Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Your Mother's Brisket: Fatty 'Cue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

See that? See those ribs? Yeah. Well go and eat them. Really. I had been reading about Fatty 'Cue on and off for months and, in my first to Brooklyn, I knew it had to be at the top of the list. So, thus, my friend Seth and I were quickly taken in by Cat, waitress/bartender/friendly person who helped us design a menu of some of the best this place had to offer.

We started with thin shavings of celery with yuzu, tianjin preserved cabbage and sesame oil. Think Asian-inspired cole slaw. But lighter. It was good. But it really just set us up for the best ribs either me or Seth, of Dadventures, had ever had. And we have eaten quite a few ribs in our time. These things are just CRAZY good. They are burnished with a smoked fish-palm glaze. And they are the most succulent I have ever had, in large part because they are smoked for 4 to 5 days!

The "Bowl of Noodles" smelled heavenly, a combination of the thin ramen noodles, and the real bone-based broth. We were instructed to mix the noodles from the bottom up, along with the scallions and scarlet red homemade (and mild) Siracha that graced the side.
I was glad we chose the manila clams for two reasons. First, the clams were a great side track from the meat. That being said this dish filled my nose and mouth with a mixture of curry leaves, their own coriander bacon and more bone broth. It was impossible not to sop up the thick pieces of white bread with the elixar.
But all that was really a preface for the most fantastic of all (or at least a tie with the ribs): the brisket. And, sorry, mom, this just isn't your brisket. What arrived were a duo of thin slices of brisket and thick, fatty chunks of meat. They were served alongside the fullest and most tender of bao; garlicky, rich aioli and sweet-warm chili jam. We piled the jam, the aioli and meat and coriander leaves on the bao and then dipped them, still warm, into the bone broth on the side. This was, quite simply, insanely good. It was unlike anything I had ever eaten and was precisely why I had come to New York in the first place: to get food that is incomparable.

My drinks were good as well. I started with a Stone Fashioned which consisted of bourbon, peach-apricot-nectarine, autumn bitters and citrus peel. It was a bit difficult to drink as it was served in a metal cup loaded with ice. But as it melted it was a great contrast to the heavy food. Cat then offered up a Smokin' Bone, which, ironically, I had passed on when I initially saw it on the cocktail menu. And, yet, I loved it. It was made up of whiskey, 1/2 ounce regular pineapple syrup and 1/2 ounce smoked pineapple syrup, lime, tabasco and, yes, chocolate bitters. She nailed the balance so it didn't taste too smokey or too sweet.

At the end we were offered pies. We passed. But Cat tossed us one of the signature dark chocolate bars that are made for the restaurant. It was full of roasted almonds, sea salt and a spicy blast of chilis.

This place is casual-it was previously a biker bar. So, don't feel the need to get too gussied up. Check it out. See what you think. And go hungry.

Fatty 'Cue, 91 South Sixth Street, Brooklyn (Williamsburg), NY

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