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Bite Club: NYC Dinner Club


Nina C.
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I was served a tocaji at my last dinner in Hell's kitchen. It was a 1993 Chateau Megyer 5 Tokaji. Daniel explained to me that he gots it at some Hungarian store in Brooklyn. I don't know if this is the same bottle you had at your last dinner. However, having been to 3 dinners, two with a cheese course and one without (I believe he pairs the Tokaji with Cheese), I have to say that the dessert wines he chooses have always been very nice. The dinner where there was no cheese course, there was a really nice 10 year port served with one of our dessert courses.

That's probably the one, although I can't be sure because as I said it wasn't the wine listed on the menu and I didn't get a great look at it (it was 5 putt., though).

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  • 4 months later...

We had an amazing surprise birthday party dinner for Dave H at Bite Club last night. Here's our menu-

Amuse: Butternut squash and apple soup/ Peanut butter cookie and foie gras sandwich

What an amazing start to the meal! They've demonstrated at both Avenues and Tailor that foie and peanut butter are an awesome pairing, and D & A have managed to find a delicious bite sized way to do this pairing. This soup was really wintry but also very light. I wanted to steal the shot glass of everyone around me.

1) Endive Salad: pomegranate vinaigrette, lemon creme microchives

Schloss Gobelsburg Renner Gruner Veltliner 2005

This salad is leaf endive with pomegranate seeds and a lemon creme. The endive is lightly dressed with a vinaigrette that has just enough sweetness and acid to really make the salad come together. The seeds added a really lovely crunch. The Gruner was a perfect pairing. It was a nice light way start a meal.

2) Beet Ravioli: red & gold beets, brown butter, parmegiano, microgreens

Cantina del Castello Soave Classico 2006

This is the only course that I chose to repeat on the menu because Dave H and I were at another Bite Club dinner where we fell in love with it (we had recently been to L'Arpege and it reminded us of some of the courses there). The last version that we had at Bite Club was a traditional cazunziei; this version incorporated microgreens. The greens gave the dish a nice fresh lightness and really worked. The beets themselves were awesome and it really showed in the dish. I loved it just as much as the first time.

3) Black Cod: currant mushroom salad, jerusalem artichoke puree

Chatenay Montlouis La Vallee 2005

The sunchoke puree was a last minute change because salsify wasn't available- and Dave H happens to have a sunchoke obsession. Ms. A promised me that these were some of the nicest sunchokes she'd ever seen and judging by the taste she was completely right. This puree was so sweet and lovely. The fish had a perfectly crisped skin that contrasted wonderfully with the soft flesh of the fish and the silky sunchoke puree. D & A invented this one for this dinner, but it should definitely be a keeper. The mushroom salad was earthy and added a necessary third element to the dish. Really really nice.

4) Bacon & Eggs: 5 spice carmelized pork belly, poached duck egg, anson mills grits

Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Vielle Vignes 2004

Ok, I mean, just re-reading the elements of this dish makes me drool. Ms. A searched the world for the last duck eggs of the season and they were so worthwhile. Something about the yolk of the duck egg with the fat of the pork belly and the grittiness (is gritty a fair description for grits?) of the mascarpone grits was just phenomenal. D & A really know how to cook pork. This dish had an underlying sweetness but enough salt to feel really decadent and balanced. I only wish that I had woken up to a second portion of this in the morning. Oh, and the chaeauneuf du pape- omg. Wow.

5) Tasting of Cheese: Ossau Vielle Cave, Affinage; Aged Goat Gouda; Chaput, Grand Foin, La Serena, Rogue River Blue

Oddero Barolo Mondoca Di Bussia Soprana 2003

The Affinage was grassy and sweet, a nice starter cheese. It was followed by an aged goat that was carmelized and delicious, with lots of those wonderful crystals. The Chaput had a spruce rind, giving it an earthy foresty taste but with a really creamy interior (I'm not sure this one paired perfectly with the Barolo but I really liked it). The La Serena was a bold move for a cheese plate, but this is really an awesome and stinky cheese. We've enjoyed this one before and we enjoyed it again. Finally, the Rogue River Blue, which is really great. This cheese is wrapped in local grape leaves that have macerated for an entire year in pear eau-de-vie. Some of the blue is natural, while some is added in. It's a really complex and delicious blue and very nice with the Barolo. This Barolo is drinking really nicely now, and I'd love to taste it in another 3 or 4 years when it will really hit it's peak.

