years ago with the Breslin.  I know, I know, I am quite late to the game when it comes to the Breslin and it’s especially inexcusable because the restaurant is a mere 10 minutes walk away.  But better late than never right?  So for my last meal before heading to Barcelona and before the untimely Hurricane Sandy, I chose to finally drop in at the Breslin.

Because it was a Monday night (raining on top of that), grabbing a table for two was quite easy inside the almost cavernous restaurant.  Designed with a hunting lodge and pub in mind, the inside gave off a very manly feel.  Sure, I might not appreciate the dark macho decor of the restaurant, I can definitely appreciate the meat-centric menu.  MD being the good sport he is, let me run wild and before we knew it, I selected probably the most heavy meal you can possibly piece together at the Breslin.

The terrine board was much larger than I had anticipated.  Five terrines, guinea hen with morels, pork pate, rabbit & prune, head cheese and liverwurst, came out on a sturdy wood cutting board, accompanied by a pile of grilled country bread and pickles, piccalilli and mustard.  The flavors were all very subtle, different yet harmonious.  I went back and forth between the rabbit and the head cheese.  Wait, or did I like the guinea hen better.  Hmmm, maybe there was a reason why MD loved the liverwurst so much.  Before we knew it, the whole board had disappeared.

I love eggs.  In all shapes and form.  Of course, it’s even better when wrapped in a meatball and given a crunchy crust.  Yes, I am drooling writing about the scotch egg at the Breslin.  I can still hear the knife cutting through that beautiful crust, revealing a perfectly soft boiled egg just enrobed in the most flavorful and juicy meatball.  I was in heaven.

Now, when visiting the Breslin, the lamb burger is a must.  In a wise move on my part seeing how much we ordered, we decided to split the burger with a generous serving of thrice cooked fries.  The burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare, just how I like it.  A thin slice of feta, crsip onions and a side of cumin mayo were all this burger needed.  I didn’t even think about asking for salt as I usually would have done.

To conclude our meal, a little blood sausage with fried duck egg and tarragon dressing.  This was my second time having blood sausage and from the expression on MD’s face, I could tell this one wasn’t quite up to standard.  A little too dry and a little too salty with a oily not strong enough tarragon dressing, this just wasn’t sitting right with either of us.  Especially not after such spectacular dishes before.

Who said British food is boring and stale?  Not here at the Breslin, not at all.  Oh, so spectacular were the scotch egg and lamb burger, and the terrine board as well!  I would be happy sharing this hearty meal with someone on a rainy day.  Any day actually.

The Breslin | 16 West 29th Street  New York, NY 10001 | http://thebreslin.com

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