BLOGGER MEET-UP AT MA PECHE


It's been a little over a month since I last visited Ma Peche with a group of food bloggers. I thought the next time I'd be here again would be when the restaurant officially opened next door to the Chambers Hotel on 56th. But when Hagan from Wandering Foodie asked if I would like to come along for a blogger meet-up, I was happy to revisit the temporary set-up in the hotel's mezzanine. Following a morning session of ice skating at Bryant Park, I met up with Karen (Hagan's friend) and Zachery Cohen of Farm to Table.


Hagan and I ordered the banh mi maison,($10) which is a three terrine sandwich, stuffed with pate, pickled daikon and carrots, and topped with cilantro on a well-crisped baguette. After tasting both banh mis on the menu - maison and the banh mi au poulet,($10) which was a house-made lemon grass chicken sausage, I think I may prefer the banh mi maison, albeit marginally, and should note that I also happen to enjoy pate.


Karen ordered the bun du riz,($10) rice noodles with pork ragout and saw leaf herb, which she, and everyone else around the table who took a bite, enjoyed. This entree looked intriguing with a wonderful union of various textures: pillowy soft and silky rice noodles, crispy fried shallots, nibbles of ground pork and fresh herbs which were incorporated with a drizzle of a savory fish sauce dressing. A clear winner on the lunch menu. I didn't get a clear shot of the chicken soup($12) that Zach ordered, which was a small bowl of pho noodles in a clear broth infused with lemon grass and spices. While everyone thought the soup was delicious, it did arrive to the table lukewarm, making the experience slightly disappointing.


Fried brussels sprouts in a fish sauce with herbs. This dish was a bit of a conundrum for everyone around the table. This dish was sold to us when we heard our waitress say, "I don't really like brussels sprouts, but I like these." So it must be a quite a dish to have persuaded a non-brussels-sprouts-lover to the other side, right? Well, not quite. Everyone around the table likes brussels sprouts, and I personally can eat it seven days a week, but we were disappointed when we couldn't detect any brussels sprout flavor. It seemed to have been soaked in a potent layer of fish sauce which effectively cut through that dense cabbage flavor. It's difficult for me to discern whether this is a good dish with mismatched expectations or simply a mediocre one, I haven't decided.

 
Pork ribs drenched in a what tasted like a sweet honey sauce. Everyone around the table enjoyed biting into the sticky tender pieces of meat, and even into the bone, the white cartilage in the center of each piece was so soft that it felt like hard gelatin which added an interesting contrasting texture. Personally I felt the flavors of this dish was poorly balanced. I would have liked to see the concentrated sweet sauce countered by vinegar or not as sugary. 

 

When the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and milk arrived on the table with a side of spoons because they were that gooey and soft, I felt the warm feelings of gathering around the table with friends after grade school come back to me. Buttery sugar dough enveloping dense bits of chocolate chips, heavenly for decadent dessert lovers, especially for those who love cookie dough.
 
 

This is a great place to bring friends who desiring a nice place to lounge and a small meal. I'd be interested in experiencing Ma Peche when it is up and running next door. Expected date is sometime in February. In the meantime, you can listen to the clanking of hammers and drills downstairs.

If any of you are in town and interested in meeting up for coffee or lunch, let me know. It's always great to be able to extend the circle of food of loving friends.

Ma Peche at the Chambers Hotel
15 W 56th Street (b/n 5th and 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
Lunch hours: 11am - 3pm.
No reservations.

33 comments:

Chef E said...

I wish we could get blogs to meet here in Jersey. I guess they all live to far away from each other, as opposed to a subway ride apart :)

I like a bite of that photo you posted here!

Chow and Chatter said...

wow cool another meet up so when you coming to NC!!

Nina's Recipes said...

May all your dreams come true and may you be blessed with all the best things in life! Happy New Year 2010! XO

El said...

Glad you had a good time. Sorry you had to leave S.F. Happy New Year!

Emily said...

Ma Peche sounds amazing. I love the very colorful and creative dishes and the fantastic chocolate chip cookie dessert. I would definitely love to meet up if I lived in the area!

theUngourmet said...

Oh yes I recognize those incredible doors from your previous post. Sounds like a fun meet-up, especially with the ice skating!

Debinhawaii said...

So fun to meet up and it looks like overall a good meal too. I now want a warm cookie! ;-)

MaryMoh said...

How lovely to have a bloggers meetup. I wish I could join all of you. Looks like so much fun. Happy New Year, Christine!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I have always wanted to try a banh mi they sound so tasty!
Looks like a fun time was had by all, even though the food didn't blow you away.
Happy New Year!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely array of food. I hope you have a happy and healthy new year.
Sam

Joanne said...

Sounds like a delicious meet up! Ice skating at Bryant Park is the best (especially if you have your own skates...which I don't...but still).

Happy New Year!

A Year on the Grill said...

sigh... I am trying to get a KC meet up, but almost no interest... But, eventually everyone comes to NY

Anncoo said...

Hello Christine,
Happy New year and wishing you & your family all the best for the coming year.

Cathy said...

How wonderful that you got to meet some blogger friends and all enjoy lunch together. It sounds like a lovely afternoon.

Wishes for happiness and blessings in the coming year.

Aux délices des gourmets said...

Happy New Year 2010 I offer my best wishes for happiness and success
see you

Saveurs et Gourmandises said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR..
BONNE ANNÉE 2010.
A bientôt.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It is always great to meet other bloggers!

Best wishes for the new Year!

Cheers,

Rosa

biz319 said...

What a fun blog meet up! Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy New Year!

Simply Life said...

oh this looks wonderful! happy new year!

Sherry said...

Wish I could go back to NY soon! Would love to meet you for a bite of food. Happy New Year!

Carolyn Jung said...

What a fun gathering. And might I say that those noodles look like a thoroughly delicious tangle of flavors and textures. That's what I love about Vietnamese-inspired food. It has so many contrasts in one dish, and they all go together so harmoniously.

Michelle said...

You have so much fun and I love hearing about all your adventures!

Esme said...

Christine-what a fun day. Happy New Year-it is already past midnight on the east coast. We just returned from dinner and a movie.

Best wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Hugs E.

KennyT said...

That banh mi maison looks delish!

Happy New Year Christine!

Beth said...

Happy New Year Christine!

I want those cookies!

TKW said...

Happy New Year! How lucky that you were able to meet up with some fellow bloggers! I'm jealous!

Velva said...

As I always say, Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Happy New Year to you Christine!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Happy New Year Daaaaaaaaahling. May 2010 bring you lots of sweets and happiness.
*kisses* HH
p.s. i hope you saved me a cookie ;)

and this blog said...

happy new year Christine!

we should do a bloggers dinner there when they open =)

Sarah said...

Happy New Year Christine! Let me know if your ever in San Diego, I would love to meet.
This restaurant sounds amazing and I will keep it on my to do list next time we are in NY.

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a wonderful new year!

Diana Bauman said...

Happy New Year Christine! How great to live in a city with so many food bloggers to get acquainted with. So... when are you coming to Iowa? Or better yet... When am I going to New York!! Besitos Amiga!

otehlia cassidy said...

How fun! Nice blog. I love the Farm to Table book, by the way.