Sure, we love a tasting menu with a hundred tiny, beautifully composed bites, but there's something to be said for sitting at one big table with all your favorite people, passing around a single platter of rare steak, everyone dipping gorgeously crisp French fries into rendered, aged beef fat like there's no tomorrow.
That's what happened at Ssäm Bar, where we feasted on Matt Rudofker's new ribeye, a large-format dinner that feeds six to eight ($225) depending on how gluttonous you're all feeling.
The huge, funky dry-aged steak was perfectly sliced. The fries were crisp but tender inside, fun to dip into tarragon-packed Béarnaise, warm beef jus, shallot jam and smoky bacon ketchup, or to smear with roasted garlic. Even the giant Caesar salad was good enough to distract us, occasionally, from the intensely meaty main event.
A few more grand productions for you to tackle:
The Breslin's Curry Lamb
The centerpiece of April Bloomfield's curry feast for eight to ten is a Kashmiri-style leg of lamb, massaged with spices and mustard oil, then braised with tomato, green chiles and cilantro. But wait, there's more: charcoal-grilled chops, hot parathas, rice and vegetables.
$ It's $80 a person
ⓡ Go to The Breslin's event page
The Cleveland's Shoulder
Max Sussman is putting together some exciting big dinners in NoHo, where you and eight to fourteen friends can work as a team to demolish some lamb shoulder, for example, which might come with warm pumpernickel pita, pickled root vegetables and roasted carrots with goat butter, depending on the day.
$ Starts at $70 a person
ⓡ Call The Cleveland at 212-274-0900
Resto's Whole Animal
With all the new options for a big night out, don't forget about Resto, which still does one of the best in town! Fran Derby cooks one animal--say, a pig--and serves it in a few glorious courses like smoked kielbasa with sauerkraut, chops and a whole roasted pig's head.
$ Varies; around $60 a person
ⓡ Call a week in advance 212-685-5585