PDT Bar and Wildwood Barbecue
A few weeks ago, Helen and I went to PDT for a cocktail or two right after we’re done with work. Normally, I would stay away from alcoholic drinks but I made an exception since I did like their drinks a lot nearly a year ago when I went to their Friends and Family night. Anyway, Helen was psyched to actually try it since I’ve been talking about this haute cocktail bar for months and she told me to take her there, so we finally did.
Reading through their new spring menu and being pretty much indecisive about what the heck we want to drink, I talked to our bartender for the evening (I didn’t catch his name, unfortunately) and asked him about what drinks go with what we like. I really was thinking about getting the Bizet but he said it’s bitter, which I don’t really want in my drink. So, I just let him take the wheel and surprise me. As for Helen, she gotten herself the Bee Sip, made of Chamomile infused Barsol Quebranta Pisco, Masumi “OkudenKantsukuri” sake, and Barenjager Honey Liqueur. In case you don’t remember, this girl loves sugar and all things sweet.
So what my bartender made me was the Badminton Cup. It’s quite tasty – since cucumber was the main note for this entire drink; a bit herbal-bitter and it doesn’t taste that alcoholic (which I use with restraint since my head starts feeling a bit woozy up there ten minutes later). Helen didn’t like it since she doesn’t like or what she says, “allergic” to cucumbers.
As for Helen’s Bee Sip, I’m enchanted with the strong, clean smell of lemon since the zest was squeezed right before he served the drink then the scent of honey kicked in. When Helen took a sip of this, she was delighted about the fact it was sweet. I don’t know since I still tasted the liquor but if I get past that, it does taste a bit sweet and floral like honey.
Earlier the week, when I was perusing the interwebs, I found out that PDT is serving the Wylie Dog that I told myself that I MUST try it when we get there. What appeals to me is the fried mayo! How can you go wrong with a fried fat? I know that sounds really wrong in terms of my health, but I can never make fried mayo on my own. I don’t have that special chemical that Chef Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 uses, so this is a rare occasion that I could ever get my hands (or my mouth) in one.
So what’s in this dog exactly? It’s a fried hot dog with a log of breaded, fried mayo goodness, topped with shredded romaine lettuce, tomato molasses (Dufrense’s answer to ketchup), and freeze dried onions. Sure, it sounds weird but it’s ridiculously tasty. The texture of fried mayo what makes this dog so different – crisp on the outside meets warm, oozy fat coating your mouth with the hot dog and the sweet-tartness of the tomato molasses. Maybe a bit too much lettuce but I liked this dog.
I persuaded Helen to get one more drink so I could take photos of her with that drink and she also got a new haircut (probably my drink was getting to my head by then, hence my odd request/explanation). The problem was, we’re truly stuck on what to get for her second drink. We asked our bartender what’s considered “sweet” in the menu and he concocted and told us that this drink, The Mariner is the sweetest. When I took a sip, this definitely was sweeter than the Bee Sip she had a bit earlier. The pineapple juice did give the drink a big sugar kick, but the subtle, spicy smoky flavor from the smoked cardamom syrup cuts it a bit. It’s nice and if you’re really curious about her photos, a few came out well out of the ten or so I’ve probably have taken. I can’t do much where the bar is really dark and I’m a bit tipsy…
Since it’s nearing 7 PM, we had to head uptown to Wildwood Barbecue, meeting up with Robyn, K, and for the first time, Danny. If you’re inquiring about the people I’m having dinner with, yes, they’re all food bloggers – except for Helen. Awww…
We pretty much know what we wanted since Robyn have eaten here with her boss, the great Ed Levine of Serious Eats (read his review) and Danny has been here before too. K’s been dying to get her hands on the cornbread, Robyn liked their coleslaw. We thrown in the rubbed and fried chicken wings since Robyn mentioned that it’s pretty awesome and from her photo during her first visit looks like it, too.
I thought the cornbread was good but nothing to write home about. The wings were tasty but they don’t look like the ones Robyn had before and she did say that they’re different. Odd. As for the coleslaw, it was really good – fresh shredded cabbage with bits of sweet carrots that aren’t drowning in dressing. I really loved their sweet potato fries. It’s crisp on the outside and a bit soft on the inside that pervades the sweet essence of this tuber.
The brisket was really good. It’s tender, moist, beefy and smoky. It also helps to have a thin layer of fat coating it.
The beef short rib was insanely awesome. This rib was marbled with enough fat that it melts in your mouth. Succulent with a more intense flavor. This was my favorite from our dishes.
When it comes to our half-rack of baby back ribs, it’s very tender and sweet. But it reminds me of a sweeter and obviously Americanized version of Chinese-style barbecue ribs.
After polishing off our meal, we ended our meal by ordering the entire dessert menu, which wasn’t much since it’s a carrot cake, a seven-layer chocolate fudge cake, and s’mores. The cakes were unexpectedly HUGE. I mean it’s the size of a normal dessert plate. Of the two cakes, I prefered the carrot cake more since it’s more interesting than the chocolate cake. The carrot cake was sweet, balanced with spices and the tart cream cheese frosting. I liked the toasted coconut flakes that topped it off. The chocolate cake was nice and decadent but it’s just pure chocolate and they should ease off the sugar in the cake (the frosting wasn’t too sweet by itself).
The s’mores were presented in a small cast iron pot. How cute. In terms of the actual dessert. It was fine but the issue was the sugar. The s’more is similar to a fluffernutter except the peanut butter part is actually peanut brittle shards sprinkled on top of the chocolate coating.
113 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY 10009
225 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003