Though there is a glut of food events in our fair city, there is also a growing consensus among foodists that Good Beer at BAM, the beer-and-small-plates Edible Manhattan event in its second year, is among the best. For those who can sneak out of work early to beat the crowds, two floors of very good locally sourced bites and brews (minus the stingy pours of wine events) await for $40. The only aspect that needs improvement? The pairings. Many seem a bit hastily chosen, and only one stood out for Fork in the Road this year.
Cuisine competition (Prime Meats, Co., Luke’s Lobster) was fierce, but two dishes shone: A bright Spanish mackerel crudo from Esca plated by chef de cuisine Katie O’Donnell was powdered with toasted peanuts and cashews and drizzled with olive oil. It was also a favorite of Our Man Sietsema, who floated about the premises. Fork in the Road would have been content noshing on this and the gorgeous flor de calabaza (squash blossom) mini-quesadillas from Palo Santo’s Jacques Gautier all night.
But pairings were the name of the game, and the dish that triumphed was the rabbit terrine (pictured) by Northern Spy Food Co., whose chef had a few chats with Southampton before choosing their aromatic, floral Cuvée des Fleures, a potent saison-style brew flavored with edible flowers. The terrine — rabbit loin wrapped in country ham, packed with bits of pistachio, dried cherries, and apricots — was served with a tiny salad of microgreens, poppingly sweet Bing cherries, and herbs. The herbs and fruits in the salad and the aromatic flowers in the beer made for a transporting taste even in the midst of the throngs of eaters.
A quick call to Northern Spy Food Co. confirms that they’re considering adding rabbit to their rotation in general, but that a popular house-made pork headcheese is currently occupying the charcuterie position on the menu.
Full disclosure: This writer has written for Edible Manhattan.