I love living in NYC. There are so many things I love about it that I can't picture living anywhere else right now. I hear that it eventually gets old, but I'm nowhere near that point right now. Food festivals are among the many things I love about living in NYC and Meatopia is one of the best. Alex and I had a long discussion on our way back from Meatopia about which food festival is our favorite and we had a hard time deciding between Meatopia and LUCKYRICE Night Market. In the end I think we decided that LUCKYRICE was our favorite because there was more variation in the dishes we ate there. Meatopia is obviously all about the meat (which generally meant sandwiches of some sort, or random hunks of meat), whereas at LUCKYRICE we had soups, salads, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, and sliders. I would say that the quality of the food was the same at both. We had some really delicious dishes, some good dishes and some forgettable dishes at both. Not everyone can be a winner I guess.
There were a lot of really good dishes at Meatopia last night. My favorites included the spicy lamb ribs from Ilili (pictured above) , the Mangalitsa pig's head torchon from Edi & the Wolf (pictured after the jump), the roasted kid goat from Floyd Cardoz (no picture, but Floyd just won Top Chef Masters and I can totally see why) and the Vietnamese-style Mangalitsa ham and bacon pops from Lee Anne Wong. There were two other dishes that really stuck out in my head as being very good, but didn't quite make the favorites list - the spit-roasted whole sheep served on flatbread with cherry tomatoes from Seamus Mullen (his restaurant Tertulia should be opening soon and I can't wait to try it out) and the mulefoot whole hog pulled pork sandwich from April Bloomfield of The Breslin, The Spotted Pig and The John Dory Oyster Bar (pictured after the jump). We tried a ton of other dishes, but those were definitely my favorites of the day. The coolest spread was definitely at Bar Basque. They made Hampshire pork 7 ways - pork belly, steamed buns, sausauge, ice cream... We tried their pork belly and clams and their bacon ice cream, both of which were very nice, but weren't among my favorites. I wish I had been able to try their morcilla sausage (aka blood sausage) but they were out when I wandered by. Oh well. But now that I know their food is so good, I am adding the restaurant to my list of places to try. The same goes for Ilili and Edi & the Wolf. I recently tried Seasonal, which is the other restaurant by the same people as Edi & the Wolf and it was delicious, so it's no surprise that Edi & the Wolf was so good. Another thing I love about Meatopia is the demonstrations - while we were there they had butchering demos and Pat LaFrieda was roasting an entire cow. And they left the head on so it stared at you while they cooked it. I'm not going to lie - it was kinda creepy, but cool at the same time.
More pictures after the jump!
Whole mulefoot hog by April Bloomfield
Pig's head torchon by Edi & the Wolf
Cute little pig statue at Bar Basque
Whole roasted Donley steer by Pat LaFrieda
Bye bye Meatopia. See you again next year.