Thanksgiving came early at Bodega Negra and if you are a foodie living in New York City, trust us, this is a good thing. This week, I'm giving you the dish on my unexpectedly delicious Mexican Thanksgiving feast.
Located in the Dream Downtown, Bodega Negra attracts an upscale crowd, which really dictates the scene. Our group was seated in the back amber-lit private room, which had an edgy décor of trimmed banquettes and light up signs. Mirrored panels, antique tequila and wine barrels lined the walls. Peeking into the main dining room, one could see a variety of big and small groups enjoying their dinner underneath a giant copper penny disco ball hanging from the ceiling. As we sat down, I was hungry and glad that the Bodega Guacamole came out right away. The guac had a distinctive kick to it – it was definitely due to the salsa and chilies incorporated in the dish, and I was really digging it. Trying to control myself before the feast ahead, I took one more bite of the guacamole with the jicama served on the side.
The appetizers all came out at once – overwhelming the group by how much food was put on the table. We just realized how serious this meal was going to be. The dishes that were brought out included the Quesadilla Rustica; Tuna Ceviche; Roasted Corn Salad; Bodega Chopped Salad; Butternut Squash Tacos with pumpkin seeds and dried cherry salsa. I quickly decided that the Quesadilla Rustica was my favorite. Being a cheese lover this dish was right up my alley - this quesadilla is more like a Mexican pizza and the tortilla is topped with four cheeses, habanero, roasted tomato and chimichurri.
After we wrapped up the appetizers, a whole roasted pig was wheeled out. Yes, you heard me correctly, a whole roasted pig! After a lot of pictures and excitement over the pig it was brought back into the kitchen to be properly served. Moments later, the pig was sliced beautifully on a platter with house made fresh corn tortillas and a selection of Mexican salsas. It was evident that the tender pig was cooked for hours and the salsas to pair with the pig were carefully chosen. Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Stuffing, and Brussels Sprouts with peanuts, pickled chilies and dried cranberries were served as sides. @chefmikea, if you are reading this I NEED the recipe for the Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Stuffing because I think I finished an entire skillet on my own. It was the perfect juxtaposition of textures and flavors - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Although very full, I managed to squeeze in dessert. Bodega Negra’s famous Don Huevo was brought out – at first all you see is a large white chocolate dome with a chocolate mustache on it. The waiter then started to pour hot caramel sauce on top of it, which causes the white chocolate to melt and collapse into strips that can be eaten. Inside the dome sat a mini pumpkin pie and walnut ice cream. I would return to Bodega Negra solely for this dessert. The table was also filled with piping hot Churros, spiced chocolate and cajeta dipping sauces and Caramelized Pineapple Upside Down Cake with cranberry ice cream. As I am not a fruit lover, I chose to skip the pineapple upside down cake.
In my opinion, the Pig Feast at Bodega Negra is one of the best ways to unofficially kick off your holiday season with a group of friends. After the meal, we certainly were thankful. The best dish you ask? Would have to be the Roast Pig, of course.
For parties of 8 or more, Bodega Negra is offering this Pig Feast from November 5th to November 30th (excluding Thanksgiving Day) for $125 a person. All items on the Friendsgiving pre-set menu are served family style. For reservations you can contact DreamEvents@TaoGroup.com or call 646-625-4121. 72 hours notice is appreciated so the Chef can properly prepare your pig!