6) Foie Gras: cider spice poached pear, star anise caramel, gingerbread, cacao nibs

Chat Filhot 2001

Since Dave H is a foie freak and both of us love savory desserts, Ms. A and I talked about doing a foie dessert. Dave H and I have had D & A's poached pear dessert and found it fantastic, but this really took it to the next level. The slice of foie was incredibly silky and soft, heated in a way that created some carmelization, which played off the star anise caramel so nicely. The gingerbread cookie added a tiny bit of gingery spice. Wow. This Sauternes was given a 90 by Robert Parker and I really was in love. It had this incredible crisp lightness that was just so welcome after the decadent courses that came before. This course was traditional and new at the same time.

7) Frozen Cayenne Chocolate Tart: candied pepper

Marenco Brachetto D'Acqui

Wow. Ms. A and I worked on the conception of this one together. I wanted a little taste of dark chocolate that would wrap up the meal but I thought a little spice would keep it from being too simple and boring. Ms. A and D did such an incredible job putting it together. The chocolate tarte was rich and luscious but the cayenne gave it just enough kick. The sweet brachetto was a perfect pairing and just the right ending to the meal. Oh, and the pepper. This was no joke of a pepper. The pepper had been dipped in a sugar coating, but it packed serious punch. Some of our guests made a show of eating two, but most people could only handle a bite or two. Dave H and I both loved ours.

I cannot say enough about what amazing hosts D & A were. Ms. A and I spent months conceiving the dishes, making adjustments to the ingredients for seasonality and availability and creating a flow for the meal that would make sense. We had 20 guests at the dinner and everyone was floored by how good the food was. Many of our guests were not foodies, but everyone had a great time and really enjoyed all of the dishes. We had one pescatarian and one person allergic to fish, and both were treated to substitutions that inspired jealousy in the people on either side of them. The fish substitution was an elk tartare with french fries that a few people at our table (myself included) wanted to steal. Luckily she shared. I also managed to get a taste of the shrimp curry in pumpkin that was given to the pescatarian in lieu of pork belly. While I'm not about to trade in my share of that pork belly for shrimp and pumpkin, it was delicious. Our non-meat-eating friend devoured every bite. Everything was accessible to all of the guests, but really exciting for those of us who are foodies. The progression of the meal was wonderful and most of us managed to have room for everything. Each dish showed a real attention to detail and a ton of creativity. D & A took all of my ideas really seriously and translated them into a truly amazing meal. They're incredible hosts and extremely talented chefs.

The wine pairings were done by Ian Dorin of Wine Library and he did a fantastic job. Their prices were great and Ian worked very closely with me to come up with wines that would be interesting but safe enough to pair well with dishes that neither he or I had ever tasted. I was very impressed with the prices and service from Wine Library. They're just over the bridge in New Jersey and I would highly recommend a visit, but if you can't make it there they have a huge mail order business. While they don't shy away from selling what the average customer wants (Beringer, Yellowtail), they also have tons of wine from small producers and really interesting wines from all over the world. The owner of the store, Gary Vaynerchuk, has a wine tasting show (wine library tv) and is extremely active in attending wine events, tasting wines, pairing wines and traveling to find new wines. This is a store with passionate people and it really shows. http://winelibrary.com/

I highly recommend using Bite Club for a private event or making a reservation for dinner. They will have a new space soon and will have even more capacity to make their delicious food. http://www.nybiteclub.com/

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Hi Jesikka,

Thanks for the great write up. I've been meaning to get back to Bite Club but haven't managed to get around to it yet. Did you or any of your friends take pictures? I'd love to see that pear foie dish!

Thanks!

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Hi Jesikka,

Thanks for the great write up. I've been meaning to get back to Bite Club but haven't managed to get around to it yet. Did you or any of your friends take pictures? I'd love to see that pear foie dish!

Thanks!

I should be getting all the pictures soon and I will post then. The set I have now only shows the pear foie after it had been half devoured.

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loved the peanut butter-foie cookie and the black cod with sunchoke puree. also a fan of the "bacon and eggs".

didn't think the endive salad worked at all. it needed something else.

among the wines, the soave was an absolute standout.

an absolutely terrific evening...congrats to Jessika, the guest of honor and to the Bite Club crew on a job well done.

