On October 4, I attended Fatty Sunday, an event from "Epicurious Entertains" catered by Zak Pelaccio and the rest of his crew to taste dishes from the long-delayed and much-anticipated Fatty 'Cue. Set in a Union Square loft and offering attendees the opportunity to sample Chef Pelaccio's food while watching the day's football games, the 7-hour event brought out an interesting mix of foodies and jocks. With several flat screen TVs on each wall, an open bar, and a never-ending supply of smoked meats, no one could leave disappointed.
The event began with a gracious welcome from Epicurious Editor-in-Chief Tanya Wenman, who proclaimed that of all the week's "Epicurious Entertains" events, which included a multi-course event cooked by Daniel Boulud, Fatty Sunday's food was going to be the best. She then encouraged everyone to get in line to the kitchen, where Chef Pelaccio and his staff were serving the food buffet style.
Here is the menu of what we ate:
Smoked Brisket Bao with Sweet Cilantro Sauce
House Smoked Bacon and Clams with Dragon Pullman Bread
BBQ Lamb Shoulder with Goat Yogurt
Pork Spare Ribs with Palm Sugar Fish Sauce
Charred Turnips and Bitter Greens with Red Curry
The lamb shoulder was the standout. Smoked for 14 hours by the Fatty 'Cue crew with a smoker on loan from Wildwood Barbeque (the Fatty 'Cue smokers are not yet ready), the meat was brimming with woodsy (applewood?) flavor. The goat yogurt, spicy and cool at the same time, was the perfect match for the intense smoke of the meat.
The spare ribs, smoked for a paltry four hours, were not far behind. Beautifully caramelized and cut into bite-size riblets, I could not resist helping myself to two platefuls. The fish sauce and palm sugar mixture that had been rubbed onto the succulent ribs was all the succulent meat needed.
The other foods were delicious in their own rite. What I love about Zak Pelaccio's cooking is that his riffs on Southeast Asian cuisine bring out the authentic flavors of the region without dumbing them down with sweet, gloppy sauces that seem to go hand in hand with the Asian-fusion moniker. The curry sauce on the turnips was properly spicy and the clams and bacon dish contained enough fish sauce to make P.F. Chang run back to the suburbs. The only disappointment of the night was the brisket bao, or steamed bun; the brisket was fatty and not very flavorful and the bun was much too dense.
For $50 a person, all of which went to the Taste of the NFL Charity for hunger, the full day event was a wonderful value. While I ate more smoked meat than I have eaten in the last year, I left excited for Fatty 'Cue to finally open. When would that be, I asked Chef Pelaccio. "By the end of the year?" He replied somewhat hopelessly. Oh well, I guess "Epicurious Entertains" has only added to the anticipation.
Pictures of the event
Chef Pelaccio with Epicurious Editor-in-Chief Tanya Wenman:
The beautiful smoked lamb shoulder:
Red curry turnips and bitter greens:
Clams with house-smoked bacon:
My first plate of food (don't judge):
Spare ribs with palm sugar fish sauce:
Chef Zak Pelaccio: