I heard of Belcampo thanks to fellow blogger Johnny Prime who is a reference when it comes to meat and attended a camp there, before discovering that they have an outpost in Hudson Yards. At the time when more and more people become vegetarian, many because of the way cattle are raised, Belcampo shows how raising animals for consumption can be less hazardous, controlling the food chain from A to Z, without any middlemen and under strict rules. Raised in their farm at the base of Mt Shasta in Northern California (25,000 acres), the animals are fed without any hormones and additives and it shows.
But if you are vegetarian, don’t be uncomfortable when going there: they are used to have vegetarian diners and gracefully propose alternative, ready to switch meat for egg or avocado in their salads. I mention it because Jodi being vegetarian, we often end up with restaurants inflexible about their menu and not that open to either put vegetarian dishes on their menu that are not an afterthought or change to accommodate patrons who do not eat meat. So they switched lamb for avocado in “The Vessel”, a salad with Middle eastern influences, that is composed of cauliflower rice, za’atar, cherry tomato, cucumber and tahini. Pretty good salad that I will probably try to recreate at home, the cauliflower rice being quite an interesting ingredient.
On my side, I went all meat: I started with a cup of bone broth soup and chose the Tom Khai Gai over the Italian wedding. This Thai soup was made with poultry bone broth, coconut milk, lime, fish sauce and cilantro. Not spicy, it was quite comforting and flavorful.
Next was a side of merguez, a lamb sausage that I adore and cannot find that easily in supermarkets (Whole food or Freshdirect work) or in restaurants, besides North African places like Barbés in Hoboken where they serve it in various manners, from Tagine to simply with some tabouli, or French restaurants like Beaubourg (at Le District, the French market place downtown). Sometimes though, the merguez are not good, but these were excellent, perfectly made for sure.
My entree was the steak frites: a dry aged beef served with duck fat fries (for a healthier option you can choose roasted carrot. I would not because when I have steak, I go all in!). The portion was fine: you end up with a regular portion of meat, besides the fries that were quite generously served. The meat was tender and juicy, and the fries crispy on the outside like I love them. Definitely a good dish and a good price for steak ($29).
I should mention their bar that has interesting cocktails that follow the meat theme, like the Bone Broth Michelada made with beer and bone broth, or the one I tried that was the Midnight cruiser, made with duck fat washed rye, bitters and a spiced orange oleo-saccharum. Quite good, do not worry: with this type of cocktail you do not really taste whatever the wash is made off, whisky being quite strong.
Last was dessert. Although I was enthusiastic about the meal, dessert is not something I must absolutely have at Belcampo. The cookies and milk was ok, the cookies not being great, too fluffy with just a little bit of chocolate chips. Then the frosted chocolate cake was not as good as I expected, thinking it would be very chocolatey. It was not. I should have gone for the tarte tatin, although apparently made with a custard and not slices of apple (hopefully the problem is in their description).
Despite the disappointing dessert, I really liked Belcampo and would for sure go back there to try other cuts and get merguez again. It is great to have such place at Hudson Yards that is not overpriced on top of that!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Belcampo-500 West 33rd Street Fl 5, New York, NY