Husband and I had a promising meal here on Sunday night. Walked in around 7pm, easily got a two-top. There looked like a short wait when we left around 8:30-8:45pm. But this location does take reservations, which is nice. The food menu is completely different from the Williamsburg location, BTW.
Service was excellent and they did a great job of getting cocktail refills, quietly taking away empty plates, checking up on us, quietly taking away garnish picks & chopstick wrappers. I swear as soon as I put the menu down, someone was asking if we had any questions. Same when we put our credit card down to pay at the end of the night. They are definitely on top of things there right now, and made a good impression on me.
Plus there's excellent cocktails! The Chupacabra with tequila, chili-infused domaine de canton, fresh watermelon, lime was delicious and supremely spicy despite its bright pink color. Reminiscent of something you'd find on Mayahuel or Death & Co's menu. The Smokin' Bone with bourbon, smoked pineapple, lime, chocolate bitters, tabasco was even better. Also lovely, complex, and spicy, and boozy. Also excellent was This Little Piggy Had Whiskey, with Whistlepig, St. Germain, Lillet blanc, Campari, orange bitters, which had a bit of a Sazerac quality thanks to the orange bitters.
One holdover from the Fatty Johnson's pop up was ham service, renamed as Ham, Jam, Butter & Bread. Only one ham on the menu (Edwards) but I thought the warm pretzel bread was a very nice tough. A generous serving of room temperature butter with some spices on top, and some cincalok (IIRC) jam. Sweet, salty, buttery. The perfect bite when you got the butter and jam and ham all together on the pretzel bread. Ordered on the recommendation of our server.
I also really enjoyed Steamed & Crushed New Potatoes with smoky-sweet corn, green chili curry. The potatoes themselves were OK -- well cooked but possibly needed a bit of seasoning. But the sweet corn, bright and fresh off the cob, and the creamy but also lingeringly spicy curry sauce with lots of fresh oregano? Divine.
Even better was the Late Summer Tomato with cubeb pepper, fresh coriander, charcoal, olive oil. Slices of high quality heirloom tomato in gorgeous colors (red, green, orange, green striped red, yellow, etc), bursting with flavor, crunchy bread crumbs on top, and a generous helping of fresh basil and Asian spices? Also delicious! Also highly recommended by our server.
We also tried the buttermilk fried half rabbit. Seven decent sized pieces served on a wooden board. Great crust, and nice, tender meat. I loved picking off the bits better the rabbit ribs! So tender. And served with a bottle of their housemade vinegar based sauce. Almost perfect, all I needed was a little bit more heat, and maybe some maple syrup and butter? Really glad I tried it but I'm not sure I'd get it again since there are so many other choices.
The only thing I didn't really "get" was their oddball dessert menu. We ordered the Spiced Chocolate & Buckwheat: buckwheat ice cream, buckwheat cookie, chocolate ganache, preserved plums, with a foam on top (pandan or green tea I think?). I thought the preserved plums really clashed with the chocolate and the buckwheat cookie just didn't taste that great -- I don't think buckwheat makes a very good dessert. Especially when it's with preserved plumbs! The plating and flavors seemed kind of WD-50-ish, actually. The dessert never really melded for me. I think I'll try another dessert next time, one of the more traditional ones, or skip dessert here altogether.
Overall, I really liked their redo of the Cabrito/Fatty Johnson's space. Nice modern light fixtures, cute wallpaper, some mini liquor cabinets in the walls, a nice long banquette. Bright orange chairs. The booths looked cozy, the banquette and big 6-top table in back, a little less so. The room is cleverly divided into different sections to help with noise and giving it a little bit more of an intimate feel. There's a few tables in front of the host station, then a divider, then some booths and two more tables, then another divider, etc.
I only wish the bar had more seats, as I'll definitely be back! Not cheap, but interesting, bold, and tasty. And who's to say you shouldn't stop in for some liquid refreshments and 1/2 lb. of that deep-fried bacon on your way elsewhere?
Death & Co.
433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
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