One would think that I was still dating my Jewish ex since, one fine night a few weeks ago, it looked as if I was taking part in Passover Seder. Seder includes matzo ball soup and four cups of wine, among other foods and rituals. Well, before going to DBGB for Jim’s Matzoh Ball Soup ($8), I took a wine tasting class at Astor Center and had multiple gulps and sips of nine varieties. I was feeling reeeal festive after that, and there was no doubt that I needed something to flush out the alcohol at the end of class. So it was a good thing that TSH was meeting me at the Center, from where we would walk over to DBGB.
I didn’t have high hopes for the Matzoh Ball Soup, not just because I’ve learned that New York magazine doesn’t always know what its talking about, but also because it’s Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, after all, and sometimes too much hype ensues just because of the name behind it. But this $8 bowl piqued my senses from the moment the bartender placed it in front of me. The scent of the golden broth traveled to my nose from behind the counter, which switched the “on” button in my mouth. If I were a cartoon character, my eyes would be bugging a mile out and there’d be a waterfall gushing out of my mouth and onto the floor.
From the first taste, I wanted to become Jewish. Maybe eventually the annoying Asian girl on my high school volleyball team can ask, “Really, you’re Jewish?” and have a good reason to actually ask that.
The three medium-sized matzoh balls crumbled nicely. Think of them as delicate, airy meatballs, without meat (I know, the horror, right?!), which were accompanied by pairs of two kinds of mini radish and baby balls of carrots. The veggies were almost too cute to eat, but eat them I did. And I loved every non-soggy bit. I expected no meat, but, as I was swirling around, I found two little chunks of what looked and tasted like pork, but they had to be chicken, right? Sometimes I really can’t tell, so in this case, I think I’ll safely assume it was chicken.
Sipping the broth was like sipping liquid gold – it was that rich. Add some fresh dill and just a touch of salt, and you’ve got yourself a treasure. At points, I even tasted a cinnamony flavor along with some essence of Italian seasoning. Looks like parsley oil is drizzled in, according to NY mag, so that might partially explain the latter, along with some secret matzoh ball ingredients.
Ok, so, I’ve never tried home made matzo ball soup, but I have a feeling it might just pale in comparison to DBGB’s. And, until someone wants to cook up their home made version for me, I’ll take a pot of DBGB’s to go and eat it with a pot of rice, Asian style. For me, this would be the best Jewish-Chinese pairing to date.
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
299 Bowery (between Houston and 1st Street)
New York, NY 10003