#43 Má Pêche
Foie gras $18
Thick tubes of rich, Hudson Valley foie gras, coated in crumbled malt. Delicate slices of lightly toasted French brioche added a perfect crunch. Dotted with helpings of sweet, gooey honey and garnished with mint. A thoroughly enjoyable interpretation of a French classic.
Beef jerky $18
An unusual but imaginative take on the traditional American jerky. Finely diced wagyu beef tartare, sourced from Lincoln, NE, with slivers of crisp, salty jerky. Scattered with charred pieces of corn interspersed with a flavorful béarnaise sauce. The most amusing touch was the dainty edible flowers precisely placed around the dish. (To clarify, wagyu refers to several breeds of cattle reputable for intensely marbled, tender meat. It does not necessarily reveal anything about the cattle’s diet.)
Underneath a mound of fresh summer green beans, egg and tomato sauce was a thick portion of tender cod from Chatham Bay, MA. The pan-seared fish was creamy and flakey, balanced by the sharp, slightly spicy sauce. On top, a fried, soft boiled egg, with a rich, delicious, runny yolk.
Steamed bun $13
As with many of David Chang’s restaurants, the buns can be hit or miss. We’ve loved the succulent versions at Noodle Bar but been unimpressed by the grimy options at Ssäm Bar. In this case, we ordered a single bun to taste and were disappointed with the result. Large pieces of lobster were slathered in a creamy sauce, overpowering the truffle-y maitake mushrooms and meaty pork chicarrón.
Niman Ranch beef $30
Two huge chunks of tender beef had been perfectly cooked: browned on the outside to keep the flavor but still rare (red, as we ordered it) on the inside. In an interesting twist, it was served with crunchy potato skins, which were almost like the chip’s more upscale cousin. Garnished with spring onion and sour cream. Tasty and substantial.
With its Asian-inspired but American-focused menu, Chef David Chang’s Má Pêche is probably the most domesticated property in his ever-expanding Momofuku empire. The menu more closely adheres to the traditional American menu format: smaller starters (including tasty oysters), bigger mains with a couple of simple desserts to follow. The options are often based around excellent, well-sourced ingredients, showcasing these flavors. That being said, the food is on the expensive side and perhaps unjustifiably so. In addition, the windowless space can feel a bit cavernous. They’ve done a good job of distracting you from this but there’s still a slight sense of claustrophobia.
15 W. 56th St.