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loved the peanut butter-foie cookie and the black cod with sunchoke puree.  also a fan of the "bacon and eggs".

didn't think the endive salad worked at all.  it needed something else.

among the wines, the soave was an absolute standout.

an absolutely terrific evening...congrats to Jessika, the guest of honor and to the Bite Club crew on a job well done.

I am sad I couldn't attend.

The food sounds great. I have also had a sneak preview into the photos - everything and everyone looks happy. Glad you all found them duck eggs!

Perhaps some sweetened/glazed/candied pecans/walnuts or blue cheese (or both), might have been a welcomed addition to the salad?

How how was the cayenne-chocolate dessert? That sounds right up my alley.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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not a dessert person but I liked the cayenne-chocolate. the pepper was worth eating.

yeah, walnuts might have worked well with the endive. maybe more acidity as well (liked the pomegranate but thought it was a little sweet and the endive kind of one note)

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not a dessert person but I liked the cayenne-chocolate.  the pepper was worth eating.

Yes, I know. Me neither - and I think this is why it appeals to me. It looks like dark chocolate, which I can tolerate more than most. :smile:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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not a dessert person but I liked the cayenne-chocolate.  the pepper was worth eating.

yeah, walnuts might have worked well with the endive.  maybe more acidity as well (liked the pomegranate but thought it was a little sweet and the endive kind of one note)

Actually, that salad is quite acidic and that had to be taken into account when planning the wines for that course. I agree that the salad could use another element- I think lightly candied orange rind would work well and blue cheese would also be nice. I did think that it was great to have a nice fresh light course in there, especially given the decadance that was to follow. I'm not sure how 4 leaves of endive can be one note...

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among the wines, the soave was an absolute standout.

I'm going with the position that you're a little insane if you think that. The soave is a nice pairing, but there's no way that it can compete with that Chatenay or the Chateauneuf du Pape either on its own or as a pairing. It's a nice little wine, but it hardly can play with the big boys.

Edited by Jesikka (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So here is the menu for this upcomming sold out dinner, December 8th.. We have been doing some dinners with Joaquin Simo from Death and Co.. Though he works at Death and Co, this is not being sponsored or affiliated with Death and Co at all.. We are really excited about the menu and wanted to post it here.. The writings after the drinks are his notes and descriptions of the drinks..

Venison Carpaccio

Sriracha, 9 year Wisconsin cheddar, micro greens

Blood, Smoke & Sand

Scotch, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering, fresh orange juice

Beer is a natural pairing with venison, so we wanted to mimic

some of those rich, heady flavors like those found in a smoked porter in a

cocktail. We decided to update a classic Scotch cocktail named after a 1922

Rudolf Valentino movie, Blood & Sand. By upping the ante with a peaty scotch

and a richer sweet vermouth. This cocktail will stand up to the gaminess and

spiciness of the dish without overwhelming it.

*

Buffalo Marrow

Parsley shallot salad, sweet garlic jam, toast points

Loosey Goosey

Foie gras-infused Bourbon, Rittenhouse Rye, Carpano Antica, Dry Sherry,

Champagne, Demerara syrup, Orange bitters, orange twist

Prairie butter is one of our favorite things to eat, so we figured we’d riff

on one our favorite drinks to compliment it. Don Lee from PDT fatwashed foie

gras into bourbon, a technique involving infusion, chilling, then removal of

fat (but not flavor!) to better match the marrow's richness. As long as we’re

gilding the lily, we added sherry and a raw cane sugar for depth, some rye

and bitters for spice and structure, and lest some form of decadence escape

our notice, topped it all off with some bubbly.

*

Lobster Pot Pie

Cream of lobster, black truffle pastry

Summer Shack

Plymouth Gin, Lillet Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, St Germain, Orange Bitters,

Lemon twist

Named for Jaspar White's lovely New England seafood emporium, this is a

light and refreshing cocktail to cleanse your palate. Plymouth's botanicals

aren't as heavy as in classic London dry gins, but its great backbone holds

up the wine's lively acidity, the mellow complexity of Lillet, and the

floral fruitiness of the elderflower liqueur.

