The dinner at Funky Broome was a success from the food point of view. I think AbbyLovi is the person to report on the $ for chowhound aspect.
There were 17 "reservations" and all 17 were in attendance. About half in attendence have been regular posters. Others accompanied the c'hound regulars except for one who is a "newbie" mostly reading but who I think we will soon be hearing lots from their Turtle Bay perspective. Also Dave Feldman's guests will hopefully start reading and writing too. Being the designated camera person (a new digital toy I got for xmas) I will be posting some snapshots but it will take me a few days. If anyone absolutely does not want to be identified in the pictures please e-mail me at wray AT
imailbox DOT com.
I heard everyone stating their appreciation during and after the meal but still on behalf of all the c'hounds who attended I want to thank Abby, Dennison and Eric Eto for planning. They said that what we had was essentially Funky Broome's mid size banquet menu to which they added a couple of choices.
I will recap the menu here for all with some comments for those dishes where I can think of something to say. I hope others will add their comments and corrections.
By the way, this process is made much easier because Abby thoughtfully and efficiently printed up a menu for each of us as well as the post Eric made a couple of days ago. Abby with her timely updates and reminders along with Eric and Dennison who mostly helped in the chow side of the gathering have set the chowhound banquet preparation and planning bar very high for those who follow. Although I must admit I have not attended any of the many previously held in NY so I am no authority.
On to the chow:
Marinated Goose Intestine -- a very refreshing salad like dish. The lightly vinegary dressing and sprouts (just the stem w/o the bean/head) provided the base flavor. The intestines slices were like large flat noodles that had soaked up goose or duck fat. In fact David Sprague suggested that squemish diners should just be told they were eating noodles and they would be happy.
Crispy Squab -- generous big platter, very tasty skin, the very dark sweet meat was a new discovery for me, the few of us that went for the heads got a special treat. I must say that I first took a head and timidly ate the crispy skin. Then after seeing Nina bite the top off a head with relish and urge others to try it, I took another head and took a big bite. Ummm. All Good. This is a first for me to join the chorus of: ummmm. brains, ummmm, creamy. In this case particularly good with the contrasting crispy skin.
Prawns with Walnuts -- Which included broccoli and the prawns were dipped in mayo before being placed on the platter. The nuts were crunchy and sweet, hopefully some of the people who were ooohing and aahhhing about this dish will say something.
Smoke Meats with Jellyfish -- the jelly fish was cut like linguini, with a vinegary dressing and the smoked meat was somewhere between a head cheese and a peppered salami. This appetizer came a little late and we all had our soup and several of the entrees were on the table before it arrived. But once on the table, I think we cleaned the platter pretty quickly.
Dried scallop, bambo pith and seafood soup -- a soothing muted but rich taste to bridge us to the main entrees.
Abalone with Oyster Sauce -- also included were a generous amount of shitake mushrooms and some type of chinese rabbe. I can't say much about this dish except I got 3 helpings. How to describe the abalone? Well it was not like chicken.
Special Funky Broome Twin Lobster -- with minced pork on a bed of noodles soaked with XO sauce. The lobster was good, the noodles and the sauce were excellently piquant, not fiery.
Crispy Whole Chicken with Preserved Vegetables -- a dark green bed of salty chopped pickled vegetables were a nice addition to the chicken.
Stir Fried Norwegian Fish Filet with Minced Pork and Shredded Snow Peas -- Although nearly every dish in this little banquet had its adherants, I think this dish truly had universal acclaim. At least it did amoung the 5 people sitting closest to me. And although Eric said he thought it was a regular menu item (a few of the dishes we had are not, only being served as part of banquet meals) later looking at the menu while riding the train back to Queens we could not positively identify it. I go to such length to explain that because to me this is one of the main the dishes that would bring me back to FB again and again.
The white fish (I am pretty sure was not cod) had a clean fresh taste, the mince pork were bits of ginger flavored succulence and the snow peas were julienned and crunchy (seemed more like green beans than snow peas to me, at least it was diffent than the very flat pea pod usual as snow peas). A smokey char gave the dish a very nice bitter accent. A small discussion could not confirm exactly the source of the char. There were black flakes scattered all through that we at first thought to be black beans. Maybe they were black beans, or maybe something else.
Pea Shoots with Salted Eggs & 1,000 Year Old Eggs -- The pea shoots were garden freshness and greeness embodied. (Can you tell which dishes I liked?) The eggs were diced up into little quarter inches blocks. Their saltiness, boiled-eggness balanced well with the nearly ethereal lightness of the lighter than spinach, tastier than watercress shoots. (Did I mention that I liked this dish and if I could have figured out which "to go" carton it was in, I might have mugged David Sprague to score the remaining few ounces).
Seafood Fried Rice -- lots of eggs gave the rice a yellow tint. Someone (Eric Eto?) suggested that there was crab broth involved, but definately generous amount of shrimp and crab and other seafood laced the rice. A Chinese paella?
Braised E-Fu Noodles with Black Mushrooms -- I had some of these but was so stuffed and trying to finish eating the heaping helpings I had taken of my favorites I barely tasted these.
Sago with Coconut Milk -- small tapioca beads in a coconut cream, light soupy mildly sweet. I had 3 bowls.
Fresh Fruit -- some fresh (green melon, strawberry) some from can (peach and probably lycee)
We were so full that I don't think we could have appreciated anything more elaborate for dessert.
About 2/3s of the group went to an Italian bar on Baxter (was that Forlini's?) where drink (a little) and conversation (a lot!) flowed. As mentioned by others about other chowhound gatherings, meeting fellow chowhounds is very interesting and, for misanthropic me, very encouraging. I may loose my misanthropistic tendencies after a couple more of these shindigs.