WHO TO TAKE: ABSOLUTELY TREAT SOMEONE WHO IS CRAZY ABOUT WELL PREPARED MEAT DISHES OR A BUSINESS ASSOCIATE YOU WANT TO IMPRESS
It was my friend Tom’s birthday, and we had been talking about experiencing the meat fest at The Beatrice Inn for a while, so it was time to book a dinner. We definitely got more than we bargained for, though the word bargain does not come to mind! Chef Angie Mar truly delivers a unique experience. Her menu almost feels like you’ve gone back to medieval times with the its focus on big cuts and game specialties. This menu is not geared for light eating or light wallets.
We had an early reservation, so almost had the entire dining room to ourselves at first. It was the night of the crazy snowstorm, and as I walked through Greenwich Village I was shocked to see all the tree branches that had fallen onto the street and sidewalks. The snow was heavy and wet, so The Beatrice Inn became a welcome destination. Upon arriving I was delighted to see fires algow in the fireplaces and the thoughts of a big meal to look forward to. (Did not eat all day to prepare!)
I just adore the design of the space. It harks back to old New York, though it is a recent renovation. Low ceilings, dark wallpaper, carefully placed mirrors, with a lively bar which features some interesting smoked drinks, so there’s always a tinge of smokiness in the air. We sat in the front dining room, near an unlit fireplace, at a nice round table, which had enough room to host the ample dishes we ordered.
Our wine choice really complemented the rabbit, tart, and sides: Poderi Aldo Conterno Il Favot Langhe Nebbiolo 2015. They decanted the wine while we went through our first course, which was a nice touch.
We started our meal with the Yellowtail Crudo, which was absolutely divine. It came topped with a mix of porcini and truffle preserves, citrus, and the thinnest slice of jalapeño. The yellowtail was exceptionally creamy, and the mushroom topping added a wonderful aroma and unexpected flavor. I would love to go back and have this at the bar with a nice glass of their 2015 Trebbiano Olivini.
The Savory Plum Tart for Two: Black Pepper, Wild Arugula, & Parmesan. They claim this dish is for two, but you could easily split this with four people—that seemed to be the trend with each course. It was an unusual way to start off the meal, a rich dessert-like crust housing plums in a rich, but not sweet syrup. This really had the vibe of a Middle Ages feast.
An entire rabbit arrived: Muscadet-Vine-Smoked with a chestnut and giblet stuffing, plump prunes and brandy. This was a real treat, the meat was so sweet and tender, and was so much fun to dig in with my hands, and bite the meat right off the bones.
This side dish was recommended by the waiter, who described it as caramelized onions, but it was so much more. The Tartiflette was a creamy mix of sauteed onions, sage, and d’affinois, a French double-cream cheese. Very intense and a little too filling for my tastes. If I were to do this all over again, I would have nixed the tart for a starter, and replaced this with a vegetable: the baby romaine, haricot verts, or squash amandine, considering we had stuffing and prunes already with the rabbit.
Desserts were presented to us vintage-style, with samples brought to the table and designed to entice. If you can believe it, there’s even a meat component in one of them, the Bone Marrow Brulee in which creme brulee is cooked in the hollow of a bone. We declined, way too stuffed!
All in all, this dinner was a satiating and indugent experience, with a surprise element in every course. I highly recommend treating yourself with this chef’s extraordinary fare. I suggest going with a group of four or more to split the rather generous portions, and save some dough.
The Beatrice Inn, 285 W 12th St (betw W 4th St/Eighth Ave)