*

Sweetbreads

JG raisin caper emulsion, cauliflower puree

Solera Sidecar

Courvoisier Cognac, Oloroso sherry, Lazzaroni Amaretto, fresh lemon juice

Sweetbreads usually require some acid to tame them, but we didn't want to

lose that fatty, nutty goodness. This play on the classic brandy margarita

gets its own nutty kick from the addition of both an oloroso sherry and

Lazarroni's wonderful amaretto, which basically smells like you opened up

your favorite tin of Italian cookies.

*

Foie Gras

Mulling spice poached pear, ginger snap, cacao nibs, star anise caramel

Black Market Brandy

Courvoisier Cognac, Laird's bonded Applejack, Market Spice tea-infused

Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters, Bittermens chocolate bitters

Two types of brandy play together here, with Courvoisier's fruitiness

nicely complimented by New Jersey's own 100 proof apple brandy (so good

George Washington, a reputable rye distiller, as well as statesman, asked for

their recipe). The black tea gives huge spice notes to the vermouth,

especially clove, allspice and cinnamon. Angostura bitters work their usual

magic here, joined by Avery Glasser's delightful chocolate bitters, which

give off deep cacao notes and dry out the finish.

*

Chocolate Cayenne Tart

Neuhaus 85% chocolate, frosted cayenne pepper

NewYork Flip

Sazerac 6 year Rye, Tawny Port, Demerara syrup, Heavy Cream, egg yolk,

freshly grated nutmeg

“Yes Virginia, that IS a raw egg yolk in your dessert drink!"

All that richness isn't just coming from the heavy cream and demerara ya’ know? The

baby Saz has a great grassy, birchy fruitiness that matches up wonderfully

with the tawny port's caramel and spice notes. The cream should cut some of

the heat from the cayenne and nothing says aromatic holiday garnish like

some fresh nutmeg.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

My girlfriend and I had our first Bite Club dinner last night, for New Year's Eve. Daniel and Alicia turned out a wonderful menu, one of the best we've had on such an occasion. They have a great thing going, and I hope it will continue to prosper.

My blog post about it is here.

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It was a really special night and we were so happy to be able to share it with so many people.. Thanks for coming and we hope to see you both soon.. Very impressed with the habenero by the way.. I have only been able to take small bites.. Its a fun way to see people's first bite of a habanero.. As most people don't really handle one up close..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 3 months later...

Yeh, its official.. We are closing her down for a couple of months.. After this coming weekend we are out of our space.. We are looking into a couple of new places where we might end up... But more importantly, we are taking a little time to work on some recipes, roast a bunch of animals upstate, and to cheeel..

Thanks to everyone that came and supported us. We will let you know when we are back.. If anyone wants to book us for an event at there place, we would consider doing it.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 1 month later...

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/tipsheet/ar...nderground.aspx

We made it into Newseek.. I dont know if this is in the mag or not.. But above please find a link.. I hope I did it according to the rules..

The inspiration was going to restaurants and thinking they could do it better.

“We weren’t happy with the produce being used,” says Alicia, 29. “We started re-creating a dish using more sustainable meats and greenmarket produce.”

Pretty ridiculous quote considering she never spoke with Alicia and I would never say that but, its at least a mention..

I think the real quote was, "we went to the best restaurants in the world and thought they all sucked"

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Yes we started re-creating A, meaning one dish, with more sustainable meats and produce" What we did was put this wax casing over meats so it would sustain longer and not rot.. We then threw a whole bunch of vegetables on a plate.. Thus re-creating this one specific dish..

It was an amazing process.. I dont remember which dish we were re-creating but I believe it was Chicken A la King.. Instead of chicken though, we re-created it with several different type of deli hams.. It was amazing.. :raz:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/tipsheet/ar...nderground.aspx

We made it into Newseek.. I dont know if this is in the mag or not.. But above please find a link.. I hope I did it according to the rules..

The inspiration was going to restaurants and thinking they could do it better.

“We weren’t happy with the produce being used,” says Alicia, 29. “We started re-creating a dish using more sustainable meats and greenmarket produce.”

Pretty ridiculous quote considering she never spoke with Alicia and I would never say that but, its at least a mention..

I think the real quote was, "we went to the best restaurants in the world and thought they all sucked"

I like the real quote better.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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