Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting Skeeny

No more eating out.  Not after last night's Ryan Skeen foodfest at Irving Mill.  The chef known for his dedication to all things pork has proven, in his latest menu, that porcine anything is still where it's at.  

The dining room couldn't be prettier, done in a farmhouse style with wide wooden floorboards, service station made from antiques, large sconced chandeliers suspended from the ceilings.  At the dining room's front, a circular cut of stone raised to a high top seats six or seven.  

We started with cocktails, Plymouth gin, ginger syrup and pears.  Then we progressed to a 2005 Lignier Morey-St.-Denis that saw a bit too much oak.  Salt and pepper pork ribs tasted like they had been marinated in very good soy sauce and slipped from the bone when bit.  Boudin blanc hot dogs came topped with lardon and caramelized onions, the perfect accoutrement.  I was underwhelmed by battered rabbit legs accompanied by a nondescript aioli.  Ditto for raw fluke adored with chopped walnuts and sliced grapes (it lacked acid).  

But Beausoleil oysters from Canada were tiny and sweet and a beef bavette, served with beef cheek, had a deep and smoky flavor.  Our side of macaroni and cheese, topped with pork rinds, was a bit gritty as if the roux had not been incorporated fully, a downright shame.  

For dessert, we ordered a banana parfait with a whole bunch of crunchy things in it that we couldn't identify.  The house sent apple doughnuts with vanilla ice-cream and two glasses of viscous Pedro Ximenez, the result of the following interaction had between the server and myself: 

Server: I have a question for you.  Are you industry?

Me: Yes, how did you know?

Server: By the way you ordered.  Where do you work?

Me: I'm the Beverage Director at *blank* and he used to be the Beverage Director at *blank*

Server: Do you know Ryan Skeen?

Me: I've never met him.  

Server: Cool.  

And then the free stuff arrived, not at all a bad way to end my weekend.  

Irving Mill
116 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003

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