The Underground Gourmet

Batali Helps Devise Insane Feast for Spotted Pig Staff

And Charlotte wept.Photo: Melissa Hom
When one thinks of the great feast-givers throughout history, one thinks of the medieval dukes, earls, and kings of England. One thinks of Chinese and Roman emperors, the Persians, the Turks, maybe a Fijian cannibal chief or two. Add to this illustrious list of revelers Sir Ken D. Friedman, the owner of West Village gastropub the Spotted Pig. This past Sunday, Friedman threw a belated holiday–Super Bowl party at Del Posto for his 80-person staff, and it was of such Rabelaisian excess that, like an old Woodstock hippie, the restaurateur is having trouble remembering it all.

Let’s get drunk, like we do on the job!Photo: Melissa Hom
What we do know is that Mario Batali and Del Posto chef Mark Ladner devised the menu. The gustatory proceedings began at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvre (Bugles stuffed with blue cheese, pork cups, Chex mix), and went well into the wee hours. Although there were no roasted peacocks, gilded egrets, or jousting at this orgy, and although Friedman did not ride into the restaurant on an elephant, there were whole roasted lobes of foie gras served with Batali’s Starburst candy–reduction sauce (made famous in Bill Buford’s book, Heat) and cake served by “scantily clad babes,” as stated on the menu. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

For history’s sake, Friedman sent Grub Street a copy of the menu.*

Bugles: Famous corn snacks stuffed with blue cheese
Wasabi peas: Classic Japanese snack
Crabsticks: Dipped in mustard batter and deep-fried
Steak chips: Potato chips with steak tartare
Chex mix: American classic
Del Posto snacks: House specialty
Eagle snacks: Right outta the bag
Nachos: Doritos sandwiches
Ham & Cheese: Just like Mom used to make
Pork cups: Braised pork shoulder in cucumber cups
Rice balls: Fried Rice Krispies treats
Hot shots: Oysters in spicy tomato
Rashers: Deep-fried, of course
Caviar pearls: That’s right
Tater tots: Served with spicy ketchup

First Course
Foie gras and monkfish
Whole roasted, and served with Molto’s world famous “Starburst & Red Bull sauce”

Second Course
Macaroni and cheese
Tossed in flaming whole wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano with mad amounts of large chunk black truffle
Isn’t Annie’s so much better than Kraft?Photo: Melissa Hom
Third Course
Whole smoked halibut
Entombed in nuts, twigs, dirt, and dust, slathered with mystery gravy

Spotted Pig
Painfully slow-roasted with crispy skin and a belly of stew, served with spicy condiments and Parker House Rolls
We knew where this was headed.Photo: Melissa Hom
Celebratory cake
Served by scantily clad babes

*The entire affair was washed down with nothing but the finest suds, swill, mead, grog, and assorted elixirs.

Batali Helps Devise Insane Feast for Spotted Pig Staff