Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Má Pêche: Beef Seven Ways

with some food-lovers from my school, went to lunch at David Chang's "business lunch" (doesn't that sound horrible?) place Má Pêche for Bœuf Sept Façons.

Niman Ranch tongue in a spinach and basil salad with plum vinaigrette and peanuts. Never had tongue quite like this before; usually it's grey and chunky and in a lengua taco. :)

Not beef, but a duck banh mi we got on the side, just to try.

Wagyu with ginger, scallion, and radish. Shockingly beefy!

Cote de bœuf with butter, thyme, and garlic and Niman Ranch beef sausage with lemongrass, thai basil, and shallots. The sausage might have been my favorite thing of the whole meal.

A lot of stuff went well in lettuce wraps with spicy hoisin, crispy shallots and garlic, and pickles.

The crowning glory: oxtail with soy, sherry, and apple juice and beef shank with crab paste, onion, and chili. The oxtail vied with the sausage for the Best Thing; the beef shank was, of course, very very good (and very very large).

Finally, to finish off, a cup of delicate consomme with lime and Thai basil.

Was it as good as other "event" meals Momofuku restaurants offer, like Ssam Bar's Bo Ssam or the fried chicken feast at Noodle Bar? Not quite, I don't think--beef is a tough dish to like, especially seven ways--but it was still excellent. Doesn't hold a candle to Ko, though.

And it sucks having to go to midtown to eat, and it sucks eating around dudes who appear poised to ask me about my TPS reports:


Stan said...

someone needs to tell David Chang or whoever is executive chef-ing Ma Peche that Niman Ranch went corporate a long time ago and got bought by Coleman...blegh.

And why are you hating on the midtown business crowd? They're funding our ride! Don't ruin a good thing... it's trickle-down economics. Don't be a hater!

adiblasi said...


Niman Ranch is not and has never been owned by Coleman. If you'd like to chat about any other misconceptions you may have I'm happy to provide you with accurate information.

Stan said...

woops, my bad. I misquoted the history of the company as reported by the Times. However, the company is basically run by an ex-Coleman guy and has since been dropped by Alice Waters, the dearly beloved leader of all things local and seasonal. Bill Niman is also not affiliated with his namesake company anymore over an argument over feeding practices. So while, yes, the company might still be independently owned, the similarity in practice that resembles larger corporate run agribusinesses is discouraging. Here is a citation from the 2008 article:

"Still, Mr. Niman continued to build the company. He took on a parade of investors. A new management team took over in 2006, led by Jeff Swain, who had been at the company that produces Coleman Natural Beef, Mr. Niman’s biggest competitor.

With the new team came changes, many of them made over Mr. Niman’s protests. The company sold its custom butchering plant in Oakland and prepared to sell its high-end feedlot in Idaho. Niman Ranch began to purchase cattle ready for slaughter from feedlots over which the company had little control, a practice that Mr. Niman said was “against my religion.”

Mr. Niman said feed standards dropped and animals were transported distances longer than 500 miles, which he said stresses them too much."

To be fair, the rebuttal follows:
"Mr. Swain said feed and care standards for the 400 head of cattle they process a week have not dropped. Contractors follow a list of protocols that are similar to those Mr. Niman developed."

But the bottom line is that the bacon I used to buy from Niman Ranch even four years ago is not the bacon available to me today at my grocer. And at $8 a package of bacon, I have a lot of other options available for me, as does Ma Peche.

alex said...

Thanks for the insight, Stan and Adiblasi...I used to buy Niman Ranch guanciale from the Park Slope Food Co-op, I think, until they dropped it a couple of years ago...but I think they dropped it because it didn't sell well enough, not necessarily because of changes at Niman Ranch? (I'm not sure of the exact reasons behind the drop).