Monday, July 15, 2013

Slabs of Meat at Fatty 'Cue

It's been a meat-centric year for us. Lots of grilling at home, and lots of BBQ when we go out. Steakhouses aren't really our scene, but there are a lot of interesting barbecue joints popping up throughout NYC these days. Fatty 'Cue counts as part of this wave of BBQ, but manages to be something entirely unique.

Fatty 'Cue - West Village location.
While most BBQ joints aim for a more casual vibe, Fatty 'Cue seems to be shooting for a more upscale feel, with a complicated fusion of American BBQ and Asian flavors, adding in an interesting menu of cocktails and wine. We sat down for an early dinner on a stormy night, enjoying the basically empty restaurant that the storm and our early dinner afforded us. The intimacy of the space was highlighted by the lowlighting, provided by small lit niches filled with bottles of bourbon. Feeling free to sit and savour our evening, we ordered a cocktail while we pondered which slabs of meat we wanted to enjoy.

Everything on the menu looked interesting and amazing, so we had trouble narrowing down our choices. The apple salad was fresh and crisp, well-complemented by the addition of some extra sharp aged cheddar. The pumpkin congee was rich and earthy, with a pickled mushroom that added a touch of acid bit. The real stars of the evening though were the meat dishes: a half pound of deep fried bacon and a brisket served up with a big slab of Texas Toast. Simple dishes--smoky, meaty, fatty. We decided to try a wine from a region known for its simple "meat and potatoes" cuisine: a red Zweigelt from Austria. The wine had a delicate flavor surprisingly suited to the hearty meat dishes--a bit of fruit and light oak that added some spice to the meat dishes. We were pleased with the choice.

While the idea of an Asian/BBQ fusion restaurant seems overly complicated, in reality it's a great pairing. Long traditions of simple meats, cooked low and slow, are just as much part of some Asian cuisines as they are of Southern US cookouts, so it adds a little flair to an already familiar food. The wine might have been something out of the ordinary, but was well selected to keep from over-complicating the meal. It was just what we needed.

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