Large format meals at restaurants are a great and easy way for a big group to eat in NYC. There's no additional private dining charge, people know ahead of time what they're going to eat, and you can rest assured that the staff is experienced in dealing with a large group. In the case of the Breslin or Momofuku Ssam Bar, it also allows you to make a reservation at a restaurant that otherwise doesn't take them.
Some large format meals may be ambitious and kind of a spectacle, while some are just great family-style dinners. The prime rib meal at the Breslin belongs in the latter category, as it is primarily chef April Bloomfield's version of a Sunday roast.
The meal started off with a delicious and satisfying salad. The flavors of the vegetables were clean and clear and not overpowered by the feta and vinaigrette. There was great skill on display as the vegetables were cut purposefully into sizes which enhanced the different textural contrasts and flavor combinations in each bite.
The main course is presented to us as it rests before being carved and served.
DRY AGED PRIME RIB OF BEEF WITH RED WINE SAUCE AND HORSERADISH CREAM
Everyone dig in! There were about 9 slices of prime rib each cut to about 1.5cm thick for the 7 of us (the meal is charged per person at an 8 person minimum), with a few very delicious bones served in a separate bowl. The steak was very tender, and while there wasn't an strong aged funk in the flavor of the meat, its presence was noticeable in the fat. The red wine sauce was nice, but I loved the horseradish cream, which was creamy and delicious, providing a nice kick that didn't overwhelm as horseradish often does.
BABY BEETS WITH GRATED HORSERADISH AND HERB VINAIGRETTE
ROASTED BROCCOLI WITH CALABRIAN CHILI AND ANCHOVY
Both vegetable sides were excellent. The beets were not too sweet, and the broccoli retained an excellent texture.
A staple of the British Sunday roast, this was delicious and perfect for mopping up all the sauces and meat juices.
I'm usually not a mousse fan, but I enjoyed this as it was very light and airy and the chocolate flavor was not too sweet.
The large format meals at the Breslin have now expanded to two availabilities per time slot, with the primary seating done at the large "chef's table" right in front of the open kitchen, as well as a set of tables put together upstairs. Overall, it was a delicious meal that I would recommend for large group get-togethers. However, it is still just a fancy Sunday roast, so for foodies looking for more than just a nice meal together, some of the Breslin's other large format choices might be better.
The Breslin (inside Ace Hotel)
20 W 29th St
Manhattan, NY